Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Architecture of Reality (The Monist)

The Architecture of Reality

Deadline for submissions: April 30, 2010
Advisory Editor: Matthew H. Slater (Bucknell University)

Humans are dividers and systematizers, confidently wielding the
classificatory knife in the natural sciences and in metaphysics alike.
But are we carving nature at its joints? We can identify distinct
‘horizontal’ and ‘vertical’ components to this basic question.
Horizontal: Is the world ‘intrinsically jointed’? Are there natural
properties or natural kinds? Are there natural units which instantiate
these properties and kinds? Vertical: Is reality divided into levels?
If so, is there a fundamental level comprising reality’s ultimate
furniture? If not, what? Presumably, these two sets of questions
intersect. But how, precisely? What, in short, is the architecture of
reality? Might we require multiple ‘architectural plans’ to describe
nature correctly, or would just one do? We invite contributions on
both the ground- level metaphysical issues (proposals for particular
architectures or particular approaches to plan-drawing) and to
methodological issues concerning these efforts.

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