RE: MD A metaphysics

From: David Buchanan (
Date: Sun Aug 17 2003 - 02:00:03 BST

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    Matt and all:

    Matt said:
    Wim wanted metaphysics to simply mean "one's deepest beliefs" which is
    basically what Joe, DMB, and Michael would like metaphysics to mean. I
    don't want metaphysics to mean that because there is something about what
    philosophers have traditionally thought about their deepest beliefs that I
    think is extraneous cargo that can be purged. This superfluous cargo has
    traditionally been called "metaphysics."

    dmb says:
    I don't think metaphysics is "one's deepest beliefs" nor do I think it is
    "superfulous cargo". Let me go way out on a limb and assert the wild-eyed
    notion that metaphysics is a branch of philosophy. Call me crazy, but I feel
    quite certain of it.

    Matt said:
    Now, I've said that I wish to not conflate "system of belief" with the
    question "What is real?" On this point, I think I'm in agreement with Wim
    and DMB. Wim is pragmatic enough to be antiessentialist and DMB's argument
    against me (though I haven't quite figured out how its against me) lately
    has been, "Where and who are all these Platonists, Kantians, psychological
    metaphysicians, essentialists, ahistoricists, universalists, and
    foundationalists? I need names!" (Apparently Searle, Chomsky, and Platt
    don't count.)

    dmb replies:
    Names? There is no shortage of names in your posts. That's not at all what
    I'm asking. I'm asking for specific examples of ASSERTIONS. You keep
    insisting that this one or that one is guilty of holding certain postions,
    but I do not recall ever seeing any quotes that would support your claims.
    Plato believed this, Descartes thought that, but always in the vague and
    general terms. And why Plato? Didn't Aristotle invent metaphysics? Sorry
    Matt, but dropping names and making vague references just aren't enough to
    condemn Western civilzation's greatest thinkers. If you're going to be that
    arrogant, you gotta back it up with specific examples. You have to admit,
    this whole approach, to abandon metaphysics and philosophy, is quite
    sweeping and extraordinary. As such, it needs extraordinary evidence if we
    are to be expected to belief it. What you've offered so far is not even
    ordinary evidence. You've simply asserted it without any evidence at all. It
    could be that you know what you're talking about, but I suspect you're just
    taking Rorty's word for it all. And that, my friend, is faith and not

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