Lynne Baker’s Constitution Theory seems to be the farthest-reaching and yet the most subtly elaborated anti-reductive metaphysics available today. Its original theoretical contribution is a non-mereological theory of material constitution, which apparently (i) complies with modern natural science, and yet (ii) rescues the concrete everyday world, and ourselves in it, from ontological vanity or nothingness, and (iii) does it by avoiding dualism.
We wish to thank Professor Baker for the chance she gives our community to appreciate and discuss this working paper – whose very title, “Pragmatism, Ontology and Ordinary Objects” reveals a striking kinship with the phenomenological way from the Lebenswelt to the Ontological Regions of most things of interest fur us: chairs and tables, red poppies, works of arts, institutions, and ourselves, human persons.
Lynne Rudder Baker is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Among her works: The Metaphysics of Everyday Life: An Essay in Practical Realism. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2007; Persons and Bodies: A Constitution View. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2000, Italian Translation by Carlo Conni, Persone e Corpi: Un’alternativa al dualismo cartesiano e al riduzionismo animalista. Bruno Mondadori, Paravia, 2007.
DRAFT — Comments Welcome
Pragmatism, Ontology and Ordinary Objects
by Lynne Rudder Baker, University of Massachusetts Amherst
«There is a venerable tradition in philosophy of philosophers’ making up clever arguments for incredible theses, and other more down-to-earth phsilosophers offering quick-and-dirty refutations. For example, Zeno argued that there was no motion, and Diogenes was said to walk around the room, thus disproving Zeno. Berkeley argued that there were no objects made of matter, and Dr. Johnson famously kicked a stone and said, “I thereby refute you.” To philosophers who doubted the existence of the external world, G.E. Moore said, “Here’s a hand and here’s another one; doing this proves the existence of external things (…)» (more)
Pragmatism, Ontology and Ordinary Objects by Lynne Rudder Baker, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Download the draft in Word Format.
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