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The Review of Metaphysics

Volume 65, Issue 1, September 2011

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Displaying: 1-10 of 90 documents

1. The Review of Metaphysics: Volume > 65 > Issue: 1
Thomas Crowther, The Matter of Events
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A distinction has often been drawn between processes and accomplishments, between, say, walking and walking to the shops. But it has proved difficult to explain the nature of this distinction in a satisfying way. This paper offers an explanation of the nature of this distinction that is suggested by the idea that there is an ontologically significant correspondence between temporal and spatial notions. A number of writers, such as Alexander Mourelatos (1978) and Barry Taylor (1985), have argued that the spatial notions of space-occupying stuff and space-occupying particular have temporal analogues. This paper builds on these discussions in offering the fuller development of a temporal ontology at the core of which are the notions of time-occupying stuff and of a time-occupying particular. The author then argues that when this analogy is properly understood it is possible to advance a distinctive explanation of the nature of the distinction between processes and accomplishments. The paper then goes on to develop some suggestions about how a temporal ontology involving the notions of temporal mass and of a temporal particular can help to provide explanations of a range of further puzzling temporal notions. In the final section of the paper, the author defends this temporal ontology in the face of some possible sources of criticism.
2. The Review of Metaphysics: Volume > 65 > Issue: 1
Michael Sweeney, Greek Essence and Islamic Tolerance: Al-Farabi, Al-Ghazali, Ibn Rush’d
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This article explores the relation of the Greek notion of essence to the political philosophy of Al-Farabi Al-Ghazali and Ibn Rush’d.  It argues that their various conceptions of essence influence their attitudes towards religious tolerance within the regime. 
3. The Review of Metaphysics: Volume > 65 > Issue: 1
Michael R. Slater, William James’s Pluralism
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This essay examines one of the most important but understudied aspects of William James’s philosophy, his doctrine of pluralism. It aims to shed new light on the complex and sometimes ambiguous relationship between James’s pluralism and his doctrines of pragmatism and radical empiricism, and shows that his pluralism is a much more pervasive feature of his philosophy than has usually been thought. In particular, the essay shows that James was a pluralist not only in his metaphysical views, but also in his epistemological, ethical, and religious views, and that these latter views are not always clearly dependent upon his pluralistic metaphysics.
4. The Review of Metaphysics: Volume > 65 > Issue: 1
Georgia Warnke, The Hermeneutic Circle versus Dialogue
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At the start of his account of hermeneutic experience, Gadamer quotes Heidegger: “Our first, last and constant task is never to allow our fore-having, fore-sight and fore-conception to be presented to us by fancies and popular conceptions, but rather to make the scientific theme secure by working out these fore-structures in terms of the things themselves.”  Heidegger’s “fore-structures” reflect our practical pre-understanding and ongoing engagement with our world or “the things themselves.”  Yet, if so, how can we work these fore-structures out in terms of them?  Gadamer claims to take his answer to this question from Heidegger and to appeal, like him, to the hermeneutic circle.  However, I argue that Gadamer takes the question more seriously than Heidegger does by supplementing recourse to the hermeneutic circle with an appeal to dialogue.  I also explore concerns about this supplement.  Gadamer conceives of understanding as a dialogue in which we test our fore-meanings against those of others and come to a consensus with others about a subject matter (Sache).  Yet, dialogue can just as easily reinforce or even exaggerate our fore-meanings as test them  For its part, consensus is as easily to be feared as sought.
5. The Review of Metaphysics: Volume > 65 > Issue: 1
Stephen Strehle, The Nazis and the German Metaphysical Tradition of Voluntarism
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The Third Reich conceived of life as a struggle (Kampf) between competing forces.  This view of life was based on a growing emphasis in German philosophy and culture upon voluntarism, or the power of the will as the ultimate metaphysical reality.  For these Germans, God was dead.  There was no transcendent or universal standard to provide life with direction, no grand design or rationality to explain the succession of events, only the groundless and endless struggle of forces competing to assert their power and extend their dominion.  These Germans found early inspiration for this idea in the writings of Gottfried Leibniz, who spoke of life as possessing its own autonomous power in each of its individual members or monads.  They saw this concept develop and become the one metaphysical truth in the works of Arthur Schopenhauer and Friedrich Nietzsche with their emphasis upon the “will to live” and the “will to power.”  The two philosophers exerted particular influence upon the Nazis, who saw them as early exponents of their ideology.  This influence is important in understanding the fundamental mentality of the Nazis, even if the metaphysics of voluntarism contained other possible forms of interpretation beyond what the Nazis represented in word and deed.  To understand the relationship between Nazism and voluntarism, the article develops the philosophical background from Leibniz to Nietzsche and relates this development to its Nazi expression in Adolf Hitler, Alfred Rosenberg, Alfred Bäumler, and Martin Heidegger.
book reviews
6. The Review of Metaphysics: Volume > 65 > Issue: 1
Scott Segrest, Free Will as an Open Scientific Problem
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7. The Review of Metaphysics: Volume > 65 > Issue: 1
Stephen M. Krason, Michael Oakeshott’s Skepticism
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8. The Review of Metaphysics: Volume > 65 > Issue: 1
Steven Berg, Homage to Americans: Mile-High Meditations, Close Readings, and Time-Spanning Speculations
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9. The Review of Metaphysics: Volume > 65 > Issue: 1
Graeme Nicholson, Engaging Heidegger
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10. The Review of Metaphysics: Volume > 65 > Issue: 1
Thomas R. Flynn, Reading Sartre
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