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7. Th Ose Metaphysical Devices

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Chapter Summary

This chapter describes about devices made by ingenious tinkerers, by people who constructed them for social, religious, metaphysical and scientific uses. It illustrates the extent to which philosophical traditions, unquestioned beliefs, unnoticed social conventions and pragmatic common sense enter the apparently simple act of telling time by the clock. The broad tapestry of issues is surveyed under four headings, each of them stated in the form of a question. The chapter addresses the questions: what do clocks reveal about time? how does a clock measure time? how can one tell whether a clock is right? and why is a clock a metaphysical machine? A metaphysical belief is an assertion about the nature of ultimate reality, one that appears to be a self-evident truth to people of an age and at a place.

Keywords: metaphysical devices; philosophical traditions; unnoticed social conventions



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