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Carroll, John W., and Markosian, Ned. 2010. An Introduction to Metaphysics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Aune, Bruce. 1985. Metaphysics. The Elements. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Content: Preface. Chapter 1. What is metaphysics?. Chapter 2. Existence. Chapter 3. Universals and Particulars. Chapter 4. Linguistic arguments for abstracta. Chapter 5. Changing things. Chapter 6. Worlds, objects, and structure. Chapter 7. Meaning, truth and metaphysics. Chapter 8. Appearance and reality. Chapter 9. Metaphysical freedom. Notes. References. Index.
"I had two principal aims in writing this book. The first was somewhat personal: I wanted to work out my views on the main problems of metaphysics. (...)
My other aim was pedagogical: I wanted to produce a systematic book on metaphysics that would be understandable by the general reader and that would be useful for students in the sort of middle-level course on metaphysics that I teach, from time to time, at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. (...)
The students attending my course are advanced undergraduates and beginning graduate students, and I wanted to have available for them a text that deals with the basic issues of metaphysics in a systematic way and that prepares them for advanced work on specialized topics. A systematic text is important, in my view, because many subjects of general interest in metaphysics, such as the mind-body problem or the perplexities about freedom and determinism, can be adequately discussed only if various issues in basic ontology are already settled, or at least understood. Of course, careful thought about complex or derivative issues often requires one to back up and reconsider one's position on fundamentals. Still, an orderly presentation of issues is, as I see it, particularly desirable in a subject like metaphysics. The difficulty I had in writing the book is at least partly owing to the difficulty of presenting issues in an appropriate order.
Metaphysics is an ancient subject on which an enormous amount has been written. To make up one's mind about such subjects as the nature of particulars, the reality of attributes and facts, the possibility of alternative ontologies, and the nature of time, truth, and change (to name just a few), one should be familiar with the jungle of considerations that bear upon them. I have tried to help the reader gain this familiarity by discussing arguments and claims of numerous philosophers, past and present. Having lived through more than one "revolution" in philosophy, I am well aware of the attractions of finding some method that will sweep away all the problems. I now regard such methods as illusory, but the first step in applying them is, in any case, to discover what the problems are. I have done my best to describe these problems, and I offer my solutions for what they are worth.
Although I am far from doctrinaire on matters of philosophical method, I cannot deny that my approach to metaphysics belongs to the tradition of analytic philosophy. The reader will quickly see, for example, that my approach to ontology owes a great deal to Bertrand Russell, but I have tried to show that Russell's approach grows naturally out of Aristotle, the philosopher who wrote the first systematic treatise on metaphysics. Since analytic philosophers influenced by Russell have relied heavily on such technical devices as the so-called existential quantifier, I have made a special effort to come to terms with those devices early in my discussion. The elements of mathematical logic should be as familiar to undergraduates as high school algebra, but they are not -- and I have therefore offered clear explanations of the few logical symbols that I introduce." (from the Preface).
Benardete, José A. 1989. Metaphysics. The Logical Approach. New York: Oxford University Press.
Körner, Stephan. 1984. Metaphysics. Its Structure and Function. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Contents: Preface XI; Introduction 1; Part I. On the organization of beliefs and attitudes. 1. On the cognitive organization of experience 7; 2. On the organization of practical attitudes 20; 3. On aesthetic attitudes 31; 4. Immanent and transcendent philosophy 42; Part II. On immanent and transcendental metaphysics. 5. The principles of logic as supreme cognitive principles 53; 6. On mathematical thinking as possible source of immanent metaphysics 63; 7. On predictive and instrumental thinking about nature as a possible source of immanent metaphysics 76; 7. On thinking about persons and mental phenomena as a possible source of immanent metaphysics 89; 9. On thinking about social phenomena and history as a possible source of immanent metaphysics 103; 10. On delimiting a person's immanent metaphysics 114; 11. Transcendent metaphysics and the applications of concepts 125; 12. Transcendent metaphysics and the limits of conceptual thinking 137; 13 On antimetaphysical errors and illusions 149; Part III. Stability and change in metaphysics. 14. On internal strains 165; 15. On external pressures exerted by methodological and other arguments 180; 16. On metaphysical pluralism, intrametaphysical and metaphysical progress 194; 17. Some speculations about transcendent reality 208; Summary of these 222; Index 234.
