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Meyerson, Émile (1859–1933)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-Q071-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved May 21, 2024, from

Article Summary

Meyerson rejects the positivism of Comte and Mach, insisting that reason demands more of science than the identification of lawful regularities for the purpose of successful prediction. Reason demands an actual representation of reality based on genuine causal explanation, and causal explanation consists of demonstrating an underlying identity behind the apparent diversity of phenomena. If completely successful, however, such explanation would ultimately lead to the unchanging homogeneous and sterile universe of Parmenides. That it does not is due to what Meyerson calls ‘irrationals’: inexplicable elements in reality that can never be reduced to identity. Explanation, therefore, is never complete, and scientific laws are ‘plausible’ rather than universally and necessarily true.

Citing this article:
Sipfle, David A.. Meyerson, Émile (1859–1933), 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-Q071-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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