Online PHYSIS Monthly Lectures in Analytic Metaphysics 2021: Don Ross (University College Cork, University of Cape Town, Georgia State University) May 11, 2021

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

May 11, 2021. 10:00am-11:45am (CEST)

Don Ross (University College Cork, University of Cape Town, Georgia State University): What is scientific metaphysics about?

Abstract: Pre-naturalised metaphysics concerned alleged general forms of existence (or ‘Being’). Contemporary analytic metaphysics has retained this focus, though it is often agnostic about whether it is focused on actual existence or on ways in which existence is conceptualised by people. Scientific metaphysics involves no assumption that existence can be graded with respect to generality. Consequently, it does not posit or describe general ‘categories’ of existence because no such ideas are found in any of the scientific theories that collectively constitute our best account of objective reality. At the same time, the objects of scientific metaphysics are not identical to the objects of fundamental physics. This identity would hold only if the course of science were indicative of ontological reductionism; and in that case, there would be no basis for any metaphysics at all. I argue that the objects of scientific metaphysics are determined by the structure of the mathematics that turn out to be most useful for explaining the informativeness of special sciences in a world in which all theories are constrained by but do not reduce to fundamental physics. We do not currently know which mathematics will best serve this purpose. I will mention some plausible candidates, and indicate reasons for doubting that formal logic and set theory are among them. These doubts provide an additional basis for not expecting any affinities to traditional metaphysical categories to emerge in scientific metaphysics. 

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There is no registration fee to attend the online 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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