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 frame of Wilfrid Sellars’ famous […]

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Metaphysics, Metacognition, Language and Number

by Mark English The logical positivists took a very hard anti-metaphysical line. They were right, in my view, to see traditional metaphysics as being futile and pointless. The essential problem with metaphysics is epistemic. How (given a basically scientific view of the world) can purely metaphysical statements be justified? Rudolf Carnap and most of his Vienna Circle colleagues didn’t think […]

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Random Reflections on Intellectual History, Abstraction and Social and Political Values

by Mark English Complexities Terms like “pragmatism” as it applies to philosophy and the history of ideas – most isms really – are intrinsically vague and useful only to the (necessarily limited) extent that they help to bring out persistent or more fleeting strands or commonalities in thinking within or across populations. Even the views of individuals are often difficult […]

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Notes on Metaphysics, Language and Religion

by Mark English Bertrand Russell and Ludwig Wittgenstein were diametrically opposed in their respective attitudes to science and religion. They had many other profound disagreements, but they were united in one respect at least. They both rejected the metaphysics of Idealism. Metaphysically speaking, Russell was mainly concerned to counter idealist notions and to defend a science-friendly and empirical view of […]

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