Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Analytic Metaphysics and Methodology
The Leiter Reports is running a poll many of you will have seen on who is the greatest philosopher of the twentieth century. I find it both incredible and appalling that David Lewis makes the shortlist but not Carnap (mind you the list is silly on other grounds too). I always thought I was interested in all areas of philosophy but increasingly I find the questions and methodology of contemporary analytic metaphysics largely uninteresting and ridiculous, and maybe wrongly I blame Lewis' influence for a lot of that. I am interested to know whether my disdain for the way analytic metaphysics is going is shared by many philosophers of science. Or perhaps someone can explain to me why I should care, for example, how many regions of spacetime there are, and why I should think it is the job of philosophers to speculate about such matters.