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Categories of BeingEssays on Metaphysics and Logic$
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Leila Haaparanta and Heikki Koskinen

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199890576

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199890576.001.0001

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Strawson’s Descriptive Metaphysics

Strawson’s Descriptive Metaphysics

(p.391) 17 Strawson’s Descriptive Metaphysics
Categories of Being

Hans-Johann Glock

Oxford University Press

Strawson's descriptive metaphysics was the first explicit and elaborate rehabilitation of metaphysics within the analytic tradition. This chapter discusses Strawson's contributions to metaphysics with a particular view to his conception of the nature of metaphysics-cum-ontology. This chapter first dwells on the background of Strawson's metaphysics. Next it introduces Strawson's idea of descriptive metaphysics and of connective analysis. Sections 3–8 discuss Strawson's main claims: self-conscious experience presupposes a distinction between experience and its mind-independent objects, objective particulars must be situated in a spatio-temporal framework, material bodies are ontologically prior because they sustain this framework, experience and discourse revolve around a fundamental distinction between reference and predication, both particulars and universals are among our objects of reference. This chapter tries to reconstruct the main lines of argument by combining ideas from Individuals and Bounds of Sense. Sections 9–11 defend Strawson's modest conception of metaphysics as a second-order description of our conceptual scheme.

Keywords:   Strawson, descriptive metaphysics, connective analysis, re-identification, universals

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