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Articles in the Metaphysics Category

Continental Philosophy, Featured, Metaphysics »

[8 Aug 2014 | No Comment | 198 views]
The Paradox of Ontologically Violent Resistance

By James Comotto, Washington College
In Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Paulo Freire refers to “an unjust order that engenders violence in the oppressors, which in turn dehumanizes the oppressed.” (44) This violence is a sort of ontological violence because it “interferes with the individual’s ontological and historical vocation to be more fully human.” (Freire 44) In refusing to recognize the oppressed as self-affirmed beings, the oppressors perceive them as mere objects — things to be manipulated or ignored for one’s own sake. The acts of dehumanization resulting from this ontological violence …

Featured, Metaphysics »

[21 Aug 2012 | No Comment | 302 views]
Necessity and Counterfactual Discourse

By James Walsh
The question “Is water necessarily H2O?” has a more complicated answer than may appear at first blush. To answer the question, one must first distinguish between conceptual and metaphysical necessity. By differentiating between these two types of necessity, it becomes clear that water is not necessarily H2O on a conceptual level. Whether water is necessarily H2O on a metaphysical level depends on the understanding of the word “water” on the part of the person who is judging whether water is metaphysically necessarily H2O. First I will expound upon …

Headline, Metaphysics »

[15 Aug 2012 | No Comment | 1,952 views]
Fluid Identity

By Mitchell Creelman

Abstract: In this paper I propose a novel view on the persistence of identity through time. I propose that an object is defined by a certain set of basic properties, that these properties are maintained throughout the life span of the whole, and that the whole does not cease to exist due to the replacement of individual parts. Given the constant change throughout the persistence of a single whole, I call this idea of identity “Fluid Identity.”

Throughout this paper, I will outline the concept that I call “fluid …

Featured, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Religion, Uncategorized »

[19 Sep 2011 | One Comment | 665 views]
Hellfire: A Loving God, Infinite Suffering, and the Reliability of the Bible

ABSTRACT: One of the most imposing problems facing the modern theist philosopher is the ‘problem of Hell,’ or the problem of how to make the Bible’s depiction of Hell as a place of eternal punishment logically consistent with the generally held theist idea that God is perfectly loving. This issue has been dealt with by a number of philosophers; some have attempted to re-imagine Hell into something less severe than eternal punishment, and some have attempted to give justifications for the traditional version of Hell. An …

Featured, Greek Philosophy, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Science »

[30 Dec 2010 | No Comment | 499 views]
The Will to Act and the Paradigm Shift Away From Aristotle’s Physics

ABSTRACT: The present study seeks to put together a critical assessment of the role that that “Will,” actualized through techné, played in Aristotle’s physics. It will be shown how said concept of Will led to a theoretical fissure of the Aristotelian cosmos between the natural and the artificial, which was finally detrimental to the sustainability of his scientific proposals. Furthermore, light will be shed on the incompatibility between Aristotelian physics and mathematics, an area of knowledge that was to become the primordial tool of modern scientific inquiry. …

Headline, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Language »

[31 Dec 2009 | One Comment | 641 views]
The Case For Vague Objects

By Jaime Harrell
In this paper, I examine David Lewisʼ treatment of vagueness as a problem of “semantic indecision” and conclude that this position on vagueness is inconsistent with the metaphysics of his theory of modal realism. To reach this, I employ a thought experiment in which an exact counterpart of Lewis is subjected to a series of possible worlds treatments designed to satisfy Lewisʼ criteria for counterparthood and test the limits of semantic treatments of higher-order vagueness. I find that Lewisʼ suggestions for dealing with vagueness fails to pick out counterparts at several points in this series, even when given a satisfactorily precisified set of criteria for the qua relation.

Epistemology, Featured, Metaphysics »

[6 Sep 2009 | One Comment | 421 views]
On Whether States of Affairs Make Propositions True

By Benjamin Perlin
Abstract: This paper discusses the central argument of A World of States of Affairs by David Armstrong, which is intended to posit states of affairs as fundamental ontological entities. This ‘truth-maker’ argument is intended to conclude that states of affairs are what make propositions true; I explore this position and the response by David Lewis, which is a tentative rejection of Armstrong’s position in favour of a supremely permissive combinatorialism.

The sentence “the sun is bright” expresses a true proposition. What, if anything, makes it true? The tentative answer …

Featured, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Religion »

[25 Feb 2009 | One Comment | 2,823 views]
A Critique of the Ontological Argument


The following is a brief introduction to the origins and logical flaws within St. Anselm’s famous Ontological Argument for the existence of G-d. Throughout the time since Anselm first formulated his argument, logicians and philosopher, including Kant, Gödel, and Aquinas, have struggled to reveal its apparent flaws. Through the study of this complex argument in the philosophy of religion, several advances in modern logic have emerged, including an understanding of the sensitive treatment of how to classify existence, whether it is a property of an object, or a …

Headline, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Language »

[23 Dec 2008 | No Comment | 1,133 views]
Anscombe’s First Person

By Erik Hinton
Elizabeth Anscombe’s notorious claim in The First Person, that “I” is not a referential term, has suffered an unfair history of discredit. Although, I will ultimately conclude that Anscombe’s position is untenable when argued to apply for all uses of “I”, to deny the irreferentiality of “I” in many common uses is equally wrong-minded. The assumption which undermines both Anscombe’s argument and criticisms thereof is that “I” must always be either referential or not. While this claim seems to be intuitively true, our clinging to the fixity of “I” is purely a result of a fear that to sacrifice the fixity of “I” would be to sacrifice the fixity of self.

Metaphysics, Philosophy of Mind »

[3 Nov 2008 | One Comment | 887 views]
Active Externalism and the Metaphysics of Inference

By Lee J. Elkin
In a scientific and philosophical context, I believe that inference can fall under the category of computation. Essentially, humans have evolved to be able to infer through computing and processing information at a complex level – more than any other biological being. This feature most likely occurred through the process of natural selection according to the theory of evolution, and thus human beings have adapted to such feature. Although it took sometime to develop computational skills, it is proven that humans have adapted adequately tracing back to antiquity based on our evidence provided by historical and anthropological records.