The Primacy of Metaphysics

The Primacy of Metaphysics

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This volume presents a new view of the relationship between metaphysics and the theory of meaning.

What is the relation between the nature of the things you think about, on the one hand, and the ways you think about them on the other? Is the nature of the world prior to the nature of thought and meaning, or not? Christopher Peacocke argues that the nature of the world - its metaphysics - is always involved in thought and meaning. Meaning is never prior to the nature of the world.
Peacocke develops a general claim that metaphysics is always involved, either as explanatorily prior, or in a no-priority relationship, to the theory of meaning and content. Meaning and intentional content are never explanatorily prior to the metaphysics. He aims to show, in successive chapters of The Primacy of Metaphysics how the general view holds for magnitudes, time, the self, and abstract objects. For each of these cases, the metaphysics of the entities involved is explanatorily
prior to an account of the nature of our language and thought about them. Peacocke makes original contributions to the metaphysics of these topics, and offers consequential new treatments of analogue computation and representation. In the final chapter, he argues that his approach generates a new account of
the limits of intelligibility, and locates his account in relation to other treatments of this classical conundrum.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 240 pages
  • 156 x 234mm
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • 0192897160
  • 9780192897169

Review quote

the book develops a distinctive and novel position, which is often plausible and always interesting. * Oystein Linnebo, Philosophical Studies * The Primacy of Metaphysics is a rich work, handsomely repaying multiple readings. It testifies to Peacocke's creativity and philosophical seriousness. * Mark Johnston, Philosophical Studies * this book is just as remarkable for its breadth. . . . Most philosophers of mind, language, epistemology, and metaphysics are likely to find insights that bear on their research. * Jacob Beck, European Journal of Philosophy *
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About Christopher Peacocke

Christopher Peacocke worked for many years in Oxford and London. He was successively a Prize Fellow of All Souls College, a Tutorial Fellow of New College, Susan Stebbing Professor of Philosophy at Kings College London, and finally for twelve years Waynflete Professor of Metaphysical Philosophy at Magdalen College, Oxford. In 2000 he became Professor of Philosophy at New York University. He is currently Johnsonian Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University and
Honorary Fellow at the Institute of Philosophy at the School of Advanced Study in the University of London.
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