Metaphysics from a Biological Point of View by S. Boulter

By S. Boulter

One of the main outstanding positive aspects of mid-to-late twentieth century analytic philosophy is the revival of curiosity within the conventional difficulties of metaphysics. in spite of the fact that, given the lengthy interval of forget from which metaphysics in just now rising, it really is probably now not brilliant that philosophers within the analytic culture are nonetheless discovering their metaphysical toes, relatively on meta-metaphysical and methodological concerns. hence modern metaphysicians locate themselves in a thrilling yet finally risky place: we're confident that metaphysical questions are worthy pursing, yet we nonetheless lack a resounding tale to supply our detractors approximately how we behavior our company qua metaphysicians. This essay is an try and offer this kind of tale. The center advice is that we'd like no longer re-invent the self-discipline out of complete textile if we're keen to profit from the prior masters, really the Scholastics. What finally emerges is a security of Scholastic metaphysical rules in line with modern evolutionary biology.

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In the hands of Aquinas and other Scholastics this developed into the concerted effort to synthesise the theology of Augustine with the philosophy of Aristotle. This project was not without its successes; but fundamental tensions between Aristotelian and Catholic teaching could not be papered over. This led to factionalism within the university system, with traditional theologians on the one hand pitted against the 24 Metaphysics from a Biological Point of View champions of Aristotle on the other, with exchanges becoming increasingly acrimonious.

3. All occurrences, human actions included, are caused by antecedent occurrences (a presupposition of the sciences regarding phenomena above the micro-level). 52 Metaphysics from a Biological Point of View The problem is that these individually plausible theses appear to be inconsistent. The philosophical task is to determine what to make of this situation.

Only what cannot possibly be false can be accepted as true, and only what is logically necessary can never be false. So one can know only logically necessary truths. The road to sceptical conclusions is then made easy – one simply has to show that the contrary of a proposition is logically possible to establish that the proposition cannot be known with certainty. , the principle of non-contradiction], that there is some other thing. , p. 455) This is a view one now associates most readily with Hume, and Nicolas’s reasoning is essentially the same as the Scot’s: In such an inference in which from one thing another thing would be inferred, the consequent would not be factually identical with the antecedent, nor with part of what is signified by the antecedent.

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