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  • Print publication year: 2011
  • Online publication date: December 2011

Chapter 2 - In defence of Aristotelian metaphysics

Summary

According to the author, Aristotelian metaphysics has more to do with Aristotle's philosophical methodology than his metaphysics. The core of this Aristotelian conception of metaphysics is the idea that metaphysics is the first philosophy. This chapter clarifies what this conception of metaphysics amounts to in the context of recent discussion on the methodology of metaphysics. It also identifies some methodological issues concerning the foundations of Aristotelian metaphysics. In the first section, the chapter compares the Aristotelian and what could be called a 'Quinean' conception of metaphysics. The second section considers the approach emerging from the critique by Ladyman and Ross; it aims to naturalize metaphysics. Finally, the chapter hints towards a programme for a rigorous methodology of Aristotelian metaphysics inspired by E. J. Lowe's work. According to this line of thought, metaphysics is primarily concerned with metaphysical possibility, which is grounded in essence.

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