Centre for Advanced Study

at the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters

Disclosing the Fabric of Reality-The Possibility of Metaphysics in the Age of Science

Abstract

What are we to make of what is (so far) unobservable yet material, like parallel universes? Are natural numbers and set-theoretical objects invented, and therefore cultural artifacts, or are they discovered, and therefore already there, with all their properties, prior to human conceptions? Are there such things as “memes” that spread through some kind of “self-replication” within human cultures? Are there internal “instructions” and “programs” that direct organisms through their life cycles? To what extent is the world socially constructed rather than mind-independent? Can humans choose freely and act autonomously? Is there an inner structure of reality that the human intellect is able to grasp? In our project we will argue that this kind of questions are metaphysical and yet answerable if one develops the appropriate philosophical methods.  

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