The sense of metaphysics / ontology. Object, method, concept, grounds, criticism

June 6, 2024 - June 7, 2024
University of Occupational Safety Management in Katowice

Bankowa 8

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Among the presenters are Prof. Peter van Inwagen, Prof. Amie L. Thomasson, Prof. Boris Kment.

Kant’s critique of metaphysics clipped its own wings, declaring it incapable of living up to its object. Neo-positivists like Rudolf Carnap considered it to be devoid of any sense altogether. If 'sense’ is understood through a too narrow framework, the concept could be misapprehended by the critics of metaphysics who could see it as an opportunity to smuggle in additional assumptions, such as the ontological naturalism or their own vision of ‘a great physical organism’. Meanwhile – it seems – the metaphysical residuum is inherent in almost every field of science incapable of dealing with such problems. Owing to its ongoing critique, metaphysics undergoes constant cycles of rebirth thanks to its different varieties, ranging from phenomenology, neo-Thomism, process philosophy to analytic philosophy or metaphysics of science.

What is the nature of the world, how to render it in conceptual terms, what is its basics and why does the world exist at all? If metaphysics is a search for answers to such questions, the domain has to rely on solid foundations itself. The question about the meaning of metaphysics/ontology is a metaquestion concerning its rationality, its cognitive capacity, the object of its inquiry and its method. Furthermore, it is a question about its grounds, what justifies its existence, in particular in the light of its criticism and alleged unsubstantiality. Also important here are the concepts of metaphysics and ontology, classical, modern and contemporary, their different typologies and meta-objective approaches.

We invite researchers exploring the topic, in particular philosophers concerned with metaphysical or ontological problematics and the methodology involved in these disciplines as well as scientific methodologies in general.

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May 31, 2024, 11:00pm CET

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