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Both these constitution problems turn on questions about theidentities of spatially coincident objects—and, indeed, ofobjects that share all their (proper) parts. (A third famous problemof material constitution—the problem of the Ship ofTheseus—raises questions of a different sort.) Somemetaphysicians contend that the relation between the lump and thestatue, on the one hand, and the relation between Tib and Tibbles, onthe other, cannot be fully understood in terms of the concepts ofparthood and (non-) identity, but require a further concept, anon-mereological concept, the concept of “constitution”:the pre-existent lump at a certain point in time comes to constitutethe statue (or a certain quantity of gold or certain gold atoms thatfirst constituted only the lump come to constitute them both);pre-existent Tib at a certain point in time comes to constituteTibbles (or certain cat-flesh or certain molecules …). (Baker2000 is a defense of this thesis.) Others contend that all therelations between the objects that figure in both problems can befully analyzed in terms of parthood and identity. For a more thoroughoverview of the solutions to these puzzles and different theories ofconstitution in play, see Rea (ed.) 1997 and Thomson 1998.

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thinks the whole Kantian enterprise is anti-metaphysical:

It should be emphasized that these ways of delimiting metaphysicsdo not presuppose that all of the topics we've considered as examplesof metaphysics are substantive or important to the subject. Considerthe debate about modality. Quine (1953) and Sider (2012) both arguefrom their respective theories about the nature of metaphysics thataspects of the debate over the correct metaphysical theory ofmodality are misguided. Others are skeptical of the debates aboutcomposition or persistence through time. So theories about the natureof metaphysics might give us new resources for criticizing particularfirst-order debates that have historically been consideredmetaphysical, and it is common practice for metaphysicians to regardsome debates as substantive while adopting a deflationist attitudeabout others.

Metaphysical Poetry Essays - StudentShare

For their part, anti-realists have taken the metaphysicalrealist’s insistence on a Right Reference Constraint to be‘just more theory’—what it is for a model toconform to a constraint is for us to be justified in asserting that itdoes. Unfortunately, this has led to something of astand-off. Metaphysical realists think that anti-realists are refusingto acknowledge a clear and important distinction. Anti-realists thinkrealists are simply falling back on dogmatism at a crucial point inthe argument.

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Metaphysical realism is the thesis that the objects, properties andrelations the world contains exist independently of our thoughts aboutthem or our perceptions of them. Anti-realists either doubt or denythe existence of the entities the metaphysical realist believes in orelse doubt or deny their independence from our conceptions ofthem.

1 Metaphysical Realism versus Conceptual-ist Anti-Realism

The aim throughout will be to see whether the realist can respond tothe anti-realist challenges and so much of the subsequent discussionwill be taken up with attempts to formulate realist replies to thesechallenges that have some initial credibility. However it needs to benoted that all these replies are provisional: anti-realism gains muchof its force by highlighting a gap between realist metaphysics andepistemology that no one really knows how to bridge.

How To Write A Metaphysical Essay

I study the first causes of things, and amtherefore a metaphysician. My colleague Dr McZed denies that there areany first causes and is therefore not a metaphysician; she is rather,an anti-metaphysician. In her view, metaphysics is a science with anon-existent subject-matter, like astrology.

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I proceed by first defining metaphysical realism, illustrating itsdistinctive mind-independence claim with some examples anddistinguishing it from other doctrines with which it is oftenconfused, in particular factualism. I then outline the RepresentationProblem in the course of presenting the anti-realist challenges tometaphysical realism that are based on it. I discuss metaphysicalrealist responses to these challenges, indicating how the debates haveproceeded, suggesting various alternatives and countenancinganti-realist replies.

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These semantic formulations of metaphysical realism are unacceptableto realists who are deflationists about truth, denying that truth is asubstantive notion which can be used to characterise alternativemetaphysical views [see theentry on the ]. Such realists tend to ignore the anti-realist’ssemantic and epistemological challenges to their position.