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Philosophy: metaphysics & ontology

See below for a selection of the latest books from Philosophy: metaphysics & ontology category. Presented with a red border are the Philosophy: metaphysics & ontology books that have been lovingly read and reviewed by the experts at Lovereading. With expert reading recommendations made by people with a passion for books and some unique features Lovereading will help you find great Philosophy: metaphysics & ontology books and those from many more genres to read that will keep you inspired and entertained. And it's all free!

Objects Nothing out of the Ordinary

Objects Nothing out of the Ordinary

One of the central questions of material-object metaphysics is which highly visible objects there are right before our eyes. Daniel Z. Korman defends a conservative view, according to which our ordinary, natural judgments about which objects there are are more or less correct. He begins with an overview of the arguments that have led people away from the conservative view, into revisionary views according to which there are far more objects than we ordinarily take there to be (permissivism) or far fewer (eliminativism). Korman criticizes a variety of compatibilist strategies, according to which these revisionary views are actually compatible with our ordinary beliefs, and responds to debunking arguments, according to which these beliefs are the products of arbitrary biological and cultural influences. He goes on to respond to objections that the conservative's verdicts about which objects that are and aren't are objectionably arbitrary, and to the argument from vagueness, which purports to show that the sort of restriction that conservatives want to impose on which composites there are is bound to give rise to vagueness about what exists, something that is ruled out by widely accepted theories of vagueness. Finally, Korman responds to the overdetermination argument, the argument from material constitution, and the problem of the many, all of which are meant to motivate eliminativism by showing that accepting ordinary objects commits one to one or another absurdity.

This Is Metaphysics An Introduction

This Is Metaphysics An Introduction

Author: Kris McDaniel Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/03/2020

Global Anti-realism A Metaphilosophical Inquiry

Global Anti-realism A Metaphilosophical Inquiry

Author: Andrew Joseph Cortens Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/03/2020

This book presents an idea on what a defense of realism must involve, discussing specific positions to help readers use it as a guide to identifying anti-realism in all its various guises. It offers a way of understanding anti-realism, both in its local versions and global versions.

The Non-Existence of the Real World

The Non-Existence of the Real World

Author: Jan (University of Oxford) Westerhoff Format: Hardback Release Date: 26/03/2020

Does the real world, defined as a world of objects that exist independent of human interests, concerns, and cognitive activities, really exist? Jan Westerhoff argues that we have good reason to believe it does not. His discussion considers four main facets of the idea of the real world, ranging from the existence of a separate external and internal world (comprising various mental states congregated around a self), to the existence of an ontological foundation that grounds the existence of all the entities in the world, and the existence of an ultimately true theory that provides a final account of all there is. As Westerhoff discusses the reasons for rejecting the postulation of an external world behind our representations, he asserts that the internal world is not as epistemically transparent as is usually assumed, and that there are good reasons for adopting an anti-foundational account of ontological dependence. Drawing on conclusions from the ancient Indian philosophical system of Madhyamaka Buddhism, Westerhoff defends his stance in a purely Western philosophical framework, and affirms that ontology, and philosophy more generally, need not be conceived as providing an ultimately true theory of the world.

Hermeneutics and Phenomenology Figures and Themes

Hermeneutics and Phenomenology Figures and Themes

Author: Saulius Geniusas Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 19/03/2020

The relationship between these two central theoretical and philosophical approaches, which we thought we knew, is more complex and interesting than our standard story might suggest. It is not always clear how hermeneutics-that is, post-Heideggerian hermeneutics as articulated by Hans-Georg Gadamer, Paul Ricoeur, and a large number of thinkers working under their influence-regards the phenomenological tradition, be it in its Husserlian or various post-Husserlian formulations. This volume inquires into this issue both in general, conceptual terms and through specific analyses into questions of ontology and metaphysics, science, language, theology, and imagination. With a substantial editors' introduction, the volume contains 15 chapters, from some of the most significant scholars in this field covering the essential questions about the history, present and future of these two disciplines. The volume will be of interest to any philosopher or student with an interest in developing a sophisticated and nuanced understanding of contemporary hermeneutics and phenomenology.

