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NAIVE METAPHYSICS

A Theory of Subjective and Objective Worlds

"If anyone has doubts about the continuing validity of metaphysics as a philosophical concern this book ought to remove those doubts. Geoffrey Klempner has produced an essay in metaphysics which not only has great depth but also constitutes a vindication of the subject. Perhaps the most obvious forerunner is Aristotle in his conception of 'First Philosophy', although the reader may find echoes of other philosophers — Wittgenstein and perhaps Schopenhauer — especially in connection with the clash between first and third person views of the world, and the primacy of the agent in that regard. Fundamentally, however, the book and its argument are entirely those of the author. It is a work of very considerable originality, not easy perhaps but one of unmistakable importance and standing. Its argument and its conclusions deserve serious consideration by all those interested in the fundamentals of philosophy. The book is a first class contribution to the subject and the author's arguments demand the greatest respect. It is perhaps some time since such an impressive exercise in metaphysics has appeared on the scene, and anyone concerned with philosophy in its most abstract and profound aspects should welcome this book and find interest and stimulation in it."
Professor D.W. Hamlyn

If the first proposition of metaphysics is, 'I am the one asking the question', then its fundamental question is, 'how can I speak for others?' — Implicit in our naive philosophical picture of reality are two conflicting views: one places I at the centre of the world, the other finds the I in a common world alongside other I's. Neither standpoint can be upheld at the expense of the other, for they are (for different reasons) equally valid. We must embrace both. The primacy of the standpoint of the agent saves the resulting two-world theory from perpetual double vision. Many consequences follow, including a solution to the mind-body problem, and an account of the logical basis of moral conduct based on the absolute asymmetry between self and other. Ultimately, there arises a third standpoint from which our world appears as one possible world alongside other possible worlds.

Contents: Part One: Subjective and objective; Egocentrism and nonegocentrism; Refining egocentrism; Silencing the egocentrist; Reality of the objective standpoint; Mind and body; Reality of the subjective standpoint; A two-world metaphysic; Part Two: Attributes of my subjective world; Non-continuity of my subjective world; My standpoint as agent; Metaphysical freedom; Self and other; Reality of now; Existence of matter; Truth and verifiability; Relativity of our objective world; The world, I and now; Bibliography.