ABSTRACT. There are three possible positions that philosophy can occupy vis-à-vis first-order knowledge: either philosophy has no first-order concerns of its own; or philosophy has some residual (but dwindling) first-order concerns; or philosophy has first-order concerns that are ineliminable. On the first two conceptions of philosophy, metaphysics is impossible; only if philosophy has ineliminable first-order concerns can metaphysics find room to operate. This paper argues for the ineliminabilty of metaphysics and concludes that the task for a contemporary metaphysics is to avoid the lures of searching for an unattainable certainty, to resist a surrender of its legitimate territory to naturalism, and, resisting the blandishments of scepticism, to recover a confidence in the power of the human mind to ask and to answer questions about the nature, meaning and value of all that exists.



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