Keep in mind too that I'm an amateur without formal education. I haven't had the four to eight years of
Some terms seem tremendously abused in the philosophical canon. There really is no consensus on what they mean, at least not one I can determine from my own reading. Far and away, the most abused term is "metaphysics". As best I understand, the term was coined to refer to literally the book Aristotle wrote after his book, Physics. It's been defined as ontology and theology; New Age woo-woos try to define it as an antonym to materialism; The Logical Positivists tried to define metaphysics as sheer nonsense.
I basically believe reductive materialism: nothing exists but fundamental physical entities and their interactions. I do not believe there is any sort of "metaphysical" reality above, beyond and/or separate from physical reality, and we can obtain knowledge of physical reality only by appeal to the evidence of our senses.
Still, I think the term is too useful to simply abandon; it's an enormously useful term to apply to statements, propositions and beliefs. Our description of reality is not the reality we're describing. "The map is not the territory." To describe some statements as metaphysical does not entail that one is describing the content of those statements as metaphysical.
To be more specific, a metaphysical statement is a statement with content that we do not evaluate according to a formal, symbolic method or process. By this definition, statements that define a basic formal, symbolic process for evaluating statements are therefore metaphysical, because how are we to evaluate such a definition? To evaluate a formal symbolic process, we would have to define another formal, symbolic process to to perform the evaluation, making the original definition not basic.
But this characterization is not a characterization of how reality works at a basic level, it's a characterization of how human intelligence works. And human intelligence, existing as it does as an emergent, abstract property of an organ with 100 billion neurons and 100 trillion synapses, the outcome of 500 million years of evolution, cannot be called "basic" in any profound sense.
When I talk about the metaphysical definition of science, I definitely do not mean that there's this actual thing we call "science" that exists on some non-material, metaphysical plane. I mean "metaphysical" in the statement-oriented sense. The definition of science is the definition of a formal, symbolic process to acquire knowledge; it is a definition of what the word "knowledge" means: statements justified according to a specific process.