"It is not the purpose of this essay to expound and to defend a particular system of immanent or transcendent metaphysics, but to inquire into the common structure and function of such systems, whether explicitly formulated, e.g., by philosophers, philosophically minded theologians or scientists, or only implicitly accepted. Such an inquiry appears no less worthwhile than are more familiar inquiries into the common structure and function of, say, geometries, scientific theories or legal systems. It resembles them in method and should, if properly executed, counteract the tendency towards an intolerant metaphysical dogmatism without supporting a boundless pluralism. For it is intended not only to exhibit the possible variety of metaphysical systems, but also the strong constraints on it.
The essay falls into three parts. The first examines the organization - whether imposed or found - of a person's beliefs about the public world of his experience. It also considers the organization of his practical, including his moral, attitudes towards this world, as well as the nature of aesthetic attitudes and of aesthetic representation.(...)
The second part of the essay begins by illustrating the variety and function of categorial frameworks. The function of categorial frameworks consists chiefly in providing their acceptors with criteria of "meaningfulness", as opposed to mere linguistic intelligibility, of "coherence", as opposed to mere logical consistency, of "explanatory power", as opposed to mere descriptive or prognostic effectiveness. Loyalty to these criteria, which may be combined with ignorance or confusion about their origin in their acceptor's immanent metaphysics, plays an important part in the choice of theories or the direction of research. The procedure of exhibiting the actual and potential variety of categorial frameworks is endowed with some orderliness by showing that, and how, principles of immanent metaphysics may have their origin in special disciplines or regions of thought: logic; mathematics; predictive and instrumental thinking within and outside the sciences; thinking about persons and mental phenomena; thinking about social phenomena and history. (...)
Whereas the first two parts of the essay are mainly devoted to an inquiry into the static structure of systems of metaphysical beliefs, the third part inquires into their changes as a result of internal strains and external pressures. The latter are exerted by appeals to philosophical methods which are claimed to yield absolutely valid premises for the derivation of the one and only true system of metaphysics, as well as by more modest arguments which try to transfer the convictions felt by their proponents to those to whom they are addressed. An examination of these arguments, which results in rejecting arguments of the first type and in accepting arguments of the second, leads to a critique of various concepts of progress, be it progress within a system of metaphysical beliefs or progress of metaphysics itself.
Although this critique might well have concluded the essay, I thought it appropriate to add a chapter indicating in the barest outline my own categorial framework and transcendent metaphysics. It is meant to enable readers to judge how far I have avoided the danger of confusing my metaphysics with metaphysics in general." (pp. 1-4).
Martin, Gottfried. 1968. General Metaphysics. Its Problems and Method. London: George Allen and Unwin.
Original edition: Allgemeine Metaphysik, Berlin, Walter de Gruyter, 1966; translated by Daniel O'Connor.
Hamlyn, David W. 1984. Metaphysics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Contents: Preface VII; 1. Introduction 1; 2. Appearance and reality 11; 3. Ontology 34; 4. Substance; 5. Particular and general; 6. Simples substances: monism and pluralism; 7. Space and time; 8: Minds; 9. Persons and personal identity 187; 10. Epilogue: man and nature 219; Bibliography 221; Index 226.
"My own approach to the subject might be put as follows: one way of construing metaphysics is to say that it is concerned to set out in the most general and abstract terms what must hold good of conscious beings and the world in which they live if that world is to constitute reality for them. For this purpose the metaphysician has to set out in the most intelligible form what that reality consists of, given an adequate framework of representation of what it is for something to constitute reality for someone. That will certainly entail saying something about things, their spatio-temporal framework and the persons, or at any rate selves, for whom they are things. I shall try to work out in subsequent chapters what that means.
