Abstract for Peacocke’s Talk

Some ontologies have rightly been found highly problematic: the list includes Newtonian absolute space and absolute time, Cartesian egos, ‘quiddities’ as realizers of fundamental laws, and certain strong conceptions of possibilia. In this talk, I first offer a uniform diagnosis of what has gone wrong in these cases. I then go on to draw on this diagnosis in proposing a positive conception of the way in which a metaphysics and a theory of understanding should be related to one another, and to draw some more general conclusions.