A Theory of Theory Choice

Disagreements sometimes seem to be about the world, and sometimes seem to be about the right way to conceptualise or talk about the world. This project offers a new way to determine which disputes fall into which category, and offers an understanding of the importance of the latter kind of disagreements, and how to resolve them.This project provides a new methodology for determining when disputes in philosophy are disputes about the way the world is, and when they are disputes about how to label or to conceptually carve up the world. This is significant because resolving disputes in they key areas of ethics and metaphysics matters, and resolution can occur only if we know what sort of dispute we have. When a dispute is about how to conceptualise the world, our methodology explains both why it is non-trivial and there inevitably seems like a difference in content, as well as suggesting ways to choose between such theories. It thus offers the prospect of resolving hitherto recalcitrant debates about important issues.

This project is funded by the ARC (DP110100486)

Research Team:
Kristie Miller
David Braddon-Mitchell