Is Kant's Critique of Metaphysics Obsolete?

Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
I raise a problem about the possibility of metaphysics originally raised by Kant: what explains the fact that the terms in our metaphysical theories (e.g. “property”) refer to entities and structures (e.g. properties) in the world? I distinguish a meta-metaphysical view that can easily answer such questions (“deflationism”) from a meta-metaphysical view for which this explanatory task is more difficult (which I call the “substantive” view of metaphysics). I then canvass responses that the substantive metaphysician can give to this Kantian demand for an explanation of reference in metaphysics. I argue that these responses are either inadequate, or depend, implicitly or explicitly, on the idea of “joint carving”: carving at the joints is part of the explanation of reference-facts quite generally and our metaphysical terms in particular refer because they carve at the joints. I examine Ted Sider’s recent work on joint carving and structure and argue that it cannot fill the explanatory gap. I conclude that this is reason ceterus paribus to reject the substantive view of metaphysics. Kant’s critique, far from being obsolete, applies to the most cutting-edge of contemporary meta-metaphysical views.
Categories
No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
PhilPapers/Archive ID
STAIKC
Upload history
Archival date: 2018-09-25
View other versions
Added to PP index
2018-09-25

Total views
599 ( #6,565 of 51,672 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
325 ( #986 of 51,672 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.