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The rationality of metaphysics

Synthese 178 (1):99-109 (2011)

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  1. Mind-Dependent Kinds.Khalidi Muhammad Ali - 2016 - Journal of Social Ontology 2 (2):223-246.
    Many philosophers take mind-independence to be criterial for realism about kinds. This is problematic when it comes to psychological and social kinds, which are unavoidably mind-dependent. But reflection on the case of artificial or synthetic kinds shows that the criterion of mind-independence needs to be qualified in certain ways. However, I argue that none of the usual variants on the criterion of mind-dependence is capable of distinguishing real or natural kinds from non-real kinds. Although there is a way of modifying (...)
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  • Who’s Afraid of Conceptual Analysis?James Miller - 2023 - In Miguel Garcia-Godinez (ed.), Thomasson on Ontology. Springer Verlag. pp. 85-108.
    Amie Thomasson’s work provides numerous ways to rethink and improve our approach to metaphysics. This chapter is my attempt to begin to sketch why I still think the easy approach leaves room for substantive metaphysical work, and why I do not think that metaphysics need rely on any ‘epistemically metaphysical’ knowledge. After distinguishing two possible forms of deflationism, I argue that the easy ontologist needs to accept (implicitly or explicitly) that there are worldly constraints on what sorts of entities could (...)
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  • Consciousness, Neuroscience, and Physicalism: Pessimism About Optimistic Induction.Giacomo Zanotti - 2023 - Acta Analytica 38 (2):283-297.
    Nowadays, physicalism is arguably the received view on the nature of mental states. Among the arguments that have been provided in its favour, the inductive one seems to play a pivotal role in the debate. Leveraging the past success of materialistic science, the physicalist argues that a materialistic account of consciousness will eventually be provided, hence that physicalism is true. This article aims at evaluating whether this strategy can provide support for physicalism. According to the standard objection raised against the (...)
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  • Matteo Morganti combining science and metaphysics: Contemporary physics, conceptual revision, and common sense. [REVIEW]Zanja Yudell - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (2):657-661.
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  • Moderately Naturalistic Metaphysics.Matteo Morganti & Tuomas E. Tahko - 2017 - Synthese 194 (7):2557-2580.
    The present paper discusses different approaches to metaphysics and defends a specific, non-deflationary approach that nevertheless qualifies as scientifically-grounded and, consequently, as acceptable from the naturalistic viewpoint. By critically assessing some recent work on science and metaphysics, we argue that such a sophisticated form of naturalism, which preserves the autonomy of metaphysics as an a priori enterprise yet pays due attention to the indications coming from our best science, is not only workable but recommended.
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  • The A Posteriori Armchair.Daniel Nolan - 2015 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (2):211-231.
    A lot of good philosophy is done in the armchair, but is nevertheless a posteriori. This paper clarifies and then defends that claim. Among the a posteriori activities done in the armchair are assembling and evaluating commonplaces; formulating theoretical alternatives; and integrating well-known past a posteriori discoveries. The activity that receives the most discussion, however, is the application of theoretical virtues to choose philosophical theories: the paper argues that much of this is properly seen as a posteriori.
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  • How Science and Semantics Settle the Issue of Natural Kind Essentialism.Christian Nimtz - 2018 - Erkenntnis 86 (1):149-170.
    Standard arguments for essentialism with respect to natural kinds such as gold, star, water or tiger enlist essentialist principles or essentialist intuitions. I argue that we need neither. All it takes to establish essentialism for the kinds in question are insights from science and semantics. Semantics establishes that natural kind predicates such as “is gold” or “is a star” are paradigm terms whose application conditions are relationally determined, object involving, and actuality dependent. Science assures us that a posteriori hypotheses such (...)
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  • Science-based Metaphysics: On Some Recent Anti-metaphysical Claims.Matteo Morganti - 2015 - Philosophia Scientiae 19:57-70.
    This paper critically evaluates some arguments against metaphysics recently formulated by Bas Van Fraassen. A more positive view of the relationship between science and metaphysics is outlined.
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  • Are All Primitives Created Equal?J. T. M. Miller - 2018 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 56 (2):273-292.
    Primitives are both important and unavoidable, and which set of primitives we endorse will greatly shape our theories and how those theories provide solutions to the problems that we take to be important. After introducing the notion of a primitive posit, I discuss the different kinds of primitives that we might posit. Following Cowling (2013), I distinguish between ontological and ideological primitives, and, following Benovsky (2013) between functional and content views of primitives. I then propose that these two distinctions cut (...)
