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Conceptual Analysis and Philosophical Naturalism$
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David Braddon-Mitchell and Robert Nola

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780262012560

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262012560.001.0001

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Jackson’s Armchair: The Only Chair in Town?

Jackson’s Armchair: The Only Chair in Town?

(p.159) 7 Jackson’s Armchair: The Only Chair in Town?
Conceptual Analysis and Philosophical Naturalism

Justine Kingsbury

Jonathan McKeown-Green

The MIT Press

This chapter defends a controversial claim made by Frank Jackson regarding how to address questions regarding whether subject matter of one human classificatory practice or discipline is anything over and above the subject matter of some other better understood human classificatory practice or discipline or not—in short, questions of “nothing-over-and-abovery.” Nothing-over-and-abovery is a characteristic preoccupation of the serious metaphysician. A serious metaphysical project is one that aims to produce, or at least explain why in principle it is possible to produce, a complete inventory of all the things or phenomena in some specified class by appealing to some restricted class of more primitive things or phenomena. This chapter is a qualified defense because, although it begins by defending Jackson’s claim against a range of objections, it concludes with a suggested modification to overcome an objection that is considered to have force.

Keywords:   human classificatory practice, nothing-over-and-abovery, serious metaphysician, serious metaphysical project, qualified defense

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