Philosopher E. J. Lowe has died. A neo-Aristotelian of sorts, he was one of the most important metaphysicians in contemporary philosophy, and by all accounts a kind and decent man. He left many important works, not only in metaphysics but in the philosophy of mind and on the philosophy of John Locke. Some remarks from Tuomas Tahko here. RIP.
Tuesday, January 7, 2014
E. J. Lowe (1950 - 2014)
Posted by Edward Feser at 10:02 AM
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Oh, no. R.I.P. indeed.ReplyDelete
Sad news. His "Survey" introduced me to metaphysics, and a very fine introduction it was.ReplyDelete
A pity to hear. Ah well, RIP.ReplyDelete
And Ed, I hope you have plans to comment on the Coyne-Douthat exchange. I think Coyne could use a little more fire under his feet about what Douthat was zeroing in on.
Oops, apparently I misspelled his name. Douhat?ReplyDelete
Wow, that's so weird. I'm in the middle of of his Survey of Metaphysics. What a shame.ReplyDelete
RIP. That is one of the more impressively productive lives that I have known of.ReplyDelete
Also, for all that Professor Feser might have tired of critiquing new atheists, I second Crude (who was right about the initial spelling).
I was hesitant to hijack this thread, particularly since it marks the passing of someone (may he rest in peace), but I have the same question as Crude. Over at the American Conservative, Noah Millman weighs in and states that science has proven that Aristotelean teleology has no empirical basis.ReplyDelete
I have read this claim before, and I'd be very interested to read what others think about this.
You'll find several useful links in the first couple of sections of this post. And see also here and here for a couple of other posts that seem to me to be pretty directly on point.ReplyDelete
I greatly appreciate those links.
Over at the American Conservative, Noah Millman weighs in and states that science has proven that Aristotelean teleology has no empirical basis.ReplyDelete
That was a pretty disappointing piece by Millman. One particularly iffy moment:
There are materialist mysterians and materialist panpsychists – Roger Penrose, for example.
'Materialist mysterian' isn't a materialist with an answer, by definition. And 'materialist panpsychist'? Nevermind that calling materialists panpsychists just shows the ridiculous flexibility of the former word - Douthat explicitly mentioned panpsychists in his own response.
And he sidesteps Douthat's question about the denial of the self, which is really where the bulk of the response was going. I think what's happening here is Millman is confusing what Douthat is saying with another, probably more common argument, and getting distracted as a result.
Way to hijack, guys. Where are your manners?ReplyDelete
Other than (apparently) the "Survey", what are the works of Lowe's that one most ought to read?ReplyDelete
Probably the single most important one is The Four-Category Ontology, in which he gives the clearest and fullest statement of his own approach to metaphysics.
The book is a bit pricey, but the gist of it is that he argues for an ontology in which there are two opposing pairs: substances and non-substances, and universals and particulars. The four titular "categories" are thus substantial universals (which are basically natural kinds), substantial particulars (which are pretty much Aristotelian substances), non-substantial universals (which are basically attributes), and non-substantial particulars (modes).
From what I hear, he also has a good introduction out on the philosophy of mind.ReplyDelete
He does indeed. It's quite good. (The top helpful review, from almost fourteen years ago, is mine; Scott is my middle name.)ReplyDelete
I missed this sad news. I read two or three of his books (four category metaphysics etc.) and heard him speak at a conference in 2012. Very sad to hear of his passing.ReplyDelete