The Aporetic Method and the Defense of Immodest Metaphysics

Part of the Philosophers in Depth book series (PID)


Do metaphysical questions have answers that are (i) truth-apt, (ii) nontrivial, (iii) tractable, but (iv) not provided by the sciences? For much of the last century, these questions received a resounding and (almost) unanimous “No” from the analytic community. But times have changed. The ongoing revival of interest in metaphysics within the analytic tradition itself is testament to the fact that many are now happy to answer each of these questions in the affirmative. But times have not changed that much. Most philosophers continue to eschew metaphysics, abandoning it to a small group of self-selecting enthusiasts who vigorously till the metaphysical garden in splendid isolation. The result is a curiously distorted picture of the state of metaphysics in the analytic tradition. Those who do engage in metaphysical reflection tend to be confident about its prospects, giving the impression that the analytic tradition has restored the queen of the sciences to rude good health; but a sociologist studying the philosophical community would soon discover that the circle of metaphysicians is small, isolated, and viewed with indifference or bemused puzzlement by their philosonhical brethren.


Scientific Theory Prima Facie Special Science Philosophical Problem Fundamental Structure 
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© Stephen Boulter 2013

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