Category: Prolegomena for a Pluralist Metaphysics

  • Prolegomena for a Pluralist Metaphysics: One More Thing (Some Stuff about God and Intelligibility)

    by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ Of all things the measure is man, of the things that are, that they are, and of things that are not, that they are not.    –Protagoras 1. A common mistake that people (and philosophers, especially) make is to look for intelligibility in the wrong place. This is made worse by […]

  • Prolegomena for a Pluralist Metaphysics: Concluding Thoughts

    by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ The aim of these prolegomena has been to advocate on behalf of a pluralist metaphysics, but what is a metaphysics? Prior to the Scientific Revolution and Enlightenment of the 17th and 18th centuries, a metaphysics was a First Philosophy: a set of propositions the purpose of which is to describe […]

  • Prolegomena for a Pluralist Metaphysics: Philosophy, Science, and “Common Sense”

    by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ As these prolegomena begin to wind down, I want to step back and speak a bit more generally about the conception of philosophy – and of inquiry more generally — from which they spring. Sellars, of course, in the opening paragraphs of “Philosophy and the Scientific Image of Man,” gave […]

  • Prolegomena for a Pluralist Metaphysics: Explanatory Disunity

    by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ As readers know, I have been running a series of conversations with Crispin Sartwell, as an accompaniment to these prolegomena. I asked Crispin to do this with me for two reasons: First, he is the only person within my circle capable of addressing the many and diverse subject areas across […]

  • Prolegomena for a Pluralist Metaphysics: People

    by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ I shouldn’t need to tell anyone that there are people. You’re a person, as am I. There likely are others in your house. Certainly, there are more down on the street.  I understand from a not entirely reliable authority that Hell consists of them. Clearly, uncontroversially, obviously, people exist. They […]

  • Prolegomena for a Pluralist Metaphysics: Actions, Reasons, Causes … and Ends

    by Daniel A. Kaufman ____ I’ve been saying that I’d like a return to philosophical “normalcy,” meaning that I’d like us to stop indulging what I’ve been calling, alternatively, “crazy” and “desperate” philosophical positions: Panpsychism; Hard Determinism; Eliminative Materialism and “Illusionism”; Platonism; Mind/Body Dualism; and so on. I’m running an ongoing series of conversations with […]

  • Prolegomena for a Pluralist Metaphysics: Ontological Commitment

    by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ My working idea in these prolegomena is that (a) philosophers feel forced to embrace various “desperate” positions (Panpsychism, Dualism, Illusionism, etc.), because of a number of (often venerated) assumptions that they’ve taken on board, all of which happen to be wrong, and (b) the re-examination of those assumptions, within the […]

  • Prolegomena for a Pluralist Metaphysics: The Scientific and Manifest Images

    by Daniel A. Kaufman ____ I’ve characterized contemporary philosophy as beset by a number of “intellectually desperate” views that have come not just to mar the discipline but have led too many outstanding philosophers to waste their time and considerable talents. Of course, philosophy has always entertained views that when subjected to sober reflection and […]

  • Prolegomena for a Pluralist Metaphysics: Initial Impressions

    by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ A number of recent – and not so recent – essays and shorter pieces, plus several dialogues with Massimo Pigliucci and discussions on Twitter have begun to converge in my mind around several points, all of which suggest (a) a fundamentally pluralist metaphysics and (b) a central role for Wilfrid […]