9781137322814

Metaphysics from a Biological Point of View

by
  • ISBN13:

    9781137322814

  • ISBN10:

    1137322810

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-10-16
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
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Summary

One of the most remarkable features of mid-to-late twentieth century analytic philosophy is the revival of interest in the traditional problems of metaphysics. However, given the long period of neglect from which metaphysics in only now emerging, it is perhaps not surprising that philosophers in the analytic tradition are still finding their metaphysical feet, particularly on meta-metaphysical and methodological matters. Thus contemporary metaphysicians find themselves in an exciting but ultimately unstable position: We are convinced that metaphysical questions are worth pursing, but we still lack a convincing story to offer our detractors about how we conduct our business qua metaphysicians. This essay is an attempt to provide such a story. The core recommendation is that we need not re-invent the discipline out of whole cloth if we are willing to learn from the past masters, particularly the Scholastics. What ultimately emerges is a defense of Scholastic metaphysical principles based on contemporary evolutionary biology.

Author Biography

Stephen Boulter is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Oxford Brookes University, UK. He is the author of The Rediscovery of Common Sense Philosophy (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007).

Table of Contents

Introduction
PART I: ON THE POSSIBILITY OF METAPHYSICS
1. A Return to Scholastic Metaphysics
2. The Aporetic Method and the Defence of Immodest Metaphysics
3. Evolutionary Biology meets Scholastic Metaphysics
PART II: THE TURN TO BIOLOGY
4. Counting biological individuals
5. Evolutionary Biology, Change, and Essentialism
6. Evolutionary Biology, Modality and Explanation
7. Evolutionary Biology and Ethics

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