John Wiley & Sons This Is Metaphysics Cover Metaphysics--the philosophical study of the nature of reality--is a dynamic sub-field which encompas.. Product #: 978-1-118-40077-7 Regular price: $28.48 $28.48 In Stock

This Is Metaphysics

An Introduction

McDaniel, Kris

This is Philosophy

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1. Edition April 2020
288 Pages, Softcover
Wiley & Sons Ltd

ISBN: 978-1-118-40077-7
John Wiley & Sons

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Metaphysics--the philosophical study of the nature of reality--is a dynamic sub-field which encompasses many of the most fundamental and elusive questions in contemporary analytic philosophy. A concise and focused introduction to contemporary metaphysics, This is Metaphysics: An Introduction takes readers with minimal technical knowledge of the field on a guided tour of the intellectual landscape of the discipline.

Approachable and engaging, the book covers a broad range of key topics and principles in metaphysics, including classification, the nature and existence of properties, ontology, the nature of possibility and necessity, and fundamental questions concerning being and existence. Each chapter challenges readers to grapple with thought-provoking examples that build upon the seminal theoretical contributions of contemporary metaphysicians like Peter van Inwagen and David Lewis, and concludes with a "Doing Metaphysics" section encouraging readers to think through substantive metaphysical questions while weighing possible arguments and objections. A thoughtful and comprehensive introduction provides a framework for author Kris McDaniel's pedagogical approach, and each section incorporates multi-platform online resources and plentiful footnotes to support further reading and deeper conceptual engagement.

A welcome addition to the popular This is Philosophy series, This is Metaphysics is a reader-friendly survey of metaphysics for philosophy majors, undergraduates in introductory philosophy courses, and curious members of the general public interested in investigating this expansive and enigmatic area of study.

An Introduction to This is Metaphysics 1

0.1 Who is This Book for? 1

0.2 Philosophy, Including Metaphysics, is for Everyone 6

0.3 An Overview of Metaphysics and Other Areas of Philosophy 6

0.4 Remarks for Instructors 12

0.5 Acknowledgments 13

1 Classification 14

1.1 Introduction 14

1.2 Two Kinds of Classification 15

1.3 Classification Confusions 18

1.4 Do Things Objectively Belong Together? 22

1.5 Two Questions about Classification 28

1.6 Classification and Properties 30

1.7 Doing Metaphysics 32

Further Reading 33

2 Properties 34

2.1 Introduction to the Metaphysics of Properties 34

2.2 Are Properties Theoretical Posits? 37

2.3 Issues in Language: Reference to Properties in Ordinary Speech 40

2.4 More Issues in Language: Properties as the Referents of Predicates 44

2.5 Issues in Metaphysics: Causation 46

2.6 Issues in Metaphysics: The Ontology of Events 47

2.7 Issues in Metaphysics: The Ontology of Material Objects 51

2.8 Tropes, Universals, and States of Affairs 54

2.9 Intrinsic and Extrinsic Properties 57

2.10 Perceptual Qualities 65

2.11 Doing Metaphysics 70

Further Reading 71

3 Parts and Wholes 72

3.1 Introduction 72

3.2 The Sufficiently Stuck Together Theory 74

3.3 The Mind-Dependence Theory of Composition 78

3.4 Life is the Answer? 85

3.5 Vagueness 87

3.6 Vagueness and Composition 92

3.7 A Radical Answer to the Special Composition Question: Compositional Nihilism 97

3.8 Another Radical Answer: Compositional Universalism 103

3.9 Other Questions about Parts and Wholes 106

3.10 Doing Metaphysics 111

Further Reading 112

4 Possibility and Necessity 113

4.1 Introduction 113

4.2 Different Kinds of Possibility and Necessity 115

4.3 The Idea of Possible Worlds 118

4.4 A Case for Possible Worlds 120

4.5 Some Theories of the Nature of Possible Worlds 126

4.6 An Alternative Theory of Possible Worlds: Propositions First 135

4.7 Another Alternative Theory of Possible Worlds: Primitive Possible Objects 139

4.8 Accidental and Essential Features 142

4.9 Theories of Possible Worlds and Theories of Essential Features 147

4.10 Doing Metaphysics 151

Further Reading 152

5 Time 153

5.1 Introduction to the Philosophy of Time 153

5.2 Methodological Issues in the Philosophy of Time 156

5.3 The Container View vs. the Relationalist View 161

5.4 Does Time Itself Change? 169

5.5 Time and Reasonable Emotions 175

5.6 How Do Things Persist through Time? 179

5.7 Doing Metaphysics 189

Further Reading 189

6 Freedom 190

6.1 Freedom and Why it Might Matter 190

6.2 The Static View and Freedom 192

6.3 Causal Determinism and Freedom 194

6.4 Compatibilism: Alternative Possibilities Compatibilism 197

6.5 Compatibilism 2: No Constraints Compatibilism 200

6.6 Indeterminism 203

6.7 Laws of Nature 205

6.8 Doing Metaphysics 212

Further Reading 212

7 Meta-Metaphysics 214

7.1 Getting More Meta 214

7.2 The Epistemology of Metaphysics 215

7.3 The Philosophy of Language of Metaphysics 227

7.4 The Metaphysics of Metaphysics 235

7.5 The Ethics of Metaphysics 243

7.6 Doing Metaphysics 254

Further Reading 254

Glossary 256

Index 264
KRIS McDANIEL is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. In addition to his core work in metaphysics, he maintains research interests in ethics and in the history of philosophy. His work has been published in many journals, including Nous, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Mind, and Philosophical Quarterly.