There is no escaping metaphysics

You’re doing metaphysics, even if you don’t notice

Metaphysics has been criticised as unscientific, speculative, and redundant. But any critic of metaphysics inevitably ends up making metaphysical claims of their own. Metaphysics is in fact inescapable – all of our thinking is underpinned by it, and those who ignore it simply espouse an unexamined and possibly faulty metaphysics, argues Robert Stern.


This is the seventh instalment in our series The Return of Metaphysics, in partnership with the Essentia Foundation.

Read the series' previous articles The Return of Metaphysics: Hegel vs KantThe Return o

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Simon Adams 13 September 2022

“ we can no longer share the belief in a universe ordered by a rational and benevolent deity”

This itself is based on metaphysical assumptions, such as those around nominalism 700 years ago. The dialectic of metaphysical discourse has spiralled out of control ever since, eventually eating it’s own tail in a relativism that has no grounding in anything.

Essentially, bad philosophy has made it seem as if philosophy is pointless. Most philosophy courses start at Descartes after the big errors had spread through it all like yeast in bread. This is where the indoctrination starts. Plato and Aristotle would agree completely that metaphysics is unavoidable. However they would surely also agree that the modern version of metaphysics is indeed pointless.