Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Philosophy Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

2016

Metaphysics

Discipline
Institution
Publication
Publication Type
File Type

Articles 1 - 18 of 18

Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

Understanding Imperfection, Martin Zwick Dec 2016

Understanding Imperfection, Martin Zwick

Martin Zwick

Because of their inherent abstraction, systems ideas are not themselves sufficient for gaining scientific knowledge or solving practical problems, but they can be a source of insights into the universality of imperfection, insights which can contribute to a new scientific world view. Systems theory offers a metaphysics, or more precisely an ontology, of imperfection. Through it, we can heed Spinoza's injunction, “Not to lament, not to curse, but to understand.”


Systems Metaphysics: A Bridge From Science To Religion, Martin Zwick Dec 2016

Systems Metaphysics: A Bridge From Science To Religion, Martin Zwick

Martin Zwick

'Systems theory' is familiar to many as the scientific enterprise that includes the study of chaos, networks, and complex adaptive systems. It is less widely appreciated that the systems research program offers a world view that transcends the individual scientific disciplines. We do not live, as some argue, in a post-metaphysical age, but rather at a time when a new metaphysics is being constructed. This metaphysics is scientific and derives from graph theory, information theory, non-linear dynamics, decision theory, game theory, generalized evolution, and other transdisciplinary theories. These 'systems' theories focus on form and process, independent of materiality; they are ...


Systems Theory And The Metaphysics Of Composition, Martin Zwick Dec 2016

Systems Theory And The Metaphysics Of Composition, Martin Zwick

Martin Zwick

Ideas from systems theory - recursive unity and emergent attributes - are applied to the metaphysical and meta-metaphysical debates about the ontological status of composites. These ideas suggest the rejection of both extremes of universalism and nihilism, favoring instead the intermediate position that some composites exist in a nontrivial sense - those having unity and emergent novelty - while others do not. Systems theory is egalitarian: it posits that what exist are systems, equal in their ontological status. Some systems are fundamental, but what exists is not merely the fundamental, and the fundamental is not merely the foundational. The status of composites raises non-trivial ...


Ser Y Objeto, Víctor Velarde-Mayol Dec 2016

Ser Y Objeto, Víctor Velarde-Mayol

Víctor Velarde-Mayol

Being and Object
1. The perspective of the object: what is an object, types of objects and types of beings. The difference between the theory of objects and metaphysics.
2. Content and Object. Different intentional acts in Brentano. Arguments for the distinction between object and content. Existence and persistence from the perspective of the object. The inexistent object.
3. The pure object.


Essence And Necessity, And The Aristotelian Modal Syllogistic: A Historical And Analytical Study, Daniel James Vecchio Oct 2016

Essence And Necessity, And The Aristotelian Modal Syllogistic: A Historical And Analytical Study, Daniel James Vecchio

Dissertations (2009 -)

The following is a critical and historical account of Aristotelian Essentialism informed by recent work on Aristotle’s modal syllogistic. The semantics of the modal syllogistic are interpreted in a way that is motivated by Aristotle, and also make his validity claims in the Prior Analytics consistent to a higher degree than previously developed interpretative models. In Chapter One, ancient and contemporary objections to the Aristotelian modal syllogistic are discussed. A resolution to apparent inconsistencies in Aristotle’s modal syllogistic is proposed and developed out of recent work by Patterson, Rini, and Malink. In particular, I argue that the semantics ...


Leibniz On Intra-Substantial Causation And Change, Davis White Kuykendall Jr. Aug 2016

Leibniz On Intra-Substantial Causation And Change, Davis White Kuykendall Jr.

Open Access Dissertations

Leibniz argued that in natural world, only intra-substantial or immanent causation is possible— the causation that takes place within an individual, when an individual brings about a change in itself. In this dissertation, I address issues arising from Leibniz’s arguments against the rival view that posits a world of causally interacting substances and issues pertaining to Leibniz’s own positive metaphysics of immanent causation and change.

