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Displaying: 61-70 of 837 documents

61. Philosophical Topics: Volume > 43 > Issue: 1/2
Joseph Melia, Lewis: Metaphysics in the Service of Philosophy
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In this paper, I discuss Moore’s assessment of Lewis’s metaphysical theorizing. While I am sympathetic to Moore’s complaint that much contemporary metaphysics lacks the scope and reach of older metaphysical theories, I take issue with Moore’s diagnosis: neither lack of self-consciousness, nor Quinean naturalism, nor the post-Quinean restitution of necessity is to blame. Rather, the lack of impact of Lewis’s system should be attributed to the very high weight he attaches to conservatism: the preservation of commonsense and ordinary thought and talk. Yet one can agree with Quine that there should be no first philosophy without, as Lewis does, putting philosophy last. Finally, I argue against Moore that, for the Quinean naturalist, there is no conflict between the metaphysician’s armchair methodology and the view that the truths so discovered are on a par with science.
62. Philosophical Topics: Volume > 43 > Issue: 1/2
Anita Avramides, Dummett: The Logical Basis of Metaphysics
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I begin this paper by orienting Michael Dummett’s work in relation to what Adrian Moore identifies as the central concern of metaphysics: making sense of things. The metaphysical issue that most exercises Dummett is the adjudication between a realist and an antirealist conception of reality, and he believes that it is by careful attention to theories of meaning that we can come to see difficulties for a realist metaphysics. Fregean realism gives way to Dummettian antirealism. But Moore is not convinced. While Dummett connects truth with our capacity to know, Moore challenges Dummett to say more about this capacity. Moore accuses Dummett of attempting, with his theory of meaning, to identify limits to our sense-making. As well as running into trouble with (what he identifies as) the limit argument, Moore believes that there may also be a lurking conservatism in Dummett’s work insofar as it can be accused of making no provision for radical conceptual innovation in metaphysics. I attempt to defend Dummett against both criticisms.
63. Philosophical Topics: Volume > 43 > Issue: 1/2
Manuel Dries, Metaphysician, Philosopher, Psychologist?: Making Sense of Nietzsche’s Sense-Making
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This paper argues that Moore’s compelling reading of Nietzsche as a metaphysician in The Evolution of Modern Metaphysics: Making Sense of Things (EMM) largely ignores Nietzsche’s philosopher-psychologist approach to metaphysical, general sense-making. Nietzsche’s metaphysical sense-making is often psychologically framed, i.e. sense is made of sense-making as the expression of specific psychological perspectives and types. Nietzsche’s own most general “acts of sense-making,” such as the will to power, nihilism, and eternal return, often need to be interpreted as targeting specific perspectives and types with the goal of affecting their values. Section 2 considers Moore’s definition of metaphysics and asks what evidence there is that Nietzsche is a metaphysician in his inclusivistic sense. Section 3 provides evidence that Nietzsche pursues also a psychological project and introduces the idea of “psychological framing.” Sections 4–6 argue that Moore takes will to power (4), nihilism as suffering (5), and eternal return (6) as Nietzsche’s own, most general “metaphysical” sense-making, thereby neglecting the philosopher-psychologist who may elude Moore’s inclusivist conception of metaphysics.
64. Philosophical Topics: Volume > 43 > Issue: 1/2
Pamela Sue Anderson, Bergsonian Intuition: A Metaphysics of Mystical Life
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In this paper I explore a “variation” on the “theme” of intuition in the evolution of modern metaphysics. My aim is not to criticize A. W. Moore’s account of intuition as one of two ways by which Bergson makes sense of things (the other way is analysis). Instead I will suggest the significance in extending Bergson’s metaphysics to mystical life as “the ‘very life of things’ into which intuition installs itself.” When the metaphysical drama, in The Evolution of Modern Metaphysics, reaches chapter 16, “Bergson: Metaphysics as Pure Creativity,” Moore expresses astonishment that Bergson could have thought philosophers have ever agreed on aligning “analysis” in science with the impossibility of non-perspectival sense-making and “intuition” in metaphysics with the possibility of absolute (non-perspectival) knowledge. Using a method of intuition, not of analysis, as non-perspectival sense-making is the opposite of what Moore himself finds in other philosophical contributions to modern metaphysics as “a most general attempt to make sense of things.” He takes an influential example: Bernard Williams associates analysis, not intuition, with the possibility of non-perspectival sense-making and absolute knowledge. My response defends Bergsonian intuition in giving it a positive—and, why not, non-perspectival?—role in metaphysics as mystical; that is, as unique and inexpressible life. Moore describes intuition in Bergson as both the faculty and the method for the evolution of new concepts and new ways of making sense of things. I will stress that Bergsonian intuition is “an effort to place oneself into a movement, such as that of philosophy itself,” expressing “what is ‘living in philosophers’ rather than what is ‘fixed and dead in theses.’ ” This mystical life pushes out the limits set up by Kant for metaphysics (and science) by allowing intuition (with analysis) to reach for absolute, non-perspectival knowledge.