Chapter 2 will discuss in greater detail the metaphysics of appearance and reality, and Chapter 3 the general nature of a philosophical ontology. Chapter 4 investigates the notion of substance - the kind of thing that has often been claimed as basic for ontology. I shall be concerned with the necessary features of substances and how they affect other matters such as their individuation. One commonly recognized characteristic of substances is particularity, and that will lead me in Chapter 5 to discuss the distinction between the particular and the
general and also the general problem of universals. A characteristic that is sometimes thought, although mistakenly, to belong necessarily to substance is simplicity of an absolute kind, and on that idea whole systems have been erected, particularly those of monism and pluralism (when the latter constitutes a reaction to the former). I shall illustrate that fact in Chapter 6 by reference to the monism of absolute idealism as found in Bradley and the pluralism of the logical atomism of Russell and the early Wittgenstein. I shall do that because apart from the relative unfamiliarity of these systems to some readers they afford a comparatively recent example of the opposition between monism and pluralism. They also illustrate one particular working-out of metaphysics in the style of Hegel together with a reaction to it.
I shall then proceed in Chapter 7 to an examination of the frameworks in which substances are generally taken to exist; the frameworks provided by space and time. I shall not there consider all questions that might be asked about space and time, since some such questions belong more appropriately to philosophy of science. The questions raised will be those that fit in with the conceptions of metaphysics expounded in the chapters leading up to Chapter 7. In Chapters 8 and 9 I turn to ourselves, discussing first the notion of mind and the place that the mind has in the scheme presented, and second the conception of selves or persons for whom the reality outlined is what it is. A final epilogue will put the issues in perspective and explain why certain questions sometimes discussed under the heading of metaphysics are not discussed here (which is not to say that they should not be discussed)" pp. 8-9.
Inwagen, Peter van. 2009. Metaphysics. Boulder: Westview Press.
Third edition. (First edition 1993, second edition 2002).
Contents: Preface to the Third Edition IX-X; 1. Introduction 1; Part One: The Way the World Is 23; Introduction 23; 2. Individuality 27; 3. Externality 53; 4. Temporality 71; 5. Objectivity 93; Part Two: Why the World Is 109; Introduction 109; 6. Necessary Being: The Ontological Argument 115; 7. Necessary Being: The Cosmological Argument 145; Part Three: The Inhabitants of the World 169; Introduction 169; 8. What Rational Beings Are There? 175; 9. The Place of Rational Beings in the World: Design and Purpose 187; 10. The Nature of Rational Beings: Dualism and Physicalism 209; 11 The Nature of Rational Beings: Dualism and Personal Identity 235; 12 The Powers of Rational Beings: Freedom of the Will 253; 13 Concluding Meditation 273; Coda: Being 277; Bibliography 315; Index 319-329.
Gracia, Jorge J.E. 1999. Metaphysics and Its Task. The Search for the Categorial Foundation of Knowledge. Albany: State University of New York Press.
Jubien, Michael. 1997. Contemporary Metaphysics. An Introduction. Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishers.
Contents: Preface IX; 1. Metaphysics 1; 2. Numbers 24; 3. Platonism 36; 4. Identity 63; 5. Is truth 'relative'? 77; 6. Color 92; 7. Determinism, freedom and fatalism 107; 8. Modality 130; 9. Things and their parts 154; 10. Is there truth in fiction? 175; 11. Cosmology 188; Index 203.
"This book treats several topics that happen to be very prominent in recent metaphysics. I hope the treatments are not only interesting in their own right, but also serve as good preparation for understanding contemporary discussions. I have tried to present a range of positions on issues, often advocating a particular view, but other times simply presenting alternatives and mentioning strengths and weaknesses. (In some cases the positions I advocate are well known and widely accepted, in others they are not.)
There is an underlying ontological and methodological theme that unites the various discussions in the book: Platonism concerning properties, relations, and propositions. I introduce the theme in chapter 1, where philosophy itself is characterized as the study (and especially the analysis) of certain general concepts, and these concepts in turn are seen as objective entities, typically Platonic properties. In chapter 3, Platonism is defended as a theoretical hypothesis that helps explain a variety of related everyday phenomena, including our ability to have beliefs about our surroundings, the capacity of our language to refer to external entities, and our ability to communicate with each other. (The postulation of these Platonic entities is likened to the postulation of quarks in physics.)
The Platonist theme appears in the remaining chapters as a methodological tool, as when we insist on knowing just what proposition is being expressed or asserted, what possessing such and such a property entails, and the like. I hope it emerges from the book that the acceptance of this Platonist ontology promotes a sharpness of focus on philosophical material in general that is not otherwise so easily obtained." (from the Preface).
