The Necessity of Metaphysics

Dissertation, Durham University (2008)
Abstract
The purpose of this thesis is to demonstrate that metaphysics is a necessary discipline -- necessary in the sense that all areas of philosophy, all areas of science, and in fact any type of rational activity at all would be impossible without a metaphysical background or metaphysical presuppositions. Because of the extremely strong nature of this claim, it is not possible to put forward a very simple argument, although I will attempt to construct one. A crucial issue here is what metaphysics in fact is -- the nature of metaphysics. The conception of metaphysics which I support could be called Aristotelian, as opposed to Kantian: metaphysics is the first philosophy and the basis of all other philosophical and scientific inquiry. I will argue that this is indeed the most plausible conception of metaphysics.
Keywords metametaphysics  metaphilosophy  metaontology  modality  apriority  essence  truthmaking  law of non-contradiction  thought experiments  metaphysical realism
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