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Philosophy Colloquium: Gene Witmer
May 10, 2018 @ 3:15 pm - 5:00 pm | Humanities 1, Room 202
“Metaphysics and A Priori Vindication”
Is there reason to expect any interesting kind of a priori access to metaphysical truths of the sort often in dispute in contemporary philosophy? In this paper I zero in on truths about what is metaphysically necessary and about the essences or natures of things as key topics in metaphysics and aim to delineate a well-motivated thesis about a priori access to such. After examining a few approaches that don’t succeed, I introduce and defend a positive thesis of “semantic rationalism.” The relevance of that thesis for the topics of metaphysical necessities and essences is then explored, with attention in particular to whether the rationalism in question has enough bite to be of interest.
Gene Witmer is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Chair of the Department at the University of Florida. His research focuses on metaphysics and philosophy of mind, with a special focus on physicalism.