Loux, Michael J. 2006. Metaphysics. A Contemporary Introduction. New York: Routledge.
Contents: Preface; Introduction; Chapter One: The problem of universals I - Metaphysical realism; Chapter Two: The problem of universals II - Nominalism; Chapter Three: Concrete particulars I - Substrata, bundles, and substances; Chapter Four: Propositions and their neighbours; Chapter Five: The necessary and the possible; Chapter Six: Causation Chapter Seven: The nature of time Chapter Eighth: Concrete particulars 2: Persistence through time Chapter Nine: The challenge of Anti-Realism; Bibliography; Index.
Third edition (first edition 1998, second edition 2002). From the Preface: "Metaphysics is a discipline with a long history; and over the course of that history, the discipline has been conceived in different ways. These different conceptions associate different methodologies and even different subject matters with the discipline; and anyone seeking to write an introductory text on metaphysics must choose from among these different conceptions. For reasons I try to make clear in the introduction, I have chosen to follow a very old tradition (one that can be traced back to Aristotle) that interprets metaphysics as the attempt to provide an account of being qua being. On this conception, metaphysics is the most general of all the disciplines; its aim is to identify the nature and structure of all that there is. Central to this project is the delineation of the categories of being. Categories are the most general or highest kinds under which anything that exists falls. On this conception of metaphysics, what the metaphysician is supposed to do is to identify the relevant kinds, to specify the characteristics or categorial features peculiar to each, and to indicate the ways those very general kinds are related to each other. It turns out, however, that metaphysicians have disagreed about the categorial structure of reality. They have disagreed about the categories the metaphysician ought to recognize; and even where they have agreed about the categories to be included in our metaphysical theory, they have disagreed about the characteristics associated with those categories and about the relations of priority that tie the various categories together. These disagreements have given rise to debates that lie at the very core of the philosophical enterprise; those debates are the focus of this book."
Lowe, Ernest Jonathan. 2002. A Survey of Metaphysics. New York: Oxford University Press.
Contents: 1. Introduction: the nature of metaphysics 1; Part I: Identity and change. 2. Identity over time and change of composition 23; 3. Qualitative change and the doctrine of temporal parts 41; 4. Substantial change and spatiotemporal coincidence 59; Part II: Necessity, essence, and possible worlds. 5. Necessity and identity 79; 6. Essentialism 96; 7. Possible worlds 115; Part III: Causation and conditionals. 8. Counterfactual conditionals 137; 9. Causes and conditions 155; 10. Counterfactuals and event causations 174; Part IV: Agents, actions, and events. 11. Event causation and agent causation 195; 12. Actions and events 214; 13. Events, things and space-time 23; Part V: Space and time 14. Absolutism versus relationalism 255; 15. Incongruent counterparts and the nature of space 271; 16. The paradoxes of motion and the possibility of change 288; 17. Tense and the reality of time 307; 18. Causation and the direction of time 325; Part VI: Universals and particulars 19. Realism versus nominalism 347; 20. The abstract and the concrete 366; Bibliography 386; Index 396.
"The conception of metaphysics that informs A Survey of Metaphysics is, however, a fairly traditional and still very widely shared one-namely, that metaphysics deals with the most profound questions that can be raised concerning the fundamental structure of reality. According to this conception, metaphysics goes deeper than any merely empirical science, even physics, because it provides the very framework within which such sciences are conceived and related to one another. A core text in metaphysics written from this point of view must aim, first and foremost, to elucidate certain universally applicable concepts -- for example, those of identity, necessity, causation, space, and time -- and then go on to examine some important doctrines which involve these concepts, such as the thesis that truths of identity are necessary and the claim that temporally backward causation is impossible. In addition, it must endeavour to provide a systematic account of the ways in which entities belonging to different ontological categories-for example, things, events, and properties-are interrelated. These, accordingly, are the main objectives of A Survey of Metaphysics. A subsidiary objective is to explain and defend the conception of metaphysics which informs the book: for students need to be aware of the many and varied opponents of metaphysics and how they may be countered.
