Dissertation, Durham University (2014)

Authors
James (J.T.M.) Miller
Durham University
Abstract
Metaphysics has had a long history of debate over its viability, and substantivity. This thesis explores issues connected to the realism question within the domain of metaphysics, ultimately aiming to defend a realist, substantive metaphysics by responding to so-called deflationary approaches, which have become prominent, and well supported within the recent metametaphysical and metaontological literature. To this end, I begin by examining the changing nature of the realism question. I argue that characterising realism and anti-realism through theories of truth unduly places epistemology prior to ontology, and is unwarranted in assuming a non-neutrality between theories of truth and positions within the realism debate. I therefore propose a characterisation of realism and anti-realism understood through truthmaking. This produces a suitable working characterisation of realism that will be used within the remainder of this project. In the second section, I trace the historical influences upon current deflationary approaches to metaphysics, most prominently those of Carnap, and Putnam. I argue that Quine’s supposed attack on Carnap’s anti-metaphysical thought fails, and show how current deflationary thought, most prominently exhibited by Hirsch, came to focus on linguistically derived concerns over the substantivity of metaphysics. In the third section, I outline a number of issues for the deflationist, and defend the coherency and legitimacy of the unrestricted existential quantifier. Focusing on the linguistic aspect of deflationism, I argue that the conception of language that the deflationist relies upon lacks suitable empirical and theoretical support within linguistics and other related domains. Furthermore, I suggest that linguistic analysis in fact supports the claim that the quantifier carries no inherent restrictions. This restores our ability to suitably posit the unrestricted existential quantifier, as a quantifier wherein the domain is only restricted by metaphysically substantive restrictions. Through this, I argue that metaphysics is a substantive domain of discourse. Lastly, I sketch a positive account of how, under an empirically and theoretically justified conception of language, metaphysics can be coherently held to be a realist, substantive enterprise, contra claims that hold that the nature of language inherently prevents metaphysics being considered to be a substantive domain of discourse.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 70,039
External links

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

Aspects of the Theory of Syntax.Noam Chomsky - 1965 - Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
Writing the Book of the World.Theodore Sider - 2011 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature.Richard Rorty - 1979 - Princeton University Press.
Two Dogmas of Empiricism.W. Quine - 1951 - [Longmans, Green].

View all 252 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

A Truthmaking Account of Realism and Anti-Realism.Jamin Asay - 2012 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 93 (3):373-394.
Three Paradigms of Scientific Realism: A Truthmaking Account.Jamin Asay - 2013 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 27 (1):1-21.
Truthmaking, Truth, and Realism: New Work for a Theory of Truthmakers.Jamin Asay - 2011 - Dissertation, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Realism, Deflationism, and Success.Jerry Kapus - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 15:75-81.
Why Language Exists: Stating the Obvious.Fritz J. Mcdonald - 2012 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 12 (1):1-12.
Ruling-Out Realism.Peter Carruthers - 1985 - Philosophia 15 (1-2):61-78.
Truth in Constructive Empiricism.Jamin Asay - 2007 - Dissertation, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The Metaphysical Realism Debate: What is at Stake?Tadeusz Szubka - 2006 - Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities 91 (1):301-316.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2014-06-26

Total views
159 ( #73,562 of 2,506,013 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #209,628 of 2,506,013 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes