- Added by: Simon Fokt, Contributed by: Matthew Watts
Abstract: This chapter argues that the distinction between empiricism and metaphysics is not as clear as van Fraassen would like to believe. Almost all inquiry is metaphysical to a degree, including van Fraassen’s stance empiricism. Van Fraassen does not make a strong case against metaphysics, since the argument against metaphysics has to happen at the level of meta-stances — the level where one decides which stance to endorse. The chapter maintains that utilizing van Fraassen’s own conception of rationality, metaphysicians are rational. Empiricists should not reject all metaphysics, but just the sort of metaphysics which goes well beyond the empirical contexts that most interest them.
Comment: This text is useful discussions pertaining to metaphysics and its useful for empiricists
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- Added by: Alison Stone, Contributed by: Simon Fokt
Diversifying Syllabi: Catharine Trotter Cockburn argues that Burnet’s critiques of Locke are mistaken. In particular, she argues (a) that Burnet has misunderstood Locke, (b) that Burnet’s conclusions aren’t supported by his arguments, and (c) that, even if they were, they would not constitute criticisms of Locke. Primarily, Cockburn is eager to show that Locke’s view is consistent with a view of the mind/soul as immaterial and immortal.
Comment: This chapter could be used in a history of philosophy course as one week’s reading. It could follow a section on Locke as Cockburn defends Locke, specifically against the charge that his empiricist epistemology cannot account for moral ideas, but in doing so develops her own account of conscience.
Jane Duran, “Early English Empiricism and the Work of Catharine Trotter Cockburn”
Martha Brandt Bolton, “Some Aspects of the Philosophical Work of Catharine Trotter”
Patricia Sheridan, “Reflection, Nature and Moral Law: The Extent of Catharine Cockburn’s Lockeanism in her Defence of Mr. Locke’s Essay”Export citation in BibTeX formatExport text citationView this text on PhilPapersExport citation in Reference Manager formatExport citation in EndNote formatExport citation in Zotero format