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World Without DesignThe Ontological Consequences of Naturalism$
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Michael C. Rea

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199247608

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0199247609.001.0001

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The Discovery Problem

The Discovery Problem

(p.77) 4 The Discovery Problem
World Without Design

Michael C. Rea (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Begins the second part of the book, in which the author argues that commitment to the naturalistic research programme precludes one from accepting realism about material objects and materialism. The argument turns on the prospects (or lack thereof) that naturalists have for solving what the author calls the Discovery Problem. Roughly, the Discovery Problem is just the fact that intrinsic modal properties seem not to be discoverable by the methods of science. Describes this problem in Ch. 4, and argues that if there is good reason to think that the problem cannot be solved, then naturalists cannot be justified in accepting realism about material objects.

Keywords:   conceptualism, Discovery Problem, epistemology, essentialism, modal properties

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