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The Event UniverseThe Revisionary Metaphysics of Alfred North Whitehead$
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Leemon B. McHenry

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781474400343

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474400343.001.0001

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Descriptive Metaphysics

Descriptive Metaphysics

Chapter:
(p.11) 2. Descriptive Metaphysics
Source:
The Event Universe
Author(s):

Leemon B. McHenry

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474400343.003.0002

Strawson’s famous distinction between descriptive and revisionary metaphysics describes two different methodological approaches to the question of fundamental ontology. This chapter focuses mainly on the origin of the descriptive enterprise in Aristotle’s metaphysics and examines Whitehead and Quine’s criticisms of this approach to the formulation of a viable conceptual scheme for modern physics. The project of descriptive metaphysics and the concept of substance are rejected on both scientific and philosophical grounds.

Keywords:   Aristotle, conceptual scheme, descriptive metaphysics, modern physics, ontology, Quine, revisionary metaphysics, Strawson, substance, Whitehead

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