Essays on Essence and Existence

Essays on Essence and Existence

Author: Bob Hale Format: Hardback Release Date: 12/03/2020

Essays on Existence and Essence presents a series of writings-including several previously unpublished-by Bob Hale on the topics of ontology and modality. The essays develop and consolidate a number of themes central to his work and to contemporary metaphysics, logic, and philosophy of language. They display Hale's innovative approach to some of the most fundamental issues in philosophy, in dialogue (and, in some cases, in collaboration) with other leading philosophers. The notion of a definition is examined as it applies both to words-verbal definitions-and to things-real definitions-and the relations between these are brought out in order to address problems in the metaphysics of necessity and the semantics and epistemology of modality. Hale argues for an essentialist theory of the source of necessity and our knowledge of it, and provides rigorous and inventive responses to problems such a theory might face. This theoretical framework is applied to the recently influential truthmaking approach to semantics and logic, developing an exact truthmaker account of universal quantification and modal statements. Other topics covered include the Fregean theory of ontological categories, the status of second-order logic, the metaphysics of numbers, and the nature of analytic propositions. The volume opens with a substantial introduction by Kit Fine, providing a critical examination of Hale's philosophy, and closes with a complete bibliography of Hale's writings.

The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Colour

The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Colour

Author: Derek (University of Glasgow, UK) Brown Format: Hardback Release Date: 10/03/2020

From David Hume's famous puzzle about 'the missing shade of blue' to current research into the science of colour, the topic of colour is an incredibly fertile region of study and debate, cutting across philosophy of mind, epistemology, metaphysics and aesthetics as well as psychology. Debates about the nature of our experience of colour and the nature of colour itself are central to contemporary discussion and argument in philosophy of mind and psychology, and philosophy of perception. This outstanding Handbook contains twenty-nine specially commissioned contributions by leading philosophers and examines the most important aspects of philosophy of colour. It is organised into six parts: The Importance of Colour to Philosophy The Science and Spaces of Colour Colour Phenomena Colour Ontology Colour Experience and Epistemology Language, Categories and Thought. The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Colour is essential reading for students and researchers in philosophy of mind and psychology, epistemology, metaphysics and aesthetics, as well as for those interested in conceptual issues in the psychology of colour.

The Nature of Contingency Quantum Physics as Modal Realism

The Nature of Contingency Quantum Physics as Modal Realism

Author: Alastair (University of Birmingham) Wilson Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/03/2020

This book defends a radical new theory of contingency as a physical phenomenon. Drawing on the many-worlds approach to quantum theory and cutting-edge metaphysics and philosophy of science, it argues that quantum theories are best understood as telling us about the space of genuine possibilities, rather than as telling us solely about actuality. When quantum physics is taken seriously in the way first proposed by Hugh Everett III, it provides the resources for a new systematic metaphysical framework encompassing possibility, necessity, actuality, chance, counterfactuals, and a host of related modal notions. Rationalist metaphysicians argue that the metaphysics of modality is strictly prior to any scientific investigation; metaphysics establishes which worlds are possible, and physics merely checks which of these worlds is actual. Naturalistic metaphysicians respond that science may discover new possibilities and new impossibilities. This book's quantum theory of contingency takes naturalistic metaphysics one step further, allowing that science may discover what it is to be possible. As electromagnetism revealed the nature of light, as acoustics revealed the nature of sound, as statistical mechanics revealed the nature of heat, so quantum physics reveals the nature of contingency.

Space A History

Space A History

Recurrent questions about space have dogged philosophers since ancient times. Can an ordinary person draw from his or her perceptions to say what space is? Or is it rather a technical concept that is only within the grasp of experts? Can geometry characterize the world in which we live? What is God's relation to space? In Ancient Greece, Euclid set out to define space by devising a codified set of axioms and associated theorems that were then passed down for centuries, thought by many philosophers to be the only sensible way of trying to fathom space. Centuries later, when Newton transformed the 'natural philosophy' of the seventeenth century into the physics of the eighteenth century, he placed the mathematical analysis of space, time, and motion at the center of his work. When Kant began to explore modern notions of 'idealism' and 'realism,' space played a central role. But the study of space was transformed forever when, in 1915, Einstein published his general theory of relativity, explaining that the world is not Euclidean after all. This volume chronicles the development of philosophical conceptions of space from early antiquity through the medieval period to the early modern era. The chapters describe the interactions at different moments in history between philosophy and various other disciplines, especially geometry, optics, and natural science more generally. Fascinating central figures from the history of mathematics, science and philosophy are discussed, including Euclid, Plato, Aristotle, Proclus, Ibn al-Haytham, Nicole Oresme, Kepler, Descartes, Newton, Leibniz, Berkeley, and Kant. As with other books in the series, shorter essays, or Reflections, enrich the volume by characterizing perspectives on space found in various disciplines including ecology, mathematics, sculpture, neuroscience, cultural geography, art history, and the history of science.

