Single Idea 7920

[catalogued under 1. Philosophy / E. Nature of Metaphysics / 1. Nature of Metaphysics]

Full Idea

Descriptive metaphysics (e.g. Aristotle and Kant) is content to describe the actual structure of our thought about the world; revisionary metaphysics (e.g. Descartes, Leibniz, Berkeley) is concerned to produce a better structure.

Gist of Idea

Descriptive metaphysics aims at actual structure, revisionary metaphysics at a better structure


Peter F. Strawson (Individuals:Essay in Descript Metaphysics [1959], Intro)

Book Reference

Strawson,Peter F.: 'Individuals: Essay in Descriptive Metaphysics' [Methuen University 1974], p.9

A Reaction

This distinction by Strawson was incredibly helpful in reinstating metaphysics as a feasible activity. I don't want to abandon the revisionary version. We can hammer the current metaphysics into a more efficient shape, or even create new concepts.

Related Idea

Idea 17275 Realist metaphysics concerns what is real; naive metaphysics concerns natures of things [Fine,K]