If this collection leaves it unclear just what naturalized metaphysics comes to, its advocates are at least making a serious attempt to engage with our pre-eminent knowledge-producing disciplines. Newton famously compared his efforts to those of a boy on the seashore who succeeded in picking up a smoother pebble or a prettier shell while the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before him. While naturalist metaphysicians are at sea trying to oversee the reconstruction of Neurath's boat, many a contemporary analytic metaphysician remains on the beach embellishing his or her own sand castle, oblivious to the incoming tide.--Richard Healey.
I mentioned Healey's review favorably a few days ago. Even so, the polemical closing paragraph above, which gives voices to "the deep suspicion" of "many naturalistically inclined philosophers," is unfair and dangerous myth. Before I turn to argue this, some terminological clarification. Healey's review is about a book about "scientific metaphysics" and he calls the practitioners of it, "naturalist metaphysicians," which are contrasted with so-called "analytic metaphysicians." He never settles on definitions, but after some empirical analysis, he writes, "Whatever naturalized metaphysics comes to, it is clearly less enamored with logical analysis of language but pays much closer attention to actual science than a lot of what goes by the name of analytic metaphysics." This is a decent first approximation (and captures nicely the contrast between those that, say, start-from-David Lewis and those that, say, develop their views from grappling with the Scientific Image, or Structure).*