Bradleyian metaphysics: a healthy scepticism



Publication Details

Hutto, D. (1998). Bradleyian metaphysics: a healthy scepticism. Bradley Studies, 4 (1), 82-96.


Leemon McHenry has recently written an article which aims "to evaluate the plausibility of Bradley's conception of metaphysics" (McHenry, 1996, p. 159). In the process of this evaluation he draws an important distinction between two kinds of metaphysical project, which he labels "'pure' and 'naturalized' metaphysics"(McHenry, 1996, p. 159). In McHenry's terms, the pure metaphysician approaches his task by appeal to 'pure thinking' alone. Although he defines the method of pure metaphysicians as being a priori in character he is content to put Bradley among their ranks despite this, on the grounds that the latter is concerned to produce a metaphysical account that is "uncontaminated by the results of the empirical sciences" (McHenry, 1996, p. 160). This is contrasted directly with the aim of the naturalised metaphysician who employs the theories of modern science as a general guide to a metaphysics (McHenry, 1996. p. 161)

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