Being in America

Sixty Years of the Metaphysical Society


Since its founding in 1950, the Metaphysical Society of America has remained a pluralistic community dedicated to rigorous philosophical inquiry into the most basic metaphysical questions. At each year’s conference, the presidential address offers original insights into metaphysical questions. Both the insights and the questions are as perennial as they are relevant to contemporary philosophers.
This volume collects eighteen of the finest representatives from those presidential addresses, including contributions from George Allan, Richard Bernstein, Norris Clarke, Vincent Colapietro, Frederick Ferré, Jorge J. E. Gracia, Joseph Grange, Marjorie Grene, George Klubertanz, Ivor Leclerc, Ralph McInerny, Ernan McMullin, Joseph Owens, John Herman Randall, Jr., Nicholas Rescher, Stanley Rosen, John E. Smith, and Robert Sokolowski. Also included are Paul Weiss’s inaugural address to the Society, an introduction chronicling the history of the Society, and an original Foreword by William Desmond and Epilogue by Robert Neville.
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Table of contents

List of Figures
Richard T. Hull: Editorial Foreword
William Desmond: Guest Foreword: Being in America: On Metaphysics and the Metaphysical Society of America
Brian G. Henning and David Kovacs: Introduction
Part One: The Question of Metaphysics
Paul Weiss: The Four-fold Art of Avoiding Questions
George Klubertanz: The Problem of the Analogy of Being
W. Norris Clarke: The Self as Source of Meaning in Metaphysics
Joseph Owens: Reality and Metaphysics
Marjorie Grene: Merleau-Ponty and the Renewal of Ontology
Richard J. Bernstein: Metaphysics, Critique, and Utopia
Robert Sokolowski: The Question of Being
Stanley Rosen: Is Metaphysics Possible?
Ralph McInerny: The Science We are Seeking
Frederick Ferré: The Practicality of Metaphysics
Part Two: The Question of Knowledge
Ernan McMullin: Two faces of Science
Jorge J. E. Gracia: Are Categories Invented or Discovered? A Response to Foucault
Nicholas Rescher: Textuality, Reality, and the Limits of Knowledge
Part Three: The Question of Language
John Herman Randall, Jr.: Metaphysics and Language
John E. Smith: Being, Immediacy and Articulation
Vincent Colapietro: Striving to Speak in a Human Voice: A Peircean Contribution to Metaphysical Discourse
Part Four: The Question of the Good
Ivor Leclerc: The Metaphysics of the Good
George Allan: Perishable Goods
Joseph Grange: The Generosity of the Good
Robert C. Neville: The Legacy and Future
Appendix A: Bibliography of Presidential Addresses of the Metaphysical Society of America 1952–2010


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