The Metaphysics of Hyperspace

The Metaphysics of Hyperspace

The Metaphysics of Hyperspace

The Metaphysics of Hyperspace

Synopsis

Hud Hudson offers a fascinating examination of philosophical reasons to believe in hyperspace. He begins with some stage-setting discussions, offering his analysis of the term "material object," noting his adherence to substantivalism, confessing his sympathies regarding principles of composition and decomposition, identifying his views on material simples, material gunk, and the persistence of material objects, and preparing the reader for later discussions with introductory remarks on eternalism, modality and recombination, vagueness, bruteness, and the epistemic role of intuitions. The subsequent chapters are loosely organized around the theme of hyperspace. Hudson explores nontheistic reasons to believe in hyperspace in chapter 1 (e.g. reasons arising from reflection on incongruent counterparts and fine-tuning arguments), theistic reasons in chapter 7 (e.g. reasons arising from reflection on theistic puzzles known as the problem of the best and the problem of evil), and some distinctively Christian reasons in chapter 8 (e.g. reasons arising from reflection on traditional Christian themes such as heaven and hell, the Garden of Eden, angels and demons, and new testament miracles). In the intervening chapters, Hudson inquires into a variety of puzzles in the metaphysics of material objects that are either generated by the hypothesis of hyperspace, focusing on the topics of mirror determinism and mirror incompatibilism, or else informed by the hypothesis of hyperspace, with discussions of receptacles, boundaries, contact, occupation, and superluminal motion. Anyone engaged with contemporary metaphysics will find much to stimulate them here.

Excerpt

Modus ponens and modus tollens can wait. The most delightful exercises in the metaphysics of material objects involve formulating and arguing for the conditionals.

I would like to begin this book on selected topics in the metaphysics of material objects by saying a bit about my starting assumptions—both to alert the reader to potential points of disagreement at the very outset of my investigations and to state and motivate a handful of positions and principles that I shall employ without defense throughout the body of the work. Although I heartily endorse the starting assumptions in question, and whereas I will cheerfully opt for modus ponens when the time arrives, the final results I aim for here are largely conditional—i.e., if we accept foundations of such and such a kind, then we ought also to endorse such and such a philosophical view.

On classical logic and neighboring matters

In what I take to be a rather unfortunate trend, philosophers have been increasingly willing to deviate from standard or classical logic on what seem to me insufficiently motivated grounds. I do not believe that pressures arising from puzzles about composition or from vagueness or from semantic paradoxes—to take three rather prominent examples—should lead us to revise our accounts of, say, the nonvagueness of identity or of existential generalization or (heaven forbid) of the law of noncontradiction. Moreover, whereas I understand sortal or relative identity claims of the form 'x is the same F as y', I also understand (and insist on the intelligibility of) classical or absolute identity claims of the

For examples of such deviations see van Inwagen 1990b, Lewis 1986, and Priest
1995, respectively.

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