Response to Frederick Ferré’s Presidential Address

Review of Metaphysics 58 (3):533-536 (2005)
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It was a genuine pleasure to read Frederick Ferré’s presidential address. He has done an elegant job of humanizing Whitehead’s account of the nature of speculative philosophy. Not only has he provided a most useful expansion of Whitehead’s rather austerely presented criteria for judging the success of a metaphysical system—coherence, logicality, applicability, and adequacy—he has wrapped the whole in his version of the axiological viewpoint in such a way that we see how norms and value judgments anchor metaphysics in an unshakable practicality that goads us evermore toward living not just well, but beautifully. I find this vision not only satisfactory, but genuinely uplifting. Therefore, in what follows I will simply put forward some random thoughts concerning the practicality of metaphysics generated by Ferré’s very succinct, yet rich, presentation.



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