Online PHYSIS Monthly Lectures in Analytic Metaphysics 2021: Sebastián Briceño (Universidad de Santiago de Chile) March 16, 2021

PHYSIS: the Research Group in Analytic Metaphysics at Complutense University of Madrid cordially invites you to attend the six online PHYSIS Monthly Lectures in Analytic Metaphysics 2021. 

March 16, 2021, 3:00pm-4:45pm (CET)

Sebastián Briceño (Universidad de Santiago de Chile)

Title: Relations, Bradley’s Regress, and Metaphysical Explanation

Abstract: According to a common understanding, metaphysicians attempt to give ultimate explanations of things under the pressure of legitimate explanatory demands. These explanatory demands have the form of Socratic questions: What is F, really? In virtue of what, ultimately, F is what it is? And the answers to these explanatory demands are expected to be articulated in non-trivial, illuminating terms, typically by appealing to the relations that the thing to be explained, the F itself, has with what is internal or external to it. Apparently, this goes for a wide variety of things: personal identity, possibility, causation, virtue, knowledge, etc. But what about relations? Can we give an ultimate explanation of them? Famously, Bradley used a regress argument to show that relations were ultimately inexplicable and ultimately unreal. As Della Rocca has argued, this argument is largely the result of Bradley’s untamed commitment to the Principle of Sufficient of Reason. A natural and obvious reaction among metaphysicians is to resist Bradley’s move by restricting the domain of legitimate explanatory demands in order to exclude (at least some) relations (Russell, van Inwagen). Another obvious though less natural reaction is to accept the legitimacy of the explanatory demand concerning relations and follow Bradley’s path to where it apparently leads, that is, to a sort of Parmenidean monism (Della Rocca, Vallicella). I think these alternatives are unsatisfactory, so I end up sketching a different one. But this alternative requires a radical revision of our common way of understanding metaphysical explanation.

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There is no registration fee to attend the Lectures, and registration is not required. 

Sponsor: Comunidad de Madrid. Research Project: The Eliminativist Approach to Categories: Issues in Ontology, Philosophy of Language, and Philosophy of Science (2016- T1/HUM-1263).

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