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Existence, Sense and Values. Essays in Metaphysics and Phenomenology

Edited by Sebastian Tomasz Kołodziejczyk


Sebastian Kołodziejczyk

This collection of essays is about some of the most fundamental issues connected with metaphysics, theory of values and philosophy of man. In the first part of the book, the author is trying to answer questions concerning both the methodological status of metaphysics and the main subject-matter of metaphysical investigations. He convincingly argues that metaphysics is an indispensable domain of research that may help us to understand the world and what we experience in much better manner. In the next part, the author draws our attention to the problem of existence and the ways we experience it. The question on existence is definitely the central issue of this entire volume, also in the next two parts of the book where the author focuses on values, their origins and status as well as their relationship to human nature. What is particularly intriguing about this collection of essays is its unique and fruitful combination of different methodologies and traditions in one rich and persuasive picture of the most basic philosophical problems.


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Part I: Foundations and Methods


Part I Foundations and Methods The Fundamental Question of Metaphysics Various kinds of questions come up in science. Particular types of questions might prevail in particular academic disciplines. We shall not, however, deal with the general theory of questions here.1 We shall only point out certain issues that may prove important for our investigations. Scientific methodology distinguishes two basic groups of questions: 1. closed-ended questions or, in Roman Ingarden’s terminology, existential questions requiring inversion, and 2. open-ended questions or, in the same terminology, factual questions starting with the worlds like, e.g., “what,” “when,” etc.2 The first type of questions can be answered in two ways only: in the affirmative or in the negative (“yes” or “no”). This type of answers would be nonsensical if given in response to the questions of the second type: the answers to these questions must have the form of a sentence revealing exactly what is unknown in the question itself. In other words – a sentence obtained by way of substituting a constant for the variable in the sentential function corresponding to the interrogative sentence and determining the scheme of the answer.3 There may be numerous answers to this kind of question. Every question contains some known element which it assumes, and some unknown element which it asks about. A question that would contain unknown elements only would not be possible at all. Obviously, the knowns and the unknowns are different in closed-ended questions and in open-ended ones. However, the so-called known is not always explicated....

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