Chapter 1 is devoted to stage setting for the remainder of the dissertation. I first offer a historically informed overview of efficient causation and change before introducing Leibniz’s novel views, including ...


Contra Lewisian Naturalness, Dylan Abney Aug 2016

Contra Lewisian Naturalness, Dylan Abney

Theses and Dissertations

Some ways of talking or thinking about the world are better than others. Most obviously, it is often better to say or believe true things rather than false things. Perhaps less obvious is the notion that our speech and thought ought to, or often in fact does, reflect the natural formation or structure of the world. This idea—that we ought to be carving the world at its natural joints—can be found at least as far back as Plato’s Phaedrus. More recently, we can see a related idea in the work of David Lewis. In “New Work for ...


Taylor's Soft Perennialism: A Primer Of Perennial Flaws In Transpersonal Scholarship, Glenn Hartelius, Glenn Hartelius Jul 2016

Taylor's Soft Perennialism: A Primer Of Perennial Flaws In Transpersonal Scholarship, Glenn Hartelius, Glenn Hartelius

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

This response to Taylor's essay in this issue concludes that his notion of soft perennialism is unworkable and shows no promise as a theory to explain spiritual diversity. Numerous specific shortcomings of the paper are described, then it is used as basis for identifying three broad categories of error that occur in some transpersonal scholarship. Examples from Taylor's paper are supplemented with similar errors in papers by other transpersonal scholars.


The Metaphysics Of Anthropocentrism: A Review Of Paul Ehrenfeld's "The Arrogance Of Humanism" And Mary Midgley's "Beast And Man", Bernard E. Rollin Jun 2016

The Metaphysics Of Anthropocentrism: A Review Of Paul Ehrenfeld's "The Arrogance Of Humanism" And Mary Midgley's "Beast And Man", Bernard E. Rollin

Bernard Rollin, Ph.D.

Our attitudes and behavior toward nature and toward other forms of life are clearly in the forefront of contemporary ethical concern. It thus becomes necessary to examine critically the metaphysics which has traditionally grounded these attitudes. Unquestionably, the key feature of the dominant underlying conceptual scheme has been the positing of a clear-cut dichotomy between man and the natural world. For most of the Greeks, man is radically separated from nature- he lives in the realm of nomos, convention, somehow above the realm of physis, nature. He can reason, communicate, choose, create a social order, apprehend ultimate reality, and even ...


Theories Of Properties And Ontological Theory-Choice: An Essay In Metaontology, Christopher Gibilisco Apr 2016

Theories Of Properties And Ontological Theory-Choice: An Essay In Metaontology, Christopher Gibilisco

Philosophy Dissertations, Theses, & Student Research

This dissertation argues that we have no good reason to accept any one theory of properties as correct. To show this, I present three possible bases for theory-choice in the properties debate: coherence, explanatory adequacy, and explanatory value. Then I argue that none of these bases resolve the underdetermination of our choice between theories of properties.

First, I argue considerations about coherence cannot resolve the underdetermination, because no traditional theory of properties is obviously incoherent. Second, I argue considerations of explanatory adequacy cannot resolve the underdetermination, because every traditional theory of properties lacks the theoretical resources to adequately explain resemblance ...


Book Review: The William Desmond Reader, Renee Köhler Ryan Apr 2016

Book Review: The William Desmond Reader, Renee Köhler Ryan

Renée Köhler-Ryan

This is a book review of The William Desmond Reader, edited by Christopher Ben Simpson. The review focuses on the ethical implications of Desmond's work, but places these in the broader context of his philosophy of the between, or metaxu.


Island Universe Problems, William Simkulet Feb 2016

Island Universe Problems, William Simkulet

William Simkulet

We share a common space-time with everything that we interact with in our world. An island universe would be a spatiotemporally interrelated segment of reality that is isolated from the rest of reality; it would be part of our world but something that we cannot interact with. Spatiotemporal interrelatedness plays an important role in a number of metaphysical theories concerning possible worlds. Here I discuss four problems surrounding the possibility of island universes. I contend the most troubling of these problems gives us good reason to think that island universes are possible; metaphysical theories that cannot make sense of the ...


