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From Metaphysics to Ethics

Frank Jackson

Published in print March 2000 | ISBN: 9780198250616
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597787 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198250614.001.0001
From Metaphysics to Ethics

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Conceptual analysis is currently out of favour, especially in North America. This is partly through misunderstanding of its nature. Properly understood, conceptual analysis is not a mysterious activity discredited by Quine that seeks after the a priori in some hard‐to‐understand sense. It is, rather, something familiar to everyone, philosophers and non‐philosophers alike—or so I argue. Another reason for its unpopularity is a failure to appreciate the need for conceptual analysis. The cost of repudiating it has not been sufficiently appreciated; without it, we cannot address a whole raft of important questions.

I have always been suspicious of excessively abstract theorizing in philosophy. I think that an important test of metaphilosophical claims is whether they make good sense in the context of particular problems. The discussion in the book is, accordingly, anchored in particular philosophical debates. The basic framework is developed in the first three chapters via a consideration of the role of conceptual analysis in the debate over the doctrine in metaphysics known as physicalism, with digressions on free will, meaning, personal identity, motion, and change, and then applied in the last three chapters to current debates over colour and ethics.

Keywords: analysis; analytic philosophy; conceptual analysis; Frank Jackson; location problem; metaphilosophy; physicalism; Quine

Book.  186 pages. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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Table of Contents

Serious Metaphysics and Supervenience in From Metaphysics to Ethics

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The Role of Conceptual Analysis in From Metaphysics to Ethics

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The Primary Quality View of Colour in From Metaphysics to Ethics

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Analytical Descriptivism in From Metaphysics to Ethics

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