David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Metaphysics is usually understood as the investigation of being qua being and of its ultimate categories. Given this characterization, it may be hard to grasp why anyone might wish to oppose metaphysics, why anyone might claim that metaphysics ”leads the philosopher into complete darkness” (Wittgenstein, 1958, p.18)? What could be so misleading about the investigation of the most abstract vestiges of being? One source of disparagement towards metaphysics, of course, stems from the relativist conviction that there is no absolute being, and hence nor are there any ultimate categories of being. Another ‘reason’ for some philosophers of this century (notably Carnap) to reject metaphysics appeared to consist in their reinterpretation of the word ”metaphysics”, in effect, simply as ”nonsensical philosophy”. However neither of these reasons seems to be the Wittgensteinian one. The way I propose to envisage this reason takes us back to Plato with his distinction between Being and Becoming (echoed, in one or another form, within the conceptions of so many subsequent philosophers). It is the distinction between the ‘higher’ realm of ideas with its crisp, eternal truths, and the ‘lower’ realm of appearances in which anything appears only as a fuzzy and transient reflection of something from the higher realm. The original message harbored in this Platonistic picture is clearly that the vast and hardly graspable flux of appearances shelters something firm and invariable, something potentially fully capturable by human reason which can then use it as a prism to comprehend and understand the everchanging phenomena. However, as I will claim, the picture of a ‘higher’ reality behind phenomena is dangerous in that it can delude a philosopher into feeling that he can solve empirical questions by a quasiempirical investigation of a non-empirical realm: a ‘metaphysical reality’.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Alvin Plantinga (2003). Essays in the Metaphysics of Modality. Oxford University Press.
Callum David Scott, Fides Et Ratio : An Investigation Into the Relationship Between Science and Religion.
Martin Heidegger (1973/2003). The End of Philosophy. University of Chicago Press.
Nicholas Rescher (2005). Metaphysics: The Key Issues From a Realistic Perspective. Prometheus Books.
Lilian Alweiss (2007). Leaving Metaphysics to Itself. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 15 (3):349 – 365.
Tuomas E. Tahko (2008). The Aristotelian Method and Aristotelian Metaphysics. In Patricia Hanna (ed.), An Anthology of Philosophical Studies. ATINER
Matt McCormick, Immanuel Kant: Metaphysics. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads38 ( #102,745 of 1,789,938 )
Recent downloads (6 months)21 ( #38,177 of 1,789,938 )
How can I increase my downloads?