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  • The Role of Metaphysical Naturalism in Science.Martin Mahner - 2012 - Science & Education 21 (10):1437–1459.
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  • What is Analytic Metaphysics For?James Maclaurin & Heather Dyke - 2012 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (2):291-306.
    We divide analytic metaphysics into naturalistic and non-naturalistic metaphysics. The latter we define as any philosophical theory that makes some ontological (as opposed to conceptual) claim, where that ontological claim has no observable consequences. We discuss further features of non-naturalistic metaphysics, including its methodology of appealing to intuition, and we explain the way in which we take it to be discontinuous with science. We outline and criticize Ladyman and Ross's 2007 epistemic argument against non-naturalistic metaphysics. We then present our own (...)
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  • Metaphysics and the Limit of the Natural Sciences Explanatory Power.Kulieshov Aleksandr - 2017 - Path of Science 3 (2).
    The article concern is the problem of natural sciences – metaphysics relations. The criterion of metaphysical knowledge as the knowledge about fundamental objects is formulated. It is argued that natural sciences and mathematics do not meet this criterion. They cannot be metaphysics being engaged in the study of exclusively non-fundamental entities. The inference is made that only the speculative metaphysics has the means to solve metaphysical problems relying entirely on its own foundation.
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  • Heidegger the Metaphysician: Modes‐of‐Being and Grundbegriffe.Howard D. Kelly - 2014 - European Journal of Philosophy 24 (3):670-693.
    Modes-of-being figure centrally in Heidegger's masterwork Being and Time. Testimony to this is Heidegger's characterisation of two of his most celebrated enquiries—the Existential analytic and the Zeug analysis—as investigations into the respective modes-of-being of the entities concerned. Yet despite the importance of this concept, commentators disagree widely about what a mode-of-being is. In this paper, I systematically outline and defend a novel and exegetically grounded interpretation of this concept. Strongly opposed to Kantian readings, such as those advocated by Taylor Carman (...)
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  • Metaphysics and social justice.Aaron M. Griffith - 2019 - Philosophy Compass 14 (6).
    Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that aims to give a theoretical account of what there is and what it is like. Social justice movements seek to bring about justice in a society by changing policy, law, practice, and culture. Evidently, these activities are very different from one another. The goal of this article is to identify some positive connections between recent work in metaphysics and social justice movements. I outline three ways in which metaphysical work on social reality can (...)
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  • The spectrum of metametaphysics: mapping the state of art in scientific metaphysics.Jonas R. Becker Arenhart & Raoni Wohnrath Arroyo - 2021 - Veritas – Revista de Filosofia da Pucrs 66 (1):e41217.
    Scientific realism is typically associated with metaphysics. One current incarnation of such an association concerns the requirement of a metaphysical characterization of the entities one is being a realist about. This is sometimes called “Chakravartty’s Challenge”, and codifies the claim that without a metaphysical characterization, one does not have a clear picture of the realistic commitments one is engaged with. The required connection between metaphysics and science naturally raises the question of whether such a demand is appropriately fulfilled, and how (...)
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  • Ontological Frameworks for Scientific Theories.Jonas R. Becker Arenhart - 2012 - Foundations of Science 17 (4):339-356.
    A close examination of the literature on ontology may strike one with roughly two distinct senses of this word. According to the first of them, which we shall call traditional ontology , ontology is characterized as the a priori study of various “ontological categories”. In a second sense, which may be called naturalized ontology , ontology relies on our best scientific theories and from them it tries to derive the ultimate furniture of the world. From a methodological point of view (...)
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  • A Priori or A Posteriori?Tuomas E. Tahko - 2020 - In Ricki Bliss & James Miller (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Metametaphysics. New York, NY: Routledge. pp. 353-363.
    This article discusses the role of a priori and a posteriori knowledge and methods in metaphysics and metametaphysics. Issues discussed include the viability of the distinction, the continuity of a priori and a posteriori methods, connections to modal epistemology, and the role of the distinction for science and naturalistic metaphysics.
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  • The Epistemology of Essence.Tuomas Tahko - 2018 - In Alexander Carruth, S. C. Gibb & John Heil (eds.), Ontology, Modality, Mind: Themes from the Metaphysics of E. J. Lowe. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 93-110.
