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Grant number like: FA-55647-11

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John F. Heil
Washington University (St. Louis, MO 63130-4899)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2011 – 5/31/2012

The Ontological Turn

NEH support is sought to complete a book-length manuscript addressing central themes in fundamental metaphysics. An illuminating metaphysical conception of the world is required if we are to make sense of what we take from experience and from the various sciences. Although metaphysics is informed by the sciences, its aim is to advance a completely general picture of how the world must be given the truth of our best theories. The plan is to address a range of topics--including substance and property, powers and qualities, the mental and physical, relations and relata, cause and effect--intimately connected at the fundamental level. Attempts to provide targeted accounts of such topics individually without a clear appreciation of the others are ultimately ill-considered and unsatisfying. The Big Picture is not a compilation of many little pictures; the little pictures--concerning the nature of properties and property-bearers, causation, and the like--are aspects of the Big Picture.