Lawrence Lombard "What is Metaphysics and how is it possible?"

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Date: February 15, 2023
Time: 12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Location: Faculty/Administration #2339
656 W. Kirby
Detroit, MI 48202
Category: Lecture

RSVP is closed.

The WSU Humanities Center invites faculty, students, staff, and the community to a Brown Bag talk given by Lawrence Lombard (Professor, Philosphy) on the topic of "What is metaphysics and how is it possible?"


What is this thing called metaphysics, and how is it possible for there to be such a truth-seeking discipline? As a prelude to tackling these questions, two cautionary tales should be told, one apocryphal, the second probably not. Story One: after years of exhaustive research involving the careful taking of measurements, aeronautical engineers have shown conclusively that honeybees cannot fly. The honeybees, however, not keeping up with the latest research in the professional journals, go on flying anyway!

Story Two is related by Plato in The Apology. Socrates is described as annoyingly questioning the leading Athenian intellectuals of his day, discovering that, for example, while the poet can write beautiful poems and the politician can make just laws, when they are asked what Beauty or Justice are, they are reduced to babbling idiots. Socrates would undoubtedly have discovered pretty much the same thing had he questioned the great metaphysicians about how their subject was to be defined. That fact notwithstanding, and despite the fact that we do keep up with our reading in the professional journals, we metaphysicians go on flying anyway. However, we should be prepared to deal with that and related questions, lest we appear no wiser than Socrates' fool Euthyphro (in the dialogue that bears his name) or his generalized cousin, Idiotus!

This event will be in-person (FAB 2339) and streamed. RSVP for the zoom link. 

February 2023