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Newton's work was related to Enlightenment philosophy.

Einstein was influenced by Mach.

The founders of quantum mechanics had strong philosophical opinions.

What is the role of metaphysics in the development of physics?

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closed as off topic by David Z May 26 '11 at 8:03

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Physics is a science so the developments should ultimately boil down to observations, logical arguments, and calculations. Of course, one needs to discuss some metaphysical and broader questions, but your question rotates the causal relationship upside down. Philosophical conclusions may come out of research in physics. If someone wants physical theories to come out of metaphysics or philosophy, then he is not doing science. In this sense, the philosophical passions of physicists are their personal matter and the agreement between physics and metaphysics is just a coincidence. – Luboš Motl May 26 '11 at 8:00
Well it's not only "just a coincidence", it has been a guide, for example to Paul Dirac when building his relativistic quantum mechanical wave equation.. "It seems that if one is working from the point of view of getting beauty in one's equations, and if one has really a sound insight, one is on a sure line of progress" Paul Dirac (clearly a physicist) – HDE May 26 '11 at 15:17

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