    The epistemology of essence is a topic that has received relatively little attention, although there are signs that this is changing. The lack of literature engaging directly with the topic is probably partly due to the mystery surrounding the notion of essence itself, and partly due to the sheer difficulty of developing a plausible epistemology. The need for such an account is clear especially for those, like E.J. Lowe, who are committed to a broadly Aristotelian conception of essence, whereby essence (...)
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  • Scientific enquiry and natural kinds: from planets to mallards.P. D. Magnus - 2012 - New York, NY: Palgrave-Macmillan.
    Some scientific categories seem to correspond to genuine features of the world and are indispensable for successful science in some domain; in short, they are natural kinds. This book gives a general account of what it is to be a natural kind and puts the account to work illuminating numerous specific examples.
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  • How to combine and not to combine physics and metaphysics.Mauro Dorato - 2012 - In Dennis Dieks & Vassili Karakostas (eds.), Proceedings of the EPSA 2011.
    In this paper I will argue that if physics is to become a coherent metaphysics of nature it needs an “interpretation”. As I understand it, an interpretation of a physical theory amounts to offering (1) a precise formulation of its ontological claims and (2) a clear account of how such claims are related to the world of our experience. Notably, metaphysics enters importantly in both tasks: in (1), because interpreting our best physical theories requires going beyond a merely instrumentalist view (...)
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  • International Handbook of Research in History, Philosophy and Science Teaching.Michael R. Matthews (ed.) - 2014 - Springer.
    This inaugural handbook documents the distinctive research field that utilizes history and philosophy in investigation of theoretical, curricular and pedagogical issues in the teaching of science and mathematics. It is contributed to by 130 researchers from 30 countries; it provides a logically structured, fully referenced guide to the ways in which science and mathematics education is, informed by the history and philosophy of these disciplines, as well as by the philosophy of education more generally. The first handbook to cover the (...)
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  • Philosophy of Science and Metaphysics.Craig Callender - 2011 - In Steven French & Juha Saatsi (eds.), Continuum Companion to the Philosophy of Science. Continuum. pp. 33--54.
    Philosophy of science appears caught in what Einstein (1933) called the ‘eternal antithesis between the two inseparable components of our knowledge – the empirical and the rational’ (p. 271). It wants to employ metaphysical speculation, but impressed with the methods of the subject it studies, it fears overreaching. Philosophy of science thus tries to walk a fine line between scientifically grounded metaphysics and its more speculative cousins. Here I try to draft some of the contour of this boundary.
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  • ¿Ontología u Ontologías?Paulo Vélez León - 2015 - Disputatio. Philosophical Research Bulletin 4 (5):299-339.
    [ES] En recientes décadas se ha observado un renovado interés por algunos de los temas clásicos de la ontología, desde áreas de conocimiento externas a la filosofía, sin embargo, este renacimiento ontológico ha «estimulado» una multiplicidad y diversidad de teorías y concepciones «ontológicas» que ha dado como consecuencia una proliferación de «ontologías» y de interminables batallas para determinar qué tipo de «entidades» estudian sus respectivos «dominios», que a su vez se consideran autónomos e independientes entre sí, inclusive de la propia (...)
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  • Meta-metaphysics.Tuomas Tahko - 2018 - Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Meta-metaphysics concerns the nature and methodology of metaphysics and metaphysical inquiry. The emergence of meta-metaphysics as a systematic area of study is relatively recent, going back to the late 1990s. But the issues pursued in meta-metaphysics are certainly not novel: an age old question about the nature of metaphysics is whether it is possible to obtain knowledge about metaphysical matters in the first place, and if it is, how this knowledge is obtained.
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  • Tahko metafysiikan ja tieteen suhteesta.Markku Keinänen - 2016 - Ajatus 73:255-267.
    [A comment paper on Tuomas Tahko's book An Introduction to Metametaphysics (CUP, 2016).] Pyrin tässä artikkelissa selvittämään, missä määrin Tuomas Tahkon kirjan An Introduction to Metametaphysics luvussa 9 esittämä käsitys tieteen ja metafysiikan suhteesta tuo selvyyttä metafysiikan luonteeseen itsenäisenä tutkimusalana. Analyyttinen metafysiikka on joutunut viimeisten viidentoista vuoden aikana kasvavan kritiikin kohteeksi. James Ladymanin (2012) mukaan viime aikoina suosittu käsitys metafyysisen teorian valinnasta teoreettisten hyveiden perusteella kohtaa niin sanotun vahvan globaalin alimääräytyneisyyden ongelman. Tahko pyrkii vastaamaan näihin huoliin esittämällä synteesiin E.J. Lowen (...)
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