Articles #metaphysics


Hegelian Themes

Robert Pippin is an expert on Kant, Hegel, Idealism, Nietzsche, modernism and philosophy of film. Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Robert Pippin. Published on: Oct 6, 2018 @ 08:12

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Immediate Realism and Aquinas's Way To God

Immediate Realism and Aquinas's Way To God

Now immediate realism is the view that in my thinking there is an immediate presence of the real to me. Reality is not mediated by a complex cognitive process which represents the world; rather that cognitive process simply brings the world into view. The intellect is not a mirror on this account; it is a capacity for conceptual operations brought into play by the world. Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Gaven Kerr.

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A Revisionary History of Analytic Philosophy

A Revisionary History of Analytic Philosophy

When you start looking closely at the conditions which made possible the emergence of early analytic philosophy in Cambridge in the late 1890s, you find great variety and a host of influences at work—from engagement with the great dead philosophers, other philosophical schools in England, Scotland and further afield from the continent, and other disciplines as well, including mathematics, the natural sciences and classics. Early analytic philosophy was an interdisciplinary and Pan-European achievement. I think that Russell and Moore’s intellectual stature didn’t consist solely in their intrinsic brilliance, although they had that too, but in their capacity to channel these forces even for a while. And we can say something similar about the Polish School and the Vienna Circle which succeeded Moore and Russell at the forefront of developments in analytic philosophy. Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Fraser MacBride

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Parmenides and Spinoza

Parmenides and Spinoza

I’m keenly aware of the possibility of the Parmenidean (e.g., me!) undermining their own position. After all, explanation itself seems to be relational; things are explained (often at any rate) in terms of other things. I don’t shy away from this apparent or even real self-undermining. For me, it’s a feature not a bug. And I embrace this self-undermining, in much the same way that Parmenides may have (see especially Owen’s reading of Parmenides), as Wittgenstein does at the end of the Tractatus, as Bradley does, and as my skeptical hero, Sextus Empiricus, does. In this way, I offer—paradoxically perhaps—a relational metaphysical challenge to relational metaphysics itself. Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Michael Della Rocca

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How to Idealize

How to Idealize

Idealization is about simplifying things whereas approximation is about distance from the actual truth in modal space (that does not necessarily involve simplification). Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Michael Shaffer.

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The Minority Body

The Minority Body

Disability, even if neutral, invariably requires accommodation, and accommodation is, in the world we inhabit, a scarce resource. Disability often involves caretaking work undertaken by others - what Eva Kittay calls the labor of dependence - and again in the world we inhabit this is work that disproportionality falls on women, especially women of color, and is poorly compensated. Disability often involves complex health conditions, and there is striking socioeconomic disparity in whether parents can manage the cost and even in some cases just the time such health conditions can demand. All that to say, it’s complicated, and I’ve grown wary of answering questions like this at a highly abstracted level. Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Elizabeth Barnes

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Moving Spotlight Metaphysics and Other Stuff

Moving Spotlight Metaphysics and Other Stuff

I think metaphysics is what it’s always been - and it’s hard to say what that is! I think it’s in a pretty good state: we’ve emerged from the darkness of logical positivism, ordinary language philosophy, and conceptual analysis, and are once again unapologetically trying to say something about reality! Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Ross P Cameron.

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Aristotle, Metaphysics and the Delicacy of Anachronism

Aristotle, Metaphysics and the Delicacy of Anachronism

Aristotle opens his great Metaphysics with the observation that ‘all humans by nature desire to know.’ Although easy sounding, this claim is in fact complex and contentious: it implicates Aristotle in a series of controversial claims, including not least that human beings have a nature, which nature he will later identify as their essence, with a concomitant commitment, then, to essentialism about species. What is more, Aristotle here implies that the essences human beings have are of a highly distinctive character: to be human is to seek to know. Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Christopher Shields.

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Making a Difference

Well, one way to put the difference between laws and accidental regularities is to say that they differ with respect to their ‘modal status’. Modal status has to do with what’s necessary or possible – what could and could not be the case. For example, it’s a contingent truth that I just ate a burrito – I could easily have had tacos instead, or pizza, or nothing at all. Come to think of it, the world could have panned out in such a way that my parents never met, in which case I wouldn’t have existed at all. By contrast, it’s (arguably) a necessary truth that 2+2 = 4. There’s no way things might have panned out such that it would have been false that 2+2 = 4. Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Helen Beebee.

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