By William P. Alston
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Extra info for A Sensible Metaphysical Realism (Aquinas Lecture)
For, as I say, the issue between R and its opponents only arises when there is agreement on something’s existence. Of course, an advocate of R may hold that X’s exist independently even though other thinkers deny that there are any X’s. It is just that there can be an R-AR dispute between them about X’s only after both admit that X’s exist in some way. 4 My next task is to explain what I think to be possible by way of defending realism. I fear my position on this will seem disappointing to many realists.
Those who are strongly committed to a traditional metaphysical project will, no doubt, insist that there are unique facts of the matter as to which of the competing positions have it right (if, indeed, any of them do), whether we can definitively show this to be the case or not. To go properly into this issue I would have to undertake a thorough discussion of the epistemology and methodology of metaphysics. And there is no room for that in this essay. I only have space to make one comment. The usual defense of metaphysical positions like the above consists in showing that the relevant subject matter can be construed in the favored way, and that alternative positions face certain problems.
1989) ISBN 0-87562-156-9 54. First Principles, Final Ends and Contemporary Philosophical Issues. Alasdair MacIntyre (1990) ISBN 0-87462-157-7 55. Descartes among the Scholastics. Marjorie Greene (1991) ISBN 0-87462-158-5 56.
A Sensible Metaphysical Realism (Aquinas Lecture) by William P. Alston