• mosesquine
    95
    Let's discuss the most important metaphysician in all times.
    There are 37 options.

    Note:
    Anselm was omitted in the poll of philosopher of religion, so he is now included in the list.
    Wittgenstein is closer to philosopher of language than metaphysician, but due to his early philosophy, he is included here.
    Hume is omitted due to his rejection to metaphysics...
    1. Who is the most important metaphysician in all times? (23 votes)
        Plato
        22%
        Aristotle
        22%
        Plotinus
          0%
        St. Augustine
          0%
        Thomas Aquinas
          0%
        Duns Scotus
          0%
        William of Occam
          0%
        Anselm
          0%
        Rene Descartes
          4%
        Spinoza
          4%
        G. W. Leibniz
          4%
        John Locke
          0%
        George Berkeley
          0%
        Immanuel Kant
        13%
        G. Hegel
          4%
        Schopenhauer
          4%
        Malebranche
          0%
        Kierkegaard
          0%
        Bertrand Russell
        9%
        W. V. Quine
          0%
        David Lewis
          4%
        Saul Kripke
          0%
        Alvin Plantinga
          0%
        Robert Stalnaker
          0%
        Michael Dummett
          4%
        P. F. Strawson
          0%
        Donald Davidson
          4%
        Wilfrid Sellars
          0%
        Robert Brandom
          0%
        John McDowell
          0%
        Ludwig Wittgenstein
          0%
        Jaegwon Kim
          0%
        David Armstrong
          0%
        Frank Jackson
          0%
        Timothy Williamson
          0%
        David Chalmers
          0%
        Derek Parfit
          0%
  • Michael
    14.8k
    No Putnam?

    I voted for Dummett. I like the way he turns traditional metaphysical disputes into disputes about truth.
  • mosesquine
    95
    I actually forgot Putnam at that time... Putnam is an obvious omission, unfortunately...
    I voted for David Lewis, anyway.
  • m-theory
    1.1k
    Or Whitehead?
  • mosesquine
    95
    Although Whitehead was famous, many people don't remember him as a metaphysician...
  • Agustino
    11.2k
    It's between Plato, Aristotle and Kant. Anyone who says otherwise doesn't have a clue what they're talking about. All other great philosophers can be reduced to those three -

    Wittgenstein applied Kant's critique to the presuppositions of thought, language
    Schopenhauer platonised Kant
    Spinoza is Aristotle sneaked into the form of Cartesianism
    Aquinas is an improved Aristotle
    Hegel tries to Aristotelianize Kant
    Plotinus is an appendage of Plato
    David Lewis - fuck, are we even putting that guy on the same level with those previously listed?
    St. Augustine is Plato by another name
    Kierkegaard - is he even a metaphysician?
    Russell - The Hume copy-cat
    Wilfried Sellars - a recast of Kant, except of a transcendental realist kind
    Plantinga - a latter-day St. Anselm coming up with novel, but ultimately petty theological arguments
    St. Anselm - the result of when you put too much Plato in your philosophy, and too little Aristotle
    Dummett - doesn't even appear on my radar.

    Really - all of philosophy can be reduced to three words - Plato, Aristotle and Kant. These are the well-springs that have given birth to almost everything that philosophy has to offer. There are exceptions like Kierkegaard (although you could argue that here lies a Platonist in hidden clothes), Nietzsche (although again you could argue that here lies an Aristotelian who disparges anything that has to do with Platonism in the modern world), and their ilk, but they are always merely reactions against the mainstream of Plato/Aristotle/Kant, and thus ultimately also defined by the triumvirate.

