Metaphysical Optimism
Rush (Penelope)
Source: Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplements, Volume 82 (Metaphysics) - July 2018, pp. 365-393
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Abstract

  1. This paper seeks to identify and defend an approach to inquiry dubbed ‘metaphysical optimism’, particularly as it is evidenced at crisis points in the fields of physics, mathematics and logic.
  2. That the practice of metaphysical optimism at such moments, wherein it has appeared that there is no clear way to proceed or understand where we have arrived, is both reasonable and useful suggests it is to be taken seriously as capable of progressing fields and increasing knowledge.
  3. Given this, the paper then looks in more depth at what such an approach involves and why it might be useful both as a methodological approach in general and to help clarify positions along the realism / anti-realism spectrum in philosophy.
  4. From here, the paper arrives at a possible argument in defence of the realist attitude to transcendence.

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