I should emphasize that my aim in this book is to provide a survey of major themes and problems in modern metaphysics, not a comprehensive survey and critique of the views of major contemporary metaphysicians, much less a systematic history of the subject. Consequently, I tend not to engage in direct debate with the published work of other philosophers, past or present -- although I do refer to it very frequently and have included an extensive bibliography of mostly recent publications. Such direct engagement would have made the book considerably longer and more complex than it already is and, I think, less useful to its intended audience, who need to understand the issues before engaging in current debate or historical investigation for themselves. It should also be stressed, however, that the book is by no means narrowly partisan, in the sense of promoting my own opinions on particular issues whilst excluding mention of others. At the same time, I try to avoid bland neutrality in matters of controversy." (from the Preface).
———. 1998. The Possibility of Metaphysics. Substance, Identity, and Time. New York: Oxford University Press.
Contents: 1. The possibility of metaphysics 1; 2. Objects and identity 28; 3. Identity and unity 58; 4. Time and persistence 84; 5. Persistence and substance 106; 6. Substance and dependence 136; 7. Primitive substances 154; 8. Categories and kinds 174; 9. Matter and form 190; 10. Abstract entities 210; 11. Facts and world 228; 12. The puzzle of existence 248; Bibliography 261; Index 269.
From the Preface: "My overall objective in this book is to help to restore metaphysics to a central position in philosophy as the most fundamental form of rational inquiry, with its own distinctive methods and criteria of validation. In my view, all other forms of inquiry rest upon metaphysical presuppositions thus making metaphysics unavoidable-so that we should at least endeavour to do metaphysics with our eyes open, rather than allowing it to exercise its influence upon us at the level of uncritical assumption. I believe that this is beginning to be acknowledged more widely by philosophers as various research programmes for instance, in the philosophy of mind and in the philosophy of quantum physics-are being seen to flounder through inadequacies in their metaphysical underpinnings. For that reason, I hope that a book like this will prove to be a timely one.
Because Chapters 1 and 2 partly serve to introduce themes explored in greater detail later in the book, I have not written an Introduction as such. Doing so would have involved unnecessary repetition. However, it may help the reader if I supply here a brief synopsis of the book's contents. In Chapter 1, I attempt to characterize the distinctive nature of metaphysics as an autonomous intellectual discipline and defend a positive answer to Kant's famous question, 'How is metaphysics possible?', distinguishing my own answer from that of various other schools of thought, including some latter-day heirs of Kantianism. A key ingredient in my defence of metaphysics is the articulation of a distinctive and, in my view, indispensable notion of metaphysical possibility-conceived of as a kind of possibility which is not to be identified with physical, logical, or epistemic possibility.
Chapter 2 is devoted to an examination of two of the most fundamental and all-pervasive notions in metaphysics-the notion of an object and the notion of identity and explores their interrelationships. In the course of this exercise a central ontological distinction-that between concrete and abstract objects is brought to the fore, my contention being that this is at bottom a distinction between those objects that do, and those that do not, exist in time." (from the Preface).
Macdonald, Cynthia. 2005. Varieties of Things. Foundations of Contemporary Metaphysics. Malden: Blackwell.
DeAngelis, William James. 1997. "Metaphysics I (1900-1945)." In Routledge History of Philosophy. Volume X: Philosophy of Meaning, Knowledge and Value in the Twentieth Century, edited by Canfield, John V., 76-107. New York: Routledge.
Linsky, Bernard. 1997. "Mataphysics Ii (1945 to the Present)." In Routledge History of Philosophy. Volume X: Philosophy of Meaning, Knowledge and Value in the Twentieth Century, edited by Canfield, John V., 108-133. New York: Routledge.
Ando, Takatura. 1963. Metaphysics. A Critical Survey of Its Meaning. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff.
Contents: Introduction 1; I. The Origin of the Concept of Metaphysics 3; II. The Tradition of the Concept of Metaphysics 17; III. Kant and Metaphysics 40; Iv. Metaphysics and Dialectic 71; V. Metaphysics in Recent Philosophy 95; Vi. Conclusion 124-125.
