Conditions of Fundamental Metaphysics: A critique of Jorge Gracia's proposal

Proceedings of the Essays of Significance Conference (2016)
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Jorge Gracia’s paper “The Fundamental Character of Metaphysics” proposes five conditions that, if satisfied, would be sufficient to establish metaphysics as a fundamental discipline for other sciences: universal extension, ontological neutralism, sui generis character, overall disciplinary integration, and necessity. In this paper, I argue that his metaphysical project requires revision. Not only are the conditions insufficient to establish fundamentality, two of the conditions are themselves problematic. Gracia's intends to be radically inclusive, yet unintentionally excludes certain views. His notion of fundamentality avoids reference to establishing normative principia, yet a key benefit of grounding is to provide such norms. Finally, an examination of the individual conditions shows his inclusivist condition is ambiguous, unclear, and problematic; his neutrality condition is unworkable. Therefore, while it may be desirable for metaphysics to be fundamental to other sciences, metaphysics is not to be characterized as Gracia proposes.



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Jonathan Vajda
State University of New York, Buffalo

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Robert Kilwardby.José Filipe Silva - 2012 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:1-35.
The Fundamental Character of Metaphysics.Jorge J. E. Gracia - 2014 - American Philosophical Quarterly 51 (4):305-318.

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