- 哲学 (ISSN:03873358)
- vol.2010, no.61, pp.53-67_L5, 2010 (Released:2011-01-18)
In this paper for the colloquium “Metaphysics Revisited”, I would like to emphasizae the following points: (1) I am skeptical about the view that metaphysics has been revived in recent years or decades. Despite repeated attacks on “metaphysics”, debates in the many areas of metaphysics have always found a place in the main body of philosophical thought. It seems that, in reality, there have not been any “darkest times” in the history of metaphysics, at least during recent centuries. (2) However, this does not mean that there has been one big question which all metaphysicians have been trying to answer. The historical “identity” of metaphysics consists, in fact, in continuity: this is manifested in the form of successive references to a specific kind of philosophical puzzle, and in the chain created through the sharing of various conceptual tools. (3) Such continuity also has a synchronic aspect. Thus, metaphysics as a branch of philosophy has vague boundaries, and connects seamlessly with other branches of philosophy. This aspect suggests that contemporary metaphysics has good potential applicability in other fields.I illustrate the second point mentioned above by citing the example of the history of the “problem of universals”. Then, with regard to the third point, I show that metaphysical ideas are indeed applicable to concrete problems in other branches of philosophy, including moral philosophy.