PHIL2109 Contemporary Metaphysics
Final Essay

Questions

Answer one of the following questions:

  1. The identity of indiscernibles. What is the identity of indiscernibles? How is it related to the indiscernibility of identicals? What is the best reason that you know of to think that it is true? What are the weaknesses of this reason? What is the best reason that you know of to think that it is false? What are the weaknesses of this reason?
  2. Temporal parts. What are temporal parts? What is the best reason that you know of to think that there are such things? What are the weaknesses of this reason? What is the best reason that you know of to think that there aren't such things? What are the weaknesses of this reason?
  3. The statue and the lump of bronze. What is the best reason that you know of to think that the statue is identical to the lump of bronze? What are the weaknesses of this reason? What is the best reason that you know of to think that the statue is not identical to the lump of bronze? What are the weaknesses of this reason?
  4. The necessity of identity. What is the necessity of identity? What is the best reason that you know of to think that it is true? What are the weaknesses of this reason? What is the best reason that you know of to think that it is false? What are the weaknesses of this reason?
  5. Possible worlds. What is Lewis's modal realism about possible worlds? What are the advantages of this view? What problems does it face?
  6. Counterfactuals and causation. Lewis gives an analysis of causation in terms of counterfactual dependence. What is Lewis's analysis? What problems does it face, and how well can they be met?
  7. Incongruent counterparts. There is an argument in the philosophy of space that appeals to incongruent counterparts. What is the argument, and what is it trying to establish? What are the weaknesses (if any) of the argument?
  8. McTaggart's argument. What exactly is McTaggart's argument that time is unreal? (Give the most charitable interpretation that you know of, making it clear what the conclusion is.) What are the weaknesses (if any) of this argument?
  9. Time travel. What is time travel? What are some reasons to think that time travel is not possible? How good are these reasons?

Formalities

Important stuff