Recently, J. Schaffer conspicuously defended the neo-Alistotelian view of metaphysics, which characterizes metaphysics as centered on what grounds what, as opposed to the Quinean view, on which the task of metaphysics is to say what exists.1 In particular, he endorses the former coupled with a permissive stance on existence, according to which the Quinean existence questions are trivial. Against this claim, W. Swetly argues that they are not trivial at all, but they have substantial and informative contents, and cognitive signifi cance.2 In our opinion, however, this opposition is not a real one. This paper argues that Swetly's arguments fail, and that he misses the point of Schaffer's claim. Also, we suggest that the explication of this apparent disagreement sheds light on some important concepts of metaphysics.
In what follows, fi rst, we summarize Schaffer's general meta-metaphysical position and his argument for the triviality of existence questions (TEQ) (§1). Second, the core of the Swetly's arguments against TEQ is presented (§2). Third, the failure of them is shown and it is also shown that there is no real disagreement between Schaffer and Swetly (§3). Finally, we conclude with some clarifi cation of how this explication and further considerationscan elucidate the complicated matters in the neo-Aristotelian conception of metaphysics (§4).