Heidegger's Attentiveness To Language: A Question Of Translation And "Original Contents", Alexander M. Moore Jan 2016

Heidegger's Attentiveness To Language: A Question Of Translation And "Original Contents", Alexander M. Moore

Senior Projects Spring 2016

Senior Project submitted to The Division of Social Studies of Bard College.


New Grand Narratives—The Metaphysical Worldview Of Avatar And Cloud Atlas, Josef Früchtl Jan 2016

New Grand Narratives—The Metaphysical Worldview Of Avatar And Cloud Atlas, Josef Früchtl

Contemporary Aesthetics (Journal)

Referring to the films Avatar (2009) and Cloud Atlas (2012), the author will demonstrate that a new era of metaphysical holism follows Postmodernism. These films celebrate a resurrection of the flesh with 3-D technology and a reincarnation of souls with the aesthetic technique of morphing. However apocalyptic their visions of the future might be, and however much they might seem to worship technical megalomania, they are also and again conveying a resounding ethical message and a taste of Utopia.


Phenomenology And Blindness: Merleau-Ponty, Levinas, And An Alternative Metaphysical Vision, Jesse Younger Workman Jan 2016

Phenomenology And Blindness: Merleau-Ponty, Levinas, And An Alternative Metaphysical Vision, Jesse Younger Workman

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

This project addresses the problem of an "ocularcentric" bias in philosophy, with a focus on phenomenological and continental thought. Being a blind phenomenologist, I noticed an ocularcentric tendency dominating philosophers' perspectives, including their arguments, use of metaphors, and choices of examples. As a blind reader I found that such ocularcentrism prevented me from understanding their claims. This made me wonder whether ocularcentric biases might be leading them to unbalanced or invalid arguments and world-views. The questions raised are: Can there be philosophy that is not reliant on vision above all other senses? Is it possible for philosophy to not be ...


What Must There Be To Account For Being?, Dillon T. Mccrea Jan 2016

What Must There Be To Account For Being?, Dillon T. Mccrea

Williams Honors College, Honors Research Projects

The purpose of this essay is to identify what I consider to be core philosophical arguments supporting the thesis that being subsists. The design of the thesis is as follows: First, I will attempt to identify arguments supporting the claim that we posit the universe and all of its content in relation to the question of being. Second, I will identify arguments supporting the claim that it is incoherent to claim that being is merely a function of the existence of individual entities, and that all entities share being in common. Third, I will identify arguments supporting the claim that ...


The Mechanics And Fixed Operations Of Human Experience, James Dominick Di Netta Jan 2016

The Mechanics And Fixed Operations Of Human Experience, James Dominick Di Netta

UNF Graduate Theses and Dissertations

This paper will use the natural laws of the universe and amassed evidence to support a dynamic systems theory approach to explain the mechanics and fixed operations of the human experience taking place inside a causally determined universe without the possibility of free will. By reductionary methods, the universe and all its’ contents, including human agents, will be exemplified as complex dynamic systems. In so doing, the human experience is reduced to being comprised of information acting and reacting with other information existing in the universe, specifically ideas. Allowing ideas to take on a physical manifestation shows how the feedback ...


The Path To Supersubstantivalism, Joshua D. Moulton Jan 2016

The Path To Supersubstantivalism, Joshua D. Moulton

Doctoral Dissertations

This dissertation is divided into two parts. In the first part I defend substantivalism. I do this by offering, in chapter 1, a counterpart-theoretic defense of substantivalism from Leibniz’ shift arguments. Then, in chapter 2, I defend substantivalism from the hole argument and argue, against the consensus, that the question of haecceitism is irrelevant to substantivalism in the context of general relativity.

In the second part of the dissertation I defend supersubstantivalism. I do this by offering, in chapter 3, an argument against dualistic substantivalism. The argument appeals to plausible principles of modal plenitude to show that the dualist is ...