PhilosopyTV! Thomas Hofweber and myself discuss the possibility and foundations of metaphysics in the latest episode. We recorded the episode already some time ago, and I’m pleased to see that it’s now out. Thanks to David Killoren and the other folks at PhilosophyTV for making this happen.
These episodes are supposed to be fairly accessible, so we don’t go into a lot of technical detail, and have tried to avoid unnecessary jargon. To be honest, our discussion is just a brief glimpse into the very broad topic of the foundations of metaphysics — or metametapysics — but I hope that it’s of interest especially to those who may not be so familiar with the literature. For background reading, I recommend for instance Thomas’s ‘The Meta-Problem of Change‘ (2009) and my ‘In Defence of Aristotelian Metaphysics‘ (2012).
The discussion opens up with quite a long intro from Thomas, but I think it’s helpful. We then go on to discuss some more detailed topics, such as the status of mathematical objects, the epistemology of essence, and ‘esoteric’ and ‘egalitarian’ metaphysics — notions coined by Thomas.
I have to say that it’s not easy to have a discussion like this when you cannot see the other person (the video is recorded separately). What made it even stranger was that I was already at Chapel Hill at the time of recording, and we were in fact in the same building! Thomas was in his office, and I ended up using Simon Blackburn’s office. We had some technical issues as well, but the end result seems to work just fine (they did a good job with it).
Hope you enjoy it!