The Incommensurable Greatness of Micro-Wars


(Full Dissertation)



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

(A paper of mine based on this introduction was published in Manuscrito)

Chapter 2

Overcoming Metametaphysics: Nietzsche and Carnap

(This chapter is an expanded version of an article of mine that appeared in Nietzsche Studien)

Chapter 3

The Will to Synthesis

(Versions of this chapter were presented at the University of Miami's Philosophy Research Forum as well as at Federal University of Rio de Janeiro in a talk organized by the Logic and Metaphysics Program. Moreover, a paper of mine based on this chapter is currently under review at Nietzsche Studien)


Chapter 4 

Undeniable Metaphysical Claims, Subtle Violence and Personhood

(A paper of mine based on this chapter is currently under review in Metaphilosophy. Excerpts of this chapter were also presented at the Düsseldorf Graduate Workshop 2018, What Do We Do When We Do Metaphysics?, and for a public composed mainly of anti-racism activists at a public event at UMass Dartmouth in 2017: Confronting Anti-Black Racism Through Transnational Activism and Scholarship

Chapter 5 

The Right-Wing Approach to Metaphysics

(A paper based on this chapter is currently under review at Revue philosophique de Louvain)

Chapter 6 

The Left-Wing Approach to Metaphysics

(This chapter is an expanded version of an article of mine that is to appear in Revue philosophique de la France et de l'étranger in 2019. A previous version of this chapter was also presented  at the University of Miami’s Modern Languages and Literature Graduate Conference: Lands of Freedom? Oppressions, Subversions and Pursuits of Justice in a Changing World)

Chapter 7