David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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In David John Chalmers, David Manley & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press. 260--289 (2009)
There is a long history of worrying about whether or not metaphysics is a legitimate philosophical discipline. Traditionally such worries center around issues of meaning and epistemological concerns. Do the metaphysical questions have any meaning? Can metaphysical methodology lead to knowledge? But these questions are, in my opinion, not as serious as they have sometimes (historically) been taken to be. What is much more concerning is another set of worries about metaphysics, which I take to the greatest threat to metaphysics as a philosophical discipline. These worries, in effect, hold that the questions that metaphysics tries to answer have long been answered in other parts of inquiry, ones that have much greater authority. And if they haven’t been answered yet then one should not look to philosophy for an answer. What metaphysics tries to do has been or will be done by the sciences. There is nothing left to do for philosophy, or so the worry. Let me illustrate this with two examples, one of which is our main concern here.
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Michael J. Raven (2012). In Defence of Ground. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (4):687 - 701.
Meghan Sullivan (2012). The Minimal A-Theory. Philosophical Studies 158 (2):149-174.
Peter Schulte (2014). Can Truthmaker Theorists Claim Ontological Free Lunches? European Journal of Philosophy 22 (2):249-268.
Jonas Rafael Becker Arenhart (2013). Wither Away Individuals. Synthese 190 (16):3475-3494.
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