Transcendental Metaphysics (reprint)

From Radical to Deep Plurallism

Richard Sylvan

Sylvan’s theory of ‘plurallism’, the culmination of his life’s work, is the subject of this important text. In his own characteristically provocative words ‘There is not merely a plurality of correct theories and more or less satisfactory worldviews: there is a corresponding plurality of actual worlds. Plurality penetrates deeper in full plurallism than linguistic surface or than conceptual or theoretical structure, to worlds… There is no single fact of the matter, there are facts and matters.’ First published by The White Horse Press in 1997, this facsimile reprint has been made using a scan of the original published edition generously provided by McMaster University Library.


Richard Sylvan (né Routley) was Senior Research Fellow in the Philosophy Programs at the Australian National University, where he linked the ‘deep-green’·theory of environmental philosophy for which he is most widely known to an astonishing range of work in metaphysics, semantics, logic and value theory. He died suddenly in 1996 at the age of 60, when he had just completed this major text. But though this volume is the mature expression of one of our foremost modem philosophers, it remains, like all his work, pioneering, eclectic and controversial.

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Prologue: Complaints and Acknowledgements
General Description and Synopsis
Chapter 1. Introducing and Placing Full and Deep Plurallisms
Chapter 2. Explaining Full Metaphysical Plurallisms: Their Features, Their Differences
Chapter 3. Paths and Arguments Leading to Deep Plurallism: Vias Negativas
Chapter 4. More Arguments to Deep Plurallism: Vias Positivas
Chapter 5. Still More Positive Arguments to Plurallism
Chapter 6. Worlds and Wholes: Their Natures and Relevant Features
Chapter 7. Talking and Thinking Plurallese as well as more Ordinarily: Modellings and Discourse For and Under Plurallism
Chapter 8. Making a Wider Metaphysical Sweep: Traditional Notions, Traditional Pluralism, Traditional Objections
Chapter 9. Distancing Plurallism from Realism, Anti-Realism and Relativism, and those Other isms
Chapter 10. Plurallistic Investigation of Relevant Philosophers and Philosophic Schools
Chapter 11. Impacts upon Philosophy: Harmonious Applications and Further Problem-Solving
Chapter 12. What Deep Plurallism Does, its Intellectual Impact, and Where it Leads
Epilogue. Beyond Intellectual Plurallism – to Liberating Practice

Reissue Date: 1 August 2022

ISBN 978-1-874267-32-4 (HB) £50