Causation and Universals [Book Review]

Review of Metaphysics 45 (2):397-399 (1991)
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This is an exercise in the metaphysics of causation, an essay loosely in the empiricist tradition that defends a full-blooded realism for both material and abstract objects. Fales begins, as have most empiricists, with introspectively accessible phenomena. Although he claims to take doubts about the "given" seriously, the upshot appears to be that we must accommodate the fact that the philosophically misled have had such doubts: the given has foundational status, and so is known, but that fact may itself be obscured by the complexity of the phenomenal world and the difficulty of the philosophical enterprise. As Fales says, "foundationalism is by no means dead".



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