Metametaphysics
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Metametaphysics : New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology

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Metaphysics asks questions about existence: for example, do numbers really exist? Metametaphysics asks
questions about metaphysics: for example, do its questions have determinate answers? If so, are these answers deep and important, or are they merely a matter of how we use words? What is the proper methodology for their resolution? These questions have received a heightened degree of attention lately with new varieties of ontological deflationism and pluralism challenging the kind of realism that has become orthodoxy in contemporary analytic metaphysics.
This volume concerns the status and ambitions of metaphysics as a discipline. It brings together many of the central figures in the debate with their most recent work on the semantics, epistemology, and methodology of metaphysics.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 544 pages
  • 157 x 232 x 28mm | 819g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0199546002
  • 9780199546008
  • 249,446

Table of contents

1. Introduction: A Guided Tour of Metametaphysics ; 2. Composition, Colocation, and Metaontology ; 3. Ontological Anti-Realism ; 4. Carnap and Ontological Pluralism ; 5. The Question of Ontology ; 6. The Metaontology of Abstraction ; 7. Superficialism in Ontology ; 8. Ontology and Alternative Languages ; 9. Ambitious, Yet Modest, Metaphysics ; 10. Ways of Being ; 11. Metaphysics after Carnap: The Ghost Who Walks? ; 12. On What Grounds What ; 13. Ontological Realism ; 14. Ontology, Analyticity, and Meaning: The Quine-Carnap Dispute ; 15. Answerable and Unanswerable Questions ; 16. Being, Existence, and Ontological Commitment ; 17. Must Existence-Questions Have Answers?
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Review quote

Even if you're not a metaphysician - indeed, even if you're deeply suspicious of metaphysics - Metametaphysics is interesting.... Metametaphysics hosts a debate that is much more nuanced than a simple 'skeptics vs. enthusiasts' dichotomy. Skepticism about metaphysics can take different forms and come in different degrees. It is also, unsurprisingly, resistible in a variety of ways. Metametaphysics develops many of the central issues in this dialectic, making it
essential reading, not just for the metaphysician, but for the skeptic about metaphysics as well. * Elizabeth Barnes, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews * Metametaphysics is an excellent collection of papers about the nature and methodology of metaphysics written by the subject's movers and shakers. It will be of great interest to anyone enamored, repulsed, or mystified by metaphysics. * Philosophical Review *
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About David Chalmers

David Chalmers is Professor of Philosophy at the Australian National University. He works in the philosophy of mind and in related areas of philosophy and cognitive science. He is especially interested in consciousness, but is also interested in artificial intelligence and computation, in philosophical issues about meaning and possibility, and in the foundations of cognitive science and of physics.


David Manley is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Southern California. His papers in metaphysics and epistemology have appeared in such journals as Mind, The Journal of Philosophy, Nous, and The Philosophical Quarterly.

Ryan Wasserman is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Western Washington University.
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40 ratings
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