A Sensible Metaphysical Realism (Aquinas Lecture) by William P. Alston

By William P. Alston

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But if so, what about these second level conceptual schemes. Obviously an infinite regress looms. The unrestricted generalization is purchased at the price of an infinite hierarchy of conceptual schemes. And if the conceptual schemes involved must actually be used by subjects, we get an infinite hierarchy of subjects, or at least an infinite hierarchy of employments of different conceptual schemes by subjects. I take all this to be obviously unacceptable. A second fatal internal difficulty stems from an essential element in the argument for this kind of antirealism.

The Pragmatic Meaning of God. Robert O. Johann (1966) ISBN 0-87462-131-3 32. Religion and Empiricism. John E. Smith (1967) ISBN 0-87462-132-1 33. The Subject. J. (1968) ISBN 0-87462-133-X 34. Beyond Trinity. Bernard J. Cooke (1969) ISBN 0-87462-134-8 35. Ideas and Concepts. Julius R. Weinberg (1970) ISBN 0-87462-135-6 36. Reason and Faith Revisited. Francis H. Parker (1971) ISBN 0-87462-136-4 64 William P. Alston 37. Psyche and Cerebrum. John N. Findlay (1972) ISBN 0-87462-137-2 38. The Problem of the Criterion.

Or should we refrain from doing so, taking the statue as the one and only individual in that location, one that, so to say, “swallows” up the stuff of which it is composed as one of its constituent aspects or features? This too strikes me as a matter about which we have a conceptual-theoretical choice. I cannot see any facts that we are constrained to recognize, whatever our preferences, that dictate one or another answer to this question. If we wish to count the constituent marble as a distinct individual, we can tell a completely coherent story in those terms.

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