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The Ultimate Map of Reality:

Has science rendered metaphysics obsolete?

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This Debate

Giles Fraser, James Ladyman, Hilary Lawson, Adrian Moore.

20th Century thought seemed to render metaphysics obsolete, but could a revival be on the agenda? Or should such talk be left to priests and mystics?

The Panel

"Kantian or Lockean, it makes no difference!" - In this video, Nietzschean priest Giles Fraser puts himself in the firing line of three ardent metaphysicians. Post postmodernist Hilary Lawson and philosopher of physics James Ladyman clash over how to make sense of multiple realities, as Oxford philosopher Adrian Moore reveals: even this is metaphysics....

Jump to what you want to see in the debate
  • Adrian Moore
    The Pitch
    Oxford philosopher takes out the analytical scalpel on 'metaphysics'
  • James Ladyman
    The Pitch
    Prize-winning philosopher of physics finds metaphysics inspiring science
  • Hilary Lawson
    The Pitch
    Post postmodernist philosopher makes the case for A Theory of Everything
  • Giles Fraser
    The Pitch
    Former Canon chancellor and Nietzchean Christian throws down the gauntlet
  • The Debate
    Theme One
    What would an ultimate map consist of? The panel diverge....
  • The Debate
    Theme Two
    Could science provide the map? Is science itself the ultimate metaphysics?
Join the conversation

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joannah on 20/09/2012 7:31pm

Edvard - there's still a difference between a representation of a duck, and the duck itself...

Anyway - at first I thought Adrian was just blatently the most sensible one here - i.e. even an anti-metaphysical perspective is... well, a metaphysical perspective. But actually, why call that a 'metaphysical perspective' and not just... a perspective. I wonder whether we just come back to ordinary language - ordinary maps. Describing what's out there IS just about what's really going on - if you pretend you're talking about something more ultimate then you're just talking nonsense.

Edvard Kissenger on 20/09/2012 7:21pm

From 30:00 minutes in it just gets genius - James Ladyman "I thought Thomas Aquinas de-Platonised Christianity" - absolute philosophy Lad. Although if he's going to criticise the ultimate map, and definition of time, for not being 'genuine puzzles', then he's both wastin his time, and missing something when it comes to the purported mind-body 'problem'. Surely these are different aspects of the same phenomenon? The duck and the rabbit? This doesn't conflict with the unity of science - just with naive reductionism!

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