A peculiar enterprise. The fate of metaphysics in a naturalist climate


In this paper, I examine the divide between ‘analytic’ and ‘continental’ approaches to metaphysics by reconstructing a three-cornered debate between naturalists, hermeneutists, and pragmatists on the issue of how to understand the relationship between ethics and ontology. Taking my cue from the dominant naturalistic debates in Anglo-American ethics, I continue to discuss in more detail the positions of Hilary Putnam and Charles Taylor in the light of these debates. More particularly, I investigate Putnam’s wholesale rejection of Ontology with a capital ‘O’, while also exploring Taylor’s retrieval of ontological thinking for Ethics with a capital ‘E’. Drawing attention to the deep metaphysical uncertainties in all of these approaches, I ultimately seek to develop a well-defined perspective from which to evaluate the peculiar status of metaphysics in contemporary philosophy, reflecting on its fate beyond the analytic-continental split.

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References found in this work

The Two Cultures.C. P. Snow & Stefan Collini - 2012 - Cambridge University Press.
The Naturalists Return.Philip Kitcher - 1992 - Philosophical Review 101 (1):53-114.

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