What Do We Do When We Do Metaphysics?

Methods, Limitations, and Consequences

Taken into account that metaphysics is hard to define and its methods are controversial, the need for meta-metaphysics as an additional discipline seems urgent. Meta-metaphysics is there to understand what we are actually doing when we are asking metaphysical questions like: What are laws of nature? What are properties? What are social kinds? How do objects persist through time? Does the self exist? The task of meta-metaphysics is thus to discuss if and how the almost endless list of metaphysical questions can be answered.

In our workshop, we are interested in finding answers to questions like the following: What methods can be used to answer (certain) metaphysical questions? Are there metaphysical questions that cannot be answered? Are metaphysical concepts value-laden? We hope to bring together various analytic perspectives on these meta-metaphysical issues, including examples of the application of individual methods (both historically and contemporary).

Keynote speakers:

The conference will be held from 30/08/2018 to 31/08/2018 at Heinrich Heine University’s Haus der Universität in the heart of the city.

The workshop is organized by Till Gallasch, Paul Hasselkuß, Sara Ipakchi and Jessica Struchhold (Düsseldorf), and generously supported by the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, and Professor Markus Schrenk (Düsseldorf) of the DFG Group Inductive Metaphysics (FOR2495).

We encourage MA and PhD students to participate. Applications should include a short CV and an abstract of max. 500 words prepared for blind review. Each participant will be given 45 mins, 30 mins per presentation and 15 mins for Q&A. The deadline for submissions is 01/06/2018.

Please send submissions and questions to Paul Hasselkuß (meta2phil [at] phil.hhu [dot] de). The organizing committee will notify authors of its decision by 01/07/2018.

There is no participation fee. In general, we cannot cover travel and accommodation expenses, but we may be able to offer support for those who are unable to obtain financial compensation. Also, some free accommodation provided by local students may be available.

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