Against Conservatism in Metaphysics


Authors
Maegan Fairchild
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Abstract
In his recent book, Daniel Korman contrasts ontological conservatives with permissivists and eliminativists about ontology. Roughly speaking, conservatives admit the existence of ‘ordinary objects' like trees, dogs, and snowballs, but deny the existence of ‘extraordinary objects', like composites of trees and dogs. Eliminativists, on the other hand, deny many or all ordinary objects, while permissivists accept both ordinary and extraordinary objects. Our aim in this paper is to outline some of our reasons for being drawn to permissivism, as well as some of our misgivings about conservative metaphysics. In the first section, we discuss a tempting epistemic line of argument against conservatism. This isn’t a line of argument we find especially promising. Our most basic complaint against conservatism is not that conservatism has poor epistemic standing even if true, but instead that conservatism is weird. We develop this thought in the second part of the paper. In the final section we discuss some larger methodological issues about the project of ontology.
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DOI 10.1017/s1358246118000103
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References found in this work BETA

Material Beings.Peter van Inwagen - 1993 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 53 (3):701-708.
Brutal Composition.Ned Markosian - 1998 - Philosophical Studies 92 (3):211 - 249.
Toward a Commonsense Answer to the Special Composition Question.Chad Carmichael - 2015 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (3):475-490.
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Citations of this work BETA

Debunking Arguments.Daniel Z. Korman - 2019 - Philosophy Compass 14 (12).

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