SOPhiA 2019

Salzburgiense Concilium Omnibus Philosophis Analyticis

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Programme - Talk

On the Nature of Ordinary Objects. Towards a Metaphysics with no Simples
(Metaphysics and Ontology, English)

Eliminativism is considered an ontological theory about what there is and not of the fundamental nature of it (Benovsky 2016). Thus, the ordinary objects' eliminativism would be all about objects but not about their metaphysical nature. However, ontological claims whatever they may be, limit possible metaphysics. For whatever the account of the ultimate nature of the non-redundant objects is, it cannot entail the extension of ontology beyond what eliminativism has preserved. Thus, plausibly, the organicists (see Byrne 2019:18) like van Inwagen (1990) and Merricks (2001) do not merely offer ontological claims.

According to organicism, all there is are fundamental simples and their composites i.e animals (van Inwagen) and conscious animals (Merricks, see: Door 2003). And the latter is a metaphysical claim biased towards a foundational metaphysics of simples. A less theoretically loaded rendition of eliminativism would disjunctively claim that: (i) there are simples; (ii) there are (conscious) animals (iii) there's whatever there is composed of animals. Now, eliminativism isn't necessarily committal to simples, but only to whatever subjects of non-redundant causal powers there are (Merricks 2001: 4, 115), or to whatever it is that constitutes life (van Inwagen). Given that (conscious) animals are alive and causally efficacious, (i) turns out as a redundant metaphysical conjecture.

I'd like to argue for a more parsimonious metaphysics resulting from the jettisoning of (i): a non-foundational metaphysics of infinite descent and complexity. First, it does seem possible (Lewis 1999: 86) and it isn't mere conceptual possibility (Schaffer 2007; Cameron 2010; Morganti 2014; Tahko 2014). True, rejecting the category of a simple limits the resources for eliminativism-compatible metaphysics, but we're not left empty-handed. Mataphysical infinitism coupled with (ii) and (iii) may bring an interesting alternative.

Chair: Alexander Gebharter
Time: 14:00-14:30, 20 September 2019 (Friday)
Location: SR 1.003

Artur Szachniewicz 
(Jagiellonian University, Poland)

I am a third year PhD student from the Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland. I am interested in the metaphysics of ordinary objects and panpsychistic metaphysics.

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