The Human Predicament and Metaphysical Method



Though the doctrine of method belongs more properly to the theory of knowledge, for which it has not been possible, within the limits of space set today by economic conditions and modish factors, to provide adequate treatment in the present work, I cannot afford, in the existing state of philosophical opinion, wholly to neglect reference to the dispute concerning the validity of metaphysical speculation, and especially in view of the disrepute into which the ‘queen of the sciences’ has fallen, even among those who are not prepared roundly to describe all metaphysics as ‘non-sense,’ all rational principles as elective analytical postulates, and all ethical statements as ‘emotive.’ Laconic rebuttals of such estimates are of but little service to truth: what needs to be shown is that in the end all ‘sense’ emanates from an adequate metaphysics, that effective rational principles are essentially synthetic, and that judgements that are truly ethical have ‘objective’ significance. I cannot hope, and will not pretend to attempt, to fulfil so large a programme in so small a space: at most I shall seek, in considering some of the more important problems that arise in connexion with a speculation such as that of Spinoza, to commend these contrary judgements, or at least to dubitate the over-confident orthodoxy of the moment.


Special Science Objective Content Transcendent Object Ontological Principle Good Philosophy 
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Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, Netherlands 1962

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UK

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