The Structure of Metaphysics [Book Review]

Review of Metaphysics 9 (3):520-521 (1956)
  Copy   BIBTEX


The essays which comprise this book represent a series of earnest attempts to understand the nature of metaphysical utterances, and to account for their "abiding fascination" for the human intellect. Arguing on the basis of the familiar distinction of the logical empiricists, the author maintains that metaphysical statements are neither empirical nor a priori; but neither are they, thereby, merely verbal or utterly nonsensical, as the older positivism held. They are, rather, "linguistic innovations," made for the ultimate purpose of satisfying some unconscious need or desire. Metaphysical sentences actually denote "the unconscious contents of our minds," and the metaphysician's belief that he is announcing a theory about the world or reality is strictly an illusion, "produced by altering [at a pre-conscious level] the use of a word or expression." Professor Lazerowitz is somewhat limited in his understanding of metaphysics by his positivistic assumptions. Most metaphysicians would claim that they assert necessary propositions saying something about the real--including the empirical--world. Failure to recognize even the possibility of such propositions makes much of Professor Lazerowitz's account seem irrelevant to what practicing metaphysicians themselves understand of their task.--V. C. C.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 77,805

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Quantity and quality: naturalness in metaphysics.M. Eddon - 2009 - Dissertation, Rutgers University
Universals and Measurement.Stephen Boydstun - 2004 - Journal of Ayn Rand Studies 5 (2):271 - 305.
A Survey of Metaphysics.E. Jonathan Lowe - 2002 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Writing the Book of the World.Theodore Sider - 2011 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
The Structure of Being in Aristotle’s Metaphysics.David Hitchcock - 2005 - Review of Metaphysics 58 (4):924-925.
Metaphysics Z10-16 and the Argument-Structure of Metaphysics Z.Stephen Menn - 2001 - Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 21:83-134.
In search of the structure of emotion.Mary Henle - 1973 - Philosophical Studies (Dublin) 22:190-197.
Realism about Structure and Kinds.L. A. Paul - 2013 - In Stephen Mumford & Matthew Tugby (eds.), Metaphysics and Science. Oxford University Press.
Plato on Parts and Wholes: The Metaphysics of Structure.Verity Harte - 2002 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.


Added to PP

20 (#571,683)

6 months
1 (#482,368)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references