Natural Processes

Understanding Metaphysics Without Substance

Authors: Winters, Andrew M.

  • Serves as the foundation for understanding how a metaphysics that takes processes as primary may be preferable to the traditional substance ontologies
  • Situates discussion in the analytical tradition
  • Argues for a historical, conceptual, and naturalistic reasoning for pursuing process metaphysics
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  • ISBN 978-3-319-67570-1
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Hardcover $54.99
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  • ISBN 978-3-319-67569-5
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About this book

In thinking about ontology as the study of being or what fundamentally exists, we can adopt an ontology that either takes substances or processes as primary. There are, however, both commonsense and naturalistic reasons for not fully adopting a substance ontology, which indicate that we ought to suspend judgment with respect to the acceptance of a substance ontology. Doing so allows room to further explore other ontologies. In this book, Andrew M. Winters argues that there are both commonsense and naturalistic reasons for further pursuing a process ontology. Adopting a process ontology allows us to overcome many of the difficulties facing a substance ontology while also accommodating many of the phenomenon that substance ontologies were appealed to for explanation. Given these reasons, we have both commonsense and naturalistic reasons for pursuing and developing a metaphysics without substance. 

About the authors

Andrew M. Winters teaches philosophy at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania, USA.

Reviews

“Metaphysical theorizing has traditionally been dominated by the use of substances as a crucial device to formulate and implement philosophical views. But how far can a substance metaphysics actually go? In this important and refreshing work, Andrew Winters critically assesses the prospects of one of the most influential philosophical traditions in history, and argues that, when considered closely enough, its use of substance is seriously defective. He then paves the way to the development of a metaphysics without substances, indicating the crucial role played by processes instead. A tour de force!” (Otávio Bueno, Professor of Philosophy, University of Miami, USA)

“What sort of metaphysics is appropriate for modern science? Drawing on developments in both physics and biology, Winters argues that process metaphysics does a better job in this regard than the more traditional substance-based alternative. Such proposals have famously suffered in the past from conceptual obscurity but here Winters brings both an admirable clarity and a nuanced philosophical perspective to bear while also nicely situating the relevant issues in their historical context. He also looks to the future in setting out possible new directions and makes a compelling case for his ‘attenuated methodological naturalism’ when it comes to metaphysics. This is an exciting new work that will be of interest not only to advocates of process metaphysics but to anyone who has reflected on the relationship between science and metaphysics in general.” (Steven French, Professor of Philosophy of Science, University of Leeds, UK)

Table of contents (7 chapters)

  • Introduction: Ontological Frameworks

    Winters, Andrew M.

    Pages 1-15

  • A Substance Metaphysics Primer

    Winters, Andrew M.

    Pages 17-26

  • Commonsense Problems with Substance

    Winters, Andrew M.

    Pages 27-45

  • Naturalistic Problems with Substance

    Winters, Andrew M.

    Pages 47-77

  • Attenuated Methodological Naturalism

    Winters, Andrew M.

    Pages 79-88

Buy this book

eBook $39.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-67570-1
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $54.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-67569-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Natural Processes
Book Subtitle
Understanding Metaphysics Without Substance
Authors
Copyright
2017
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-67570-1
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-67570-1
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-67569-5
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XVII, 124
Number of Illustrations and Tables
3 b/w illustrations
Topics