Philosophy 125

Summer 2017 2nd 6wks

Number Title Instructor Days/time Room
125 Metaphysics Yalcin TuWTh 3:30-6 Dwinelle 229

What is reality like in itself, considered independently from our thought or experience of it? Questions of this sort arise for specific domains. For instance: does mind-independent reality fix the truths of morality? Or is morality really some sort of projection of our attitudes, or some kind of human invention? Do things have colors independently of us, or do we “gild or stain all natural objects with the colours, borrowed from internal sentiment”, as Hume put it? Is causation a real thing, or does it merely seem to be, owing to the way we happen to apprehend the world? Do things have necessary or essential properties independently of our modes of thinking and talking about them? What even are properties — how do they fit into reality? And what about familiar entities of everyday life, like persons and material objects — can we arrive at a conception of their nature entirely in abstraction from our ways of thinking and perceiving such things? Metaphysics is characterized by a special preoccupation with questions like these — and with the meta-question of whether such questions can even be answered.