Posted: Jan 28, 2017 7:32 pm
by Tracer Tong
VazScep wrote:
Tracer Tong wrote:
VazScep wrote:Traditional metaphysics asks after the nature of time, space, substance, causality, freewill, the infinite, and logic, and it tries to do so with pure reflection. The problems metaphysics faces in the 21st century are that: theoretical physicists and mathematicians have far more profound things to say on these matters than metaphysicians ever have; much of what they have to say goes completely against intuition; and they've subjected what they have to say to the scrutiny of experiment and, in the case of mathematics, the task of mechanising the entire subject.

Aristotle would say that metaphysics examines something that none of these subjects examines, "being qua being", if that's a good translation. From what contemporary metaphysics I've read, I think he may have a point.
Any recommendations of contemporary stuff? This thread has often been about how amorphous philosophy is, which allows philosophy to claim as much worth as it wants. I'd rather we make things a bit more concrete, because as far as worth goes, I only have in mind contemporary professional philosophy, what's being published in contemporary philosophy journals, and what's on the philosophy syllabuses at universities.

Is philosophy worth bothering with? To one of my family members, this was actually the question "should I do a philosophy degree?" To the OP, it's mostly just about keeping up with a conversation with a friend. I've had friends who only want to talk about football, and I suppose I've asked myself "is football worth bothering with?" At some point, I changed the question to "are these friends worth bothering with?"

There's quite a bit of modern work on ancient philosophy that's worth looking at, that intersects with Classics. Perhaps give A.A. Long's Greek Models of Mind and Self a go. I promise it contains not one syllogism or variable. As for more modern stuff, I quite enjoyed Plantinga's God, Freedom and Evil and what I read of J. L. Schellenberg's The Wisdom to Doubt. For thesis reasons, I'll soon be starting Alisdair MacIntyre's After Virtue, so I'll give you my verdict on that once I've read a good bit of it.

As for whether philosophy is worth bothering with, it's probably going to prove useful to me, so I'd have to say it is.