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Study whose object is to determine the real nature of things, meaning structure & principle

Nature & scope of metaphysics[edit]

Origin of the term

What comes after physics?

Appearances & realities for Plato

Objects of opinions = appearance. Objects of knowledge = noumena (intelligence)

Characterization of metaphysics

An inquiry into what exists

Unreliability of common opinion

Are dreams real? What are numbers?

Ultimate stuff of universe

Rivalry with scientists.

Science of ultimate reality

Components in metaphysics conception of reality

Reality genuine as opposed to deceptive. It is original in contrast to derivative. Reality is intelligible.

Task of metaphysician

Science of world as a whole

Metaphysics as an account of world

Science of first principles

First principles as basic truths

Metaphysicians as self critical

Metaphysics & other branch of philosophy

View of metaphysics as queen of sciences

Metaphysics & analysis

Analysis in philosophy

Historical use of analysis by metaphysicians

Problems in metaphysics[edit]

Existence of forms, categories & particulars


Platonic theory

What is there is really idea. Successor to Pythagorean theory of number

Categories & universals

Aristotelian doctrine =of 8 to 10 categories, being is spoken in many ways, classification

Predicates = substances. Qualities, relation, quantities & time

Problem of universals

Basic particulars

Hume's theory of particulars

Impressions or ideas

Russell's theory

Existence of god

Proof of existence of god

That than which nothing greater can be conceived.

Criticisms of proof

Being is not real predicate (imply).

Soul mind & body

Soul mind body relationship

Platonic & Aristotelians theory of soul

Old school

Mind body relationship

New school.

Cartesian theory

Difference between mental & material substance.

Theory of Spinoza

God or nature

Modern theory

I that think am different from I that weigh 60 Kgs.

Problem of differentiating man & machine

Cybernetics = what differentiates man from machines

Nature & external world

Existence of material is subject of epistemology, in empiricist traditions.

Reality of material things

External world as defective in reality

It is merely a phenomenon

Primary & secondary qualities of material things

Organizing principles of nature

Nature as mechanical or teleological

Hidden purpose?

Space & time

Can it be real?

Theory of Kant & Bradley

Concept in individual mind.

Theory of Bergson

Time is continuous. Parts only for public convenience.

Conception of spirit

Mind is key to understanding universe.


Subjective idealism. Reality in terms of experience of individual minds.

All reality as spirit

Types of metaphysics theory[edit]


Distinction between world of appearance & reality


Making sense of here & now


Christian metaphysics


Increased understanding of physical world

Kantian development


Two solutions to Cartesian dualism


Matter as only substantial existent


Arguments assertion & methods in metaphysics[edit]

Metaphysics as a science

Nature of an priory science

Where propositions taken as true & logically proved as such.

Hypothetical nature of a priory sciences

Metaphysics as an priory science

Deductive systems of Spinoza & Descartes

8 definitions, 7 axioms = 36 propositions in ethics.

Metaphysics as an empirical science

Reference to experience

Initial metaphysical insights


Metaphysics as matter of vision

Tests of validity

Insight as limited in number & subject to experience

Test of self-consistency of theory

Role of personal or social factors

Metaphysics arguments

Logical character of metaphysics statements

Classes of metaphysics statements

About what exists, prescription how to understand what exists.

Logical form of metaphysics argument

Deductive & inductive arguments

Mostly deducted from reason.

Transcendental arguments

Criticism of metaphysics[edit]

To know reality = dreaming, duping or charlatan

Metaphysics as study of occult

Metaphysics as knowledge of super sensible

Specific criticism


Necessity of sense experience


Critical philosophy reflection

Differences between Hume & Kant criticism

Logical positivists

Verification principle

Moore & Wittgenstein

Common sense criticism

Language criticism

Religious philosophers

Tendencies in contemporary metaphysics.[edit]

Background. Thought of Kant & Hegel


John Dewey

William James

Location of role of science in knowledge

In Europe

Edmund Husserl & phenomenology

Reflection on pre reflective life


Ontology of dasein

Thought of whitehead

Organismic unites