Space A History

Space A History

Recurrent questions about space have dogged philosophers since ancient times. Can an ordinary person draw from his or her perceptions to say what space is? Or is it rather a technical concept that is only within the grasp of experts? Can geometry characterize the world in which we live? What is God's relation to space? In Ancient Greece, Euclid set out to define space by devising a codified set of axioms and associated theorems that were then passed down for centuries, thought by many philosophers to be the only sensible way of trying to fathom space. Centuries later, when Newton transformed the 'natural philosophy' of the seventeenth century into the physics of the eighteenth century, he placed the mathematical analysis of space, time, and motion at the center of his work. When Kant began to explore modern notions of 'idealism' and 'realism,' space played a central role. But the study of space was transformed forever when, in 1915, Einstein published his general theory of relativity, explaining that the world is not Euclidean after all. This volume chronicles the development of philosophical conceptions of space from early antiquity through the medieval period to the early modern era. The chapters describe the interactions at different moments in history between philosophy and various other disciplines, especially geometry, optics, and natural science more generally. Fascinating central figures from the history of mathematics, science and philosophy are discussed, including Euclid, Plato, Aristotle, Proclus, Ibn al-Haytham, Nicole Oresme, Kepler, Descartes, Newton, Leibniz, Berkeley, and Kant. As with other books in the series, shorter essays, or Reflections, enrich the volume by characterizing perspectives on space found in various disciplines including ecology, mathematics, sculpture, neuroscience, cultural geography, art history, and the history of science.

Heidegger and the Problem of Phenomena

Heidegger and the Problem of Phenomena

Author: Fredrik Westerlund Format: Hardback Release Date: 20/02/2020

This book offers a broad critical study of Heidegger's lifelong effort to come to terms with the problem of phenomena and the nature of phenomenology: How do we experience beings as meaningful phenomena? What does it mean to phenomenologically describe and explicate our experience of phenomena? The book is a chronological investigation of how Heidegger's struggle with the problem of phenomena unfolds during the main stages of his philosophical development: from the early Freiburg lecture courses 1919-1923, over the Marburg-period and the publication of Being and Time in 1927, up to his later thinking stretching from the 1930s to the early 1970s. A central theme of the book is the tension between, on the one hand, Heidegger's effort to elaborate Husserl's phenomenological approach by applying it to our pre-theoretical experience of existentially charged phenomena, and, on the other hand, his drive towards a radically historicist form of thinking. Heidegger's main critical engagements with Husserl are examined and assessed along the way. Besides offering a new comprehensive interpretation of Heidegger's philosophical development, the book critically examines the philosophical power and problems of Heidegger's successive attempts to account for the structure of phenomena and the possibility of phenomenology. In particular, it develops a critique of Heidegger's radical historicism, arguing that it ultimately makes Heidegger unable to account either for the truth of our understanding or for the ethical-existential significance of other persons. The book also contains a chapter which probes the philosophical commitments that motivate Heidegger's political engagement in National Socialism.

Making Objects and Events A Hylomorphic Theory of Artifacts, Actions, and Organisms

Making Objects and Events A Hylomorphic Theory of Artifacts, Actions, and Organisms

Author: Simon J. (University of Miami) Evnine Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 20/02/2020

Simon J. Evnine explores the view (which he calls amorphic hylomorphism) that some objects have matter from which they are distinct but that this distinctness is not due to the existence of anything like a form. He draws on Aristotle's insight that such objects must be understood in terms of an account that links what they are essentially with how they come to exist and what their functions are (the coincidence of formal, final, and efficient causes). Artifacts are the most prominent kind of objects where these three features coincide, and Evnine develops a detailed account of the existence and identity conditions of artifacts, and the origins of their functions, in terms of how they come into existence. This process is, in general terms, that they are made out of their initial matter by an agent acting with the intention to make an object of the given kind. Evnine extends the account to organisms, where evolution accomplishes what is effected by intentional making in the case of artifacts, and to actions, which are seen as artifactual events.