Take the 2-minute tour ×
Physics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for active researchers, academics and students of physics. It's 100% free, no registration required.

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?

share|improve this question

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

Questions on Physics Stack Exchange are expected to relate to physics within the scope defined by the community. Consider editing the question or leaving comments for improvement if you believe the question can be reworded to fit within the scope. Read more about reopening questions here.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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
add comment

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.