Models pp 90-103 | Cite as

Matter, Action and Interaction

  • Marx W. Wartofsky
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 48)


In this paper, I will argue that a materialist ontology is an important heuristic for scientific theory, and that a classical problem in natural philosophy — whether matter is self-active or is inert — has its contemporary counterpart in modern physics, especially in microphysics. From this, there follow epistemological and methodological consequences concerning scientific inquiry and practice. In order to set the problem of my paper, I introduce as background the contemporary discussion of the relation of metaphysics to science. The philosophical problem of the paper, however, does not concern the formal or methodological issues in this debate, but rather how these issues are resolved in a concrete case, concerning matter, action, and interaction.


Internal Relation Philosophical Problem Dialectical Materialism Methodological Consequence Heuristic Role 
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© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1979

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  • Marx W. Wartofsky

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