    So who is the greatest in terms of the three? I'm not sure - it depends whose metaphysics you find more cogent. Personally, I lean away from Plato, and towards Aristotle and Kant. Plato spends too much time in the sky, and too little on the ground, Nietzsche was right. He's lost in his own mind, Plato. Perhaps if I had to make a choice between Aristotle and Kant - I'd pick Aristotle, because he was extremely pragmatic and his expertise was so wide ranging that he literarily was all the science that existed for more than a thousand years - no one was ahead of him. Kant sometimes, however, does have deeper ethical insights than Aristotle, and it's very difficult to "clash" their two different metaphysics, because they proceed from different presuppositions entirely. When I study Kantianism on its terms, I am a Kantian, when I study Aristotelianism, I'm an Aristotelian. I can't really see significant internal criticisms that would crumble either one, and therefore it's difficult to choose objectively. So at this point, I will unashamedly rely on my ethical bias, and cast my vote with two arms and two feet on Aristotle.
  • mosesquine
    95

    David Lewis is famous for several things in metaphysics: counterfactual theory of causation, Humean supervenience, possible world realism, reformed analysis of dispositions, metaphysics of holes, and so on. If you don't know about him, you aren't smart enough...
  • Agustino
    11.2k
    His possible worlds metaphysics is a muddle. He refuses to answer what the metaphysics actually are, and instead throws up his hands and goes like - "oh yeah, everything and anything is possible!" Thanks, but no, that's a lazy answer. That's what someone who can't think at all says. That's how computers play chess - checking every single possible move, even the stupid moves. That's not being smart and great, that's being an idiot.
  • mosesquine
    95

    'Everything is possible' means 'everything has its counterparts'. Have you ever read his counterpart theory? I think that your accusation is not justified.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k
    My favorite is probably a tie between Hume and Hans Reichenbach.
  • Agustino
    11.2k
    'Everything is possible' means 'everything has its counterparts'. Have you ever read his counterpart theory? I think that your accusation is not justified.mosesquine
    Obviously because by the principle of contradiction, nothing can be eliminated, and every A has a ~A. But again that's saying nothing significant. It's lazy. Every fact has a counter-fact. So? Do I need to postulate an infinity of possible worlds in order to describe reality? That's nonsense.
  • mosesquine
    95

    Your interpretation of Lewis is not standard. Maybe you don't understand Lewis.
  • mosesquine
    95

    What you criticize Lewis are all that Lewisian philosophers respond like "what the fuck is that guy talking about?"
  • Hanover
    12.3k
    Meh. I'd say all of Western metaphysics is in trying to explain how Descartes must have gotten it wrong.
  • Agustino
    11.2k
    Meh. I'd say all of Western metaphysics is in trying to explain how Descartes must have gotten it wrong.Hanover
    >:O The problem with Descartes is that he got almost nothing right. His ideas are the absolute worst that probably any philosopher has had. Cartesian doubt, the homunculus, substance dualism, mind-body problems, etc. Absolute disaster! Philosophy would have been better off if it had been spared of the tragedy that was Descartes. That's why philosophers after Descartes, like Spinoza, tried to dress Aristotelianism as it was passed through Averroes into the clothes of Cartesianism which was gaining popularity, merely to save philosophy from a great sophistry. And after the likes of Spinoza, Hume et al. laughed at Descartes!
  • mosesquine
    95

    However, Descartes is smarter than you.
  • Agustino
    11.2k
    However, Descartes is smarter than you.mosesquine
    Unfortunately, even taking into account my meagre intelligence, I doubt that's the case >:O
  • Agustino
    11.2k
    Your interpretation of Lewis is not standard. Maybe you don't understand Lewis.mosesquine
    Yes, or maybe what Lewis says is useless bullshit.

