Contemporary Debates in Metaphysics by Theodore Sider

By Theodore Sider

In a chain of thought-provoking and unique essays, eighteen top philosophers interact in head-to-head debates of 9 of the main leading edge subject matters in modern metaphysics.

  • Explores the elemental questions in modern metaphysics in a chain of eighteen unique essays - sixteen of that are newly commissioned for this quantity
  • Features an introductory essay through the editors at the nature of metaphysics to arrange the reader for ongoing discussions
  • Offers readers the original chance to watch best philosophers interact in head-to-head debate on state-of-the-art metaphysical issues
  • Provides invaluable insights into the flourishing box of latest metaphysics

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But we might like conditions that throw more light on what it is to be a natural number. By way of example, if x and y are sets, then x and y are identical just in case they contain exactly the same members. Here we get identity conditions that are specifically geared to sets (in terms of the notion of set membership), and so are more enlightening about their specific nature. Identity conditions are important in mathematics, and as with existence conditions it is possible to worry that requiring identity conditions for a given sort of abstract object as a precondition to granting its existence (or even to discussing whether it exists or not) is an unreasonable demand.

These claims are typically part of a longer story, a philosophical theory, that tells us something about what the relevant abstract entity is like. , accounts in semantics often employ both properties and propositions). The account also needs to tell us how its abstracta are related to the phenomena around us that led us to postulate them in the first place. ), and should help answer questions like whether there exist such properties as colors, shapes, and masses. , what does exemplification amount to?

The structure is roughly this: there is a first object in the structure (0); there is a second object in the structure (1) with nothing in between it and the first object; there is a third object (2) with nothing in between it and the second object; and so on forever. That is, the structure is that of an infinite, discrete series with a beginning but no end. But if there is one group of things with this structure, then, logicians have demonstrated, there are many, and there is little reason to suppose that any one of them gives the unique metaphysical truth about “What Numbers Really Are” (cf.

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