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Primitiveness, Metaontology, and Explanatory Power

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 June 2013

JIRI BENOVSKY*
Affiliation:
University of Fribourg

Abstract

Metaphysical theories heavily rely on the use of primitives to which they typically appeal. I will start by examining and evaluating some traditional well-known theories and I will discuss the role of primitives in metaphysical theories in general. I will then turn to a discussion of claims of ‘equivalence’ between theories that, I think, depend on equivalences of primitives, and I will explore the nature of primitives. I will then claim that almost all explanatory power of metaphysical theories comes from their primitives, and so I will turn to scrutinize the notion of ‘power’ and ‘explanatory’.

Il est fréquent que les théories métaphysiques aient recours, et dépendent fortement, de l’usage de primitives. Dans cet article, j’examine et j’évalue d’abord brièvement certaines théories métaphysiques traditionnelles pour ensuite discuter le rôle des primitives dans les théories métaphysiques en général. J’aborde ensuite la question de «l’équivalence» entre des théories, qui, je crois, dépend de l’équivalence entre leurs primitives, et j’explore la nature des primitives. Je défends enfin l’idée selon laquelle presque tout le pouvoir explicatif des théories métaphysiques provient de leurs primitives, avant d’examiner la notion de «pouvoir» et d’«explication».

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Canadian Philosophical Association 2013 

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