    What you criticize Lewis are all that Lewisian philosophers respond like "what the fuck is that guy talking about?"mosesquine
    Why does Lewis' metaphysics matter? He has no way to prove there exists even another single possible world. All his framework is empty sophistry, and it is completely useless. Who, in their right mind, would create an infinity of possible worlds in order to explain this single reality that we experience... that's nuts - it is crazy! Has he forgotten to shave with Occam's Razor?
  • mosesquine
    95

    I think it's enough that you never read Lewis really. You proved that you don't understand Lewis.
    Lewis is the philosopher who can say about you: The head of Agustino has 100 holes.
    Lewis can cut holes in your head.
  • Agustino
    11.2k
    The head of Agustino has 100 holes.mosesquine
    Yeah in some possible world, I'm sure it does >:O

    Lewis can cut holes in your head.mosesquine
    In this world, Lewis is dead, so he can't do anything. He can only do stuff in the possible worlds in which he still exists... >:O
  • mosesquine
    95

    Your information about Lewis is 100% incorrect. What are you attacking? Even Wikipedia entry is better than you.
  • Agustino
    11.2k
    Your information about Lewis is 100% incorrect. What are you attacking?mosesquine
    Then present the correct view, stop sitting there doing nothing except pointing fingers.

    Even Wikipedia entry is better than you.mosesquine
    Let's see:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Lewis_(philosopher)
    It says: "very few philosophers accept Lewis's particular brand of modal realism" - exactly as I expected. Relegated to the dust bin of history.
  • mosesquine
    95

    Very few philosophers accept modal realism, not because it is useless, but because it is extreme. Many philosophers endorse that modal realism contributes to metaphysics.
    You merely show that you hate Lewis. Lewis is smarter than you, anyway.
  • Agustino
    11.2k
    You merely show that you hate Lewis. Lewis is smarter than you, anyway.mosesquine
    Good for him! >:O

    Very few philosophers accept modal realism, not because it is useless, but because it is extreme. Many philosophers endorse that modal realism contributes to metaphysics.mosesquine
    Yeah, a small picayune and insignificant contribution to metaphysics, I too agree.
  • mosesquine
    95

    Many philosophers think that modal realism significantly contributes to metaphysics.
  • mosesquine
    95

    Your attack on Lewisian modal realism has no specific content. You're just saying it is useless. You're just saying it is insignificant. I don't think that it is useless. I don't think that it is insignificant. You just hate Lewis because you don't understand him.
  • Agustino
    11.2k
    Your attack on Lewisian modal realism has no specific content. You're just saying it is useless. You're just saying it is insignificant. I don't think that it is useless. I don't think that it is insignificant. You just hate Lewis because you don't understand him.mosesquine
    Actually I gave quite specific criticism.

    Who, in their right mind, would create an infinity of possible worlds in order to explain this single reality that we experience... that's nuts - it is crazy! Has he forgotten to shave with Occam's Razor?Agustino
    Which is fair - because modal realism wants to create an infinity of unnecessary entities - the possible worlds - which it actually claims exist.

    Obviously because by the principle of contradiction, nothing can be eliminated, and every A has a ~A. But again that's saying nothing significant. It's lazy. Every fact has a counter-fact. So? Do I need to postulate an infinity of possible worlds in order to describe reality? That's nonsense.Agustino
    The fundamental distinction that Lewisian modal realism relies on is empty of content - it doesn't state anything about reality precisely because it states everything.

    You on the other hand have done nothing except point fingers and claim I don't understand Lewis or modal realism. When I pressed you to stop pointing fingers and explain/justify modal realism, you ignored it. That's no philosophy.
  • mosesquine
    95

    We can think about the way things could have been. Anything thinkable can exist. Possible worlds (= the ways things could have been) are thinkable. Therefore, possible worlds can exist. This is a summary of the reason for modal realism. I think that your objection to modal realism is not about it above.
  • Agustino
    11.2k
    We can think about the way things could have beenmosesquine
    Okay.

    Anything thinkable can existmosesquine
    How do you know this?

    Possible worlds (= the ways things could have been) are thinkable.mosesquine
    Okay.

    Therefore, possible worlds can exist.mosesquine
    Okay.

    This is a summary of the reason for modal realism.mosesquine
    In what sense is this realism? From "they can exist" to they DO exist is a long way.
  • mosesquine
    95

    I say "the reason for modal realism". You say every premise above is okay, and you accept modal realism.
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