A Map of the World. What there is, and isn’t, and how it all hangs together

SA 2022-2023 - Ects: 4

Descrizione del corso: metaphysics in Analytic Philosophy strives to produce a unified inventory of the most general kinds of items in the world, what they are, what they are like, and how they all hang together to give the world. Metaphysical disputes are typically about what kinds of entity there are, giving opposed answers to questions of the form “Are there Xs?” — “Yes, there are” vs. “No, there aren’t.” Far from being childish or pointless, the answers to these disputes define the principal positions in metaphysics, and there is no neutral territory. Disputed items include but are not confined to (in alphabetical order): abstract objects, classes, events, facts, meanings, non-existents,
properties, relations, societies, states of affairs, substances, tropes, universals, and vague objects. Among items rarely denied existence, there is still disagreement as to their nature and status: in this category we may include actions, artefacts, artworks, causation, composites, matter, organisms, persons, space, species, time, and the universe.
In addition to assessing and adjudicating the most salient disputes, we shall look at meta¬physical method, categories and the factors distinguishing them, what ties the world together, and how to represent (“map”) this and all things in it in a systematic way. The course leader has his own view on all these matters, but students will be encouraged to disagree, consider, and work out their own opinions. While examples will be taken from the history of analytic and some pre-analytic philosophy, the aim is not to do history, but to do first-order metaphysics: to map the things themselves.
Modalità di valutazione: an essay.