maandag 21 oktober 2013

Seminar: Metametaphysics

Metaphysics asks questions about the nature of reality. Examples include: What is causation? Do numbers exist? Do properties exist? Do the past and the future exist? How do things persist through changes of parts? What is the relationship between mind and body? Do we have free will? And so on. Metametaphysics on the other hand is concerned with the nature of metaphysics. It asks questions about the foundations of metaphysics, such as: Is metaphysics possible? Are metaphysical disputes just a matter of how we use words? Or do metaphysical questions have determinate answers? What are proper methods of metaphysics? And so forth. In recent years metametaphysical questions have received considerable attention. In the upcoming weeks I shall teach a VU course on metametaphysics. It will have the form of a seminar. We study and reflect together on recent work in this growing area of debate within analytical philosophy. Students are expected to actively participate by contributing to the discussion. The objective is to gain clear insight into the various positions in the current debate on the foundations of metaphysics and being able to critically assess these views. Literature includes 'David Chalmers, David Manley & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009)', 'Rudolph Carnap, “Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology,” Revue Internationale de Philosophie 4 (1950):20-40' and 'Willard van Orman Quine, “On What There Is,” Review of Metaphysics 2 (1948):21-36'. I am considering to open this seminar for other interested parties. Those interested can email me for further information.

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