Roffé & Díez «Is it Possible to Empirically Test a Metatheory?»

Roffé, A.J., Díez, J. Is it Possible to Empirically Test a Metatheory?. Found Sci (2024).


In this paper, we examine the issue of the empirical or non-empirical status of philosophical metatheories. In particular, we ask whether a specific type of metatheoretical product, formal reconstructions of scientific theories, can be empirically tested. To answer this, we take Metatheoretical Structuralism as a metatheory and Classical Mechanics as our case studies. We show how classical mechanics can be reconstructed from structuralism. We then present a computer program, called Reconstructor, and show how it can be used to test the adequacy of the reconstruction. Finally, we discuss some philosophical points regarding these tests, namely, the issues of holism, circularity and metatheoretical predictions.