Monthly Archives: June 2018

Re-enactment

A theme of my last two articles here is the value of metaphysics, as being concerned with such problems as

  • that physics has not been able to reconcile its theories of the infinitesimally small and the infinitely large, and
  • that America has not been able, in the words of Martin Luther King, to live out the true meaning of its creed, that all men [sic] are created equal.

These problems may not belong to natural science or political science as such. Considered as diseases of the body politic or the “body scientific,” they may not be curable, either by the body’s own immune system, or by remedies from outside. What is needed may be psychoanalysis, so to speak, or what Collingwood actually calls metaphysical analysis: an examination of absolute presuppositions, or the fundamental assumptions that have heretofore been left unquestioned. The analyst—the metaphysician—may suspect what those assumptions are; but the patient must confirm this or discover them independently. The patient will not be cured without agreeing that there is a disease.

Cures do happen, because absolute presuppositions change. Continue reading