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The Primacy of Metaphysics

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Christopher Peacocke
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This volume presents a new view of the relationship between metaphysics and the theory of meaning.

What is the relation between the nature of the things you think about, on the one hand, and the ways you think about them on the other? Is the nature of the world prior to the nature of thought and meaning, or not? Christopher Peacocke argues that the nature of the world - its metaphysics - is always involved in thought and meaning. Meaning is never prior to the nature of the world.
Peacocke develops a general claim that metaphysics is always involved, either as explanatorily prior, or in a no-priority relationship, to the theory of meaning and content. Meaning and intentional content are never explanatorily prior to the metaphysics. He aims to show, in successive chapters of The Primacy of Metaphysics how the general view holds for magnitudes, time, the self, and abstract objects. For each of these cases, the metaphysics of the entities involved is explanatorily
prior to an account of the nature of our language and thought about them. Peacocke makes original contributions to the metaphysics of these topics, and offers consequential new treatments of analogue computation and representation. In the final chapter, he argues that his approach generates a new account of
the limits of intelligibility, and locates his account in relation to other treatments of this classical conundrum.
Introduction; 1 Metaphysics and the Theory of Content; 2 Magnitudes; 3 Time; 4 The Self; 5 Number; 6 Ontology and Intelligibility; 7 Avenues for Further Development

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