Cian Dorr just reviewed Ladyman and Ross (et al), *Every Thing Must Go* at: http://ndpr.nd.edu/review.cfm?id=19947
Not surprisingly, he spends much time on chapter 1 (in which analytic metaphysics is attacked), especially on the 'Principle of Naturalistic Closure' (PNC). [It echoes one of the criticisms I made on this blog: http://itisonlyatheory.blogspot.com/2009/11/even-more-on-chapter-1-of-every-thing.html) Dorr then moves to challenging L&R, and offers the following gloss on the methodology of analytic metaphysics:
"To the extent that analytic metaphysicians have been willing to engage in debates about ontological priority, their substantive conclusions have been wildly divergent. If there is any consensus, it is merely that those who want to defend claims about ontological priority should articulate these claims in a certain kind of detail. It is not enough simply to announce that Xs are more fundamental than Ys: if I want to defend this claim, I am supposed, at a minimum, to (i) introduce a language in which I can talk about Xs without even seeming to talk about Ys; and (ii) make some kind of adequacy claim about this language, e.g., that it can express all the genuine facts that we can express using Y-talk, or that all the Y-facts supervene on the facts stateable in the language. For example, if I want to maintain that spacetime is less fundamental than the spatiotemporal relations between bodies, I must describe a language for characterizing these relations, and explain how it can adequately capture, e.g., claims about the global topological structure of spacetime.
The authors do not submit to this discipline in any sustained way."
So, far so good. (It is nice to see the linguistic turn defended so nicely.) Dorr then moves to offering (quite elegantly) four different possible ways of characterizing possible positions that might have been available to L&R. He then points out the moral of his analysis: "But one cannot simply announce that such disputes are to be dissolved: one must earn the right to do so by describing a fundamental language within which no corresponding questions can be formulated"
Dorr has moved from the non-trivial (but eminently defensible) methodological demand that metaphysical claims be made in a clear language to the more strict claim that one must formulate the properties of a fundamental language before one can rule out certain questions (and views). Now, the pluralist in me likes this incredibly high demand because it probably means very few questions can ever be ruled out of philosophy. But against Ladyman & Ross this move is begging the question because why would they have to accept that meta-philosophical [sic] questions need to be settled by appeal to a (hypothetical) fundamental language? It is especially unfair because in analytic metaphysics the deployment of fundamental language is generally used to articulate views that are dogmatically realist (without having to take the philosophy and history of science seriously at all [recall the debates on this blog: http://itisonlyatheory.blogspot.com/2009/11/metaphysics-and-general-philosophy-of.html ) while L&R are, in part, motivated by taking pessimistic meta-induction argument seriously.
There is more to be said about both Dorr's criticism and his defense of analytic metaphysics. Maybe later.