65. Philosophical Topics: Volume > 43 > Issue: 1/2
David R. Cerbone, Making Sense of Phenomenological Sense-Making: On Moore on Husserl
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This paper examines Moore’s account of Husserl in chapter 17 of The Evolution of Modern Metaphysics. I consider in particular the threat of a gap between natural sense-making, which takes place within what Husserl calls the “natural attitude,” and phenomenological sense-making, which is made from within the perspective afforded by the phenomenological reduction. Moore’s concerns are an echo, I suggest, of the radical account of Husserlian phenomenology developed by Husserl’s student and final assistant, Eugen Fink, in his Sixth Cartesian Meditation. Fink’s account shows just how wide a gap there is between natural and phenomenological sense-making. Given that gap, I argue that it is not clear whether phenomenological sense-making really can make sense of natural or ordinary sense-making, nor is it clear that we can even make sense of that kind of sense-making at all.
66. Philosophical Topics: Volume > 43 > Issue: 1/2
Joseph K. Schear, Phenomenology and Metaphysics: On Moore’s Heidegger
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Moore claims, refreshingly, that Heidegger’s Being and Time is a metaphysical work. Moore also claims, strikingly, that Heidegger, indeed phenomenology more generally, would be better off dropping its metaphysical pretensions. Moore objects that phenomenology can have genuine metaphysical import only by incurring commitment to an untenable idealism. I defend Heidegger against this objection. Heideggerian phenomenology is metaphysical—it raises the question of, and makes commitments about, what it is for things to be—without any untenable idealism.
67. Philosophical Topics: Volume > 43 > Issue: 1/2
Marnie Hughes-Warrington, Metaphysics as History, History as Metaphysics
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R. G. Collingwood’s writings do not sit neatly within any of the major approaches to metaphysics. Moore’s Evolution of Modern Metaphysics corrects the conventional exclusion of Collingwood’s thought, only to position him as contributing an ‘interlude’. I argue that this treatment does little to bring the far-reaching implications—and problems—of Collingwood’s reversible treatment of history as metaphysics and metaphysics as history to the fore. In particular, I highlight Collingwood’s not having worked through the ontological implications of historians actively making meaning of the past, including potentially creating absolute presuppositions. In the end we are not sure whether this is ontologically committing or even a variety of modal fictionalism.
68. Philosophical Topics: Volume > 43 > Issue: 1/2
Graham Priest, Stop Making Sense
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This paper discusses the major theme of Adrian Moore’s The Evolution of Modern Metaphysics. Moore argues that the philosophical theories of many modern Western philosophers, seen as the project of making sense of the world—in the most general sense of that notion—lead to self-referential contradiction. I agree with him. Moore takes this as a sign that this project requires the need of some non-propositional notion of making sense. Contrary to this, I argue (as in Beyond the Limits of Thought) that it simply indicates the dialetheias at the limits of the project.
69. Philosophical Topics: Volume > 43 > Issue: 1/2
James Williams, Gilles Deleuze and A. W. Moore: Nonhuman Constructivism or Anthropocentric Narrative in Metaphysics
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In this paper I argue against A. W. Moore’s claim that metaphysics needs to be anthropocentric. The arguments will be based on Gilles Deleuze’s philosophy. The point is to explain why his metaphysics has an ambiguous position in Moore’s work on the history of metaphysics. The main focus of the argument is to question the grounds for the necessity of an anthropocentric aspect on the basis of Deleuze’s arguments for discontinuous change in conceptual frames. The paper will also raise points about different ways of thinking about the danger of metaphysics in relation to anthropocentrism and in relation to the opposition between Deleuze and Moore. I will conclude with some suggestions, based on Deleuze’s work on Foucault, as to why the anthropocentric aspect might be a bad choice, once it is shown to lack necessity.
70. Philosophical Topics: Volume > 43 > Issue: 1/2
Robin Le Poidevin, Moore’s Conception of Metaphysics
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Moore characterizes metaphysics as “the most general attempt to make sense of things.” This is not offered as a piece of conceptual analysis, which we might challenge by putative counterexample, but rather as an inclusive organizing principle. Nevertheless, there are ways in which (I submit) the definition could be helpfully developed, to draw out distinctive (and distinctively valuable) aspects of philosophical, and more specifically metaphysical, inquiry, and I offer some suggestions here. The aspects addressed include the appearance of mind-independence in the subject matter of metaphysics, and the importance of critical inquiry. Two concerns are raised about Moore’s inclusion of non-propositional sense-making in his conception of metaphysics: how the notion of generality applies to non-propositional sense-making; and what success-condition in non-propositional sense-making would be the counterpart of truth in propositional sense-making. I end by considering whether, despite the inclusiveness of his characterization, Moore’s view of the real point of doing metaphysics involves commitment to realism about the self.