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Explanation in metaphysics.

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dc.contributor.advisor Pruss, Alexander R.
dc.contributor.author Johnson, Daniel M., 1984-
dc.date.copyright 2011-08
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2104/8221
dc.description.abstract One of the primary tasks of the philosopher is to explain what it is for something to be the case – what it is for one event (substance, fact) to cause another, what it is for an action to be obligatory, what it is for an object to bear a property, what it is for a proposition to be true necessarily, what it is for a person to know something. This activity of explaining what something is or what it is for something to be the case, of identifying what I call ontological explanations, is of special importance to metaphysics, since the task of metaphysics generally is to get to the bottom of reality. The concept of ontological explanation is usually buried a layer deep in most discussions, however, and theses about it are either presupposed or clothed as claims about other things. In some cases, this leads to confusion and frustration, and in many other cases the discussion could benefit from a long look at ontological explanation even if that look isn't strictly necessary to remedy confusion. My goal is to give ontological explanation that long look, and then use the clarity gained to reinterpret, reorganize, and even make progress on some long-standing disputes in metaphysics. In the first two chapters I examine ontological explanation itself and connect it to a host of important metaphysical issues, including ontological commitment and truthmaker theory. In the third and fourth chapters, I apply the work done in the first two chapters to a pair of important metaphysical arguments that crucially employ infinite regresses of ontological explanations – Bradley's Regress and McTaggart's Paradox. en_US
dc.publisher en
dc.rights Baylor University theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission. Contact librarywebmaster@baylor.edu for inquiries about permission. en_US
dc.subject Explanation. en_US
dc.subject Truthmakers. en_US
dc.subject Ontological commitment. en_US
dc.subject Properties. en_US
dc.subject Time. en_US
dc.subject Bradley's Regress. en_US
dc.subject McTaggart's Paradox. en_US
dc.title Explanation in metaphysics. en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.description.degree Ph.D. en_US
dc.rights.accessrights Worldwide access en_US
dc.contributor.department Philosophy. en_US
dc.contributor.schools Baylor University. Dept. of Philosophy. en_US


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