The positivist philosophy that drives most of modern science and technology (and much of contemporary philosophy) takes “metaphysics” to be a meaningless quest for answers to unanswerable questions; but Karl Popper, following the lead of Emile Meyerson, showed that there is no scientific (or, for that matter, technological) research program that does not rest on a set of general presuppositions about the structure of the world.


Karl Popper claimed that the philosopher or historian of science’s task was twofold: first unearth and make visible the metaphysical ideas that lie underneath scientific programs in order to make them amenable to criticism; second, proceed to a critical examination of those metaphysical theories, in a way that is different from the criticism of scientific theories, since no empirical testing is here possible, but nevertheless rational.

Jean Pierre Dupuy

Dupuy, J.-P. (2013). Technology and metaphysics. In J. K. B. O. Friis, S. A. Pedersen, & V. F. Hendricks (Eds.), A companion to the philosophy of technology (pp. 214–217). Wiley-Blackwell.