The Incommensurable Greatness of Micro-Wars


(Full Dissertation)

 PhD committee: Prof. Dr. Otávio Bueno (chair); Prof. Dr. Michael Slote; Prof. Dr. Berit Brogaard; and Prof. Dr. Mark Rowlands (internal members); and Prof. Dr. Markus Gabriel (external member from the University of Bonn).  



How is one to react to the fact that, since immemorial times, persons have been engaged in disputes in metaphysics, such as the ones on whether there is evil, a thing-in-itself and consciousness? This question drives this dissertation. In the introduction, that is, in chapter 1, it is argued that one is to react to the stated fact by adopting a conflictual craft. In proposing a reading of Pyrrho of Elis, it is argued that this craft is a synthesis of the skeptic craft and of the dogmatic one, and serves to formulate the metametaphysical system of disputes. In making cases for the claims that characterize this system and in seeking to spell out its pertinence to contemporary analytic and continental philosophy, the dissertation proceeds by, in chapter 2, articulating an interpretation of two projects that have not been carefully discussed in relation to one another: Friedrich Nietzsche’s libertarian project of overcoming metaphysics and Rudolf Carnap’s egalitarian project of overcoming metaphysics. In chapter 3, it is showed that continental philosophers have often been influenced by the former but ignored the latter, whereas analytic philosophers have constantly done the opposite. It is claimed, then, that one is to promote a synthesis of Nietzsche’s and Carnap’s projects. Chapter 4 argues that those, such as Aristotle, who have been neither exactly libertarians nor egalitarians have often resorted to `subtle` violence; a kind of violence that is not as upfront as corporeal ones, such as that of shooting someone. In criticizing `subtle` violence and addressing the works of Willard van Orman Quine, Saul Kripke and Kit Fine, chapter 5 claims that disputes are micro-political conflicts, that is, they are micro-wars that may be approached from a right-wing allegedly apolitical stance or from a left-wing stance that seeks to show the political character of disputes. Chapter 6 makes a case for the left-wing approach in proposing a heterodox reading of Gilles Deleuze. In chapter 7, the dissertation’s conclusion, it is argued that micro-wars have an incommensurable greatness because it seems impossible to measure persons’ overall `amount` of emotions and/or time spent in dealing with disputes.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1

From Pyrrhonism to the System of Disputes

Chapter 2

Overcoming Metametaphysics: Nietzsche and Carnap

Chapter 3

The Will to Synthesis

Chapter 4 

Undeniable Metaphysical Claims, Subtle Violence and Personhood

Chapter 5 

The Right-Wing Approach to Metaphysics

Chapter 6 

The Left-Wing Approach to Metaphysics

Chapter 7