The Problem of Individuation: Metaphysics and Contemporary Philosophy

When:25 Feb 2014, 12:30pm - 2pm
Venue:John Goodsell LG19 (map ref F20)
Who:Prof. Jeffrey Bell, Southern Louisiana University
Jeffrey A Bell

Philosophy Seminar

Abstract: In the past few decades, metaphysical themes have become increasingly common and important to philosophers in the analytic tradition. David Lewis' s work has set the bar for much of this work, and it has been carried on by an increasing number of important philosophers, including Ted Sider whose his recent book, Writing the Book of the World, is exemplary. There has been a similar resurgence of interest in metaphysics among continental philosophers, such as Alain Badiou, Gilles Deleuze, and many others. In this talk I will focus on the problem of individuation--namely, the problem of accounting for what makes something distinct or different from other things. By focusing on this metaphysical theme we can shed light on a number of other contemporary issues in philosophy, such as philosophy of science, and demonstrate as well that one can draw fruitfully from work being done in both analytic and continental traditions.

Bio: Jeffrey Bell is Professor of Philosophy at Southeastern Louisiana University. He is the author of numerous articles and three monographs on topics in phenomenology, post-structuralism, and Deleuze. His latest book Deleuze’s Hume: Philosophy, Culture and the Scottish Enlightenment is forthcoming from Edinburgh University Press.

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