The twentieth century began with a revolutionary new approach to philosophy. The great arguments about the nature of reality and human experience were deemed empty and meaningless. A new philosophical broom, in the form of analytic philosophy, claimed to sweep away vacuous grand theories and replace them with hard logic and analysis and a close attention to the meaning of the words and terms we use. Yet a hundred years on metaphysics is back. Theories of consciousness and the character of reality are once again the topic of debate.
Should we welcome this return to stories about the ultimate character of the world? Or do they risk being empty, conveying little other than the prejudices and desires of their authors? Are grand metaphysical theories about the nature of reality and the self, valuable topics of debate or are they a set of fairytales?