Form and Philosophy: A Topology of Possibility and Representation

Synchron (2009)
Abstract
Possibility and reference have been central topics in metaphysics and the philosophy of language in the past decades. Wolfgang Freitag’s Form and Philosophy provides a novel approach to these notions and their interrelations, based on the concept of form as the key modal concept: form is the possibility space of objects. In its historic dimension, the book analyses the role of form in Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus and Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. In its systematic dimension, the book offers an alternative ontological basis to David Armstrong’s combinatorial theory of possibility and rejects David Lewis’ analysis of possibility in terms of possible worlds. Representation is shown to rest on the idea of direct reference as proposed by David Kaplan and Saul Kripke. It is argued that the problem of reference links up with Wittgenstein’s rule-following problem, the nature of which is extensively discussed. It emerges that form and reference are complementary with respect to the notion of representation. Once their individual roles are seen, many metaphysical puzzles appear in a new light or disappear altogether.
Keywords Form
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Call number B819.32.F75 2009
ISBN(s) 9783939381266
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