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Barnes, Elizabeth, , . Going Beyond the Fundamental: Feminism in Contemporary Metaphysics
2014, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 114 (3pt3):335-351
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Added by: Simon Fokt, Contributed by: Alison Fernandes

Abstract: Much recent literature in metaphysics attempts to answer the question, ‘What is metaphysics?’ In this paper I argue that many of the most influential contemporary answers to this question yield the result that feminist metaphysics is not metaphysics. I further argue this result is problematic.

Comment: Useful for raising questions about the scope of metaphysics, issues to do with fundamentality, as well as the relation between feminism and metaphysics. I’m using it at the end of a survey course to raise questions about the purpose of metaphysics.

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Thomasson, Amie, , . Answerable and Unanswerable Questions
2009, In MetaMetaphysics, eds. David Chalmers, Ryan Wasserman, and David Manley. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 444-471.
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Added by: Jamie Collin, Contributed by:

Summary: Thomasson argues that merely verbal disputes arise in metaphysics when ontologists misuse the words ‘thing’ and ‘object’. Application conditions fix the conditions under which a claim can be applied or refused, but some ontological disputes involve using the terms ‘thing’ and ‘object’ in such a way that they lack application conditions. When this happens there is no way to determine the truth values of the claims being made.

Comment: This would be useful in a course on metaphysics, ontology or metametaphysics. It gives an interesting and plausible articulation of the idea that some metaphysical disputes are illegitimate in some sense (an intution that some students share). This isn’t an easy paper, but it is clearly written and suitable for advanced undergraduates or graduates.

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Thomasson, Amie L., , . Research Problems and Methods in Metaphysics
2012, In Robert Barnard & Neil Manson (eds.), The Continuum Companion to Metaphysics. Continuum International.
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Added by: Chris Blake-Turner, Contributed by: Nora Berenstain

Abstract: This article offers a guide to a key area on metaphysics and covers the fundamental questions asked in metaphysics – areas that have continued to attract interest historically as well as topics that have emerged more recently as active areas of research. It is especially focused on research methods and problems.

Comment: [This is a stub entry. Please add your comments to help us expand it]

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Thomasson, Amie L., , . The controversy over the existence of ordinary objects
2010, Philosophy Compass 5 (7):591-601.
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Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by: Naomi Osorio-Kupferblum

Abstract: The basic philosophical controversy regarding ordinary objects is: Do tables and chairs, sticks and stones, exist? This paper aims to do two things: first, to explain why how this can be a controversy at all, and second, to explain why this controversy has arisen so late in the history of philosophy. Section 1 begins by discussing why the ‘obvious’ sensory evidence in favor of ordinary objects is not taken to be decisive. It goes on to review the standard arguments against the existence of ordinary objects – including those based on problems with causal redundancy, parsimony, co-location, sorites arguments, and the special composition question. Section 2 goes on to address what it is about the contemporary approach to metaphysics that invites and sustains this kind of controversy, and helps make evident why debates about ordinary objects lead so readily to debates in metametaphysics about the nature of metaphysics itself.

Comment: This is an excellent overview of arguments for and against the existence of ordinary objects.
[This is a stub entry. Please add your comments to help us expand it]

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