"No science is subject to such contrary evaluations as metaphysics. Sometimes it is called the queen of all the sciences, sometimes it is outcast and forsaken like Hecuba. (1) The evaluation has changed several times even since Kant. In the present situation, the number of its admirers is matched by the number of its denigrators, and the final outcome hardly seems to be predictable. Such instability is admittedly natural to a position of great honour. But the problem is not, as Kant considered it, just a matter of the ability of metaphysics to perform its task. What is most perplexing is that we cannot find any single definition of metaphysics common to both its admirers and its denigrators. This, I think, is the most important reason why there has been no correct evaluation of metaphysics. The neglect of definition which, as Socrates maintained, should be the primary subject of philosophy, has resulted in many of the disputes of contemporary philosophy. So as to shed some light on this confusion, the present inquiry aims at a concise survey of the usage of the term metaphysics. Metaphysics must not be defined a priori; we must reach a definition inductively from the history of metaphysics. For we have without doubt a history of thought which is called metaphysics. An a priori concept, which ignores this history, cannot claim universal validity. Even when one wishes to express a completely original thought, one is not allowed to neglect the history of the concepts one employs.
The history of metaphysics either covers the whole history of philosophy or at least forms more than half of it. But a History of Metaphysics cannot explain the concept of metaphysics itself. In order to make a History of Metaphysics out of the whole of philosophy, one must implicitly presuppose a definition of metaphysics. Therefore, a classification of what philosophers meant by the term must precede a History of Metaphysics. This is just what this inquiry aims at. A comprehensive enumeration of historical usages would not necessarily be effective. Such a task should be entrusted to a lexicon of philosophy.
Our scope must be limited to the most important usages. It is not certain whether the various usages may be reduced to a single meaning or whether they form a continuous series of development. Any metaphysical presupposition must be strictly prohibited. The attempt to arrive at a systematic explanation is of course of extreme importance. But it must be preceded by plain observation of historical facts." (Introduction, 1-2).
(1) Kant, Kritik der reinen Vernunft, Vorrede.
Beebee, Helen, Effingham, Nikk, and Goff, Philip, eds. 2011. Metaphysics. The Key Concepts. New York: Routledge.
Kim, Jaegwon, Sosa, Ernest, and Rosenkrantz, Gary S., eds. 2009. A Companion to Metaphysics. Malden: Blackwell.
Second revised edition (First edition 1995).
"The 264 alphabetically-arranged entries include contributions from many of the world's most distinguished metaphysicians. From the Introduction: "Because it is the most central and general subdivision of philosophy, and because it is among the oldest and most persistently cultivated parts of the field, metaphysics raises special difficulties of selection for a companion such as this. The difficulties are compounded, moreover, by two further facts. First, metaphysics is not only particularly old among fields of philosophy; it is also particularly widespread among cultures and regions of the world. And, second, metaphysics has provoked levels of scepticism unmatched elsewhere in philosophy; including scepticism as to whether the whole subject is nothing but a welter of pseudo-questions and pseudo-problems. In light of this a project such as ours needs to delimit its approach. In accomplishing this, we had to bear in mind the space limitations established by the series, and also the fact that other volumes in the series would be sure to cover some questions traditionally viewed as metaphysical. These considerations led to our including some such questions, which we thought would be covered more extensively in Samuel Guttenplan's A Companion to the Philosophy of Mind, for example, or in Peter Singer's A Companion to Ethics, but which should be treated in this Companion, if only briefly and for the sake of a more complete and self-contained Companion to Metaphysics. In addition, we tried to give a good sense of the sorts of sceptical objections that have been raised to our field as a whole. As for the spread of metaphysics across cultures, traditions, and regions of the world, we opted again to include some coverage of the non-western, while at the same time keeping our focus firmly on the western tradition from the Greeks to the present. What is more, even within the western tradition we needed to be selective, especially once we came to the present century."
Burkhardt, Hans, and Smith, Barry, eds. 1991. Handbook of Metaphysics and Ontology. Munich: Philosophia Verlag.
"The present work seeks to document the most important traditional and contemporary streams in the two overlapping fields of metaphysics and ontology. Both disciplines were, even just a few years ago, seen by many of negligible contemporary interest.
The editors, neither of whom had shared this general opinion, were none the less surprised to see how much valuable work had been achieved in these areas not only in the past but also in our own century. The intensity of contemporary work in metaphysics and ontology points indeed to a healthy renewal of these disciplines, the like of which has not been seen, perhaps, since the 13th century".(...)
Of the two editors of this Handbook -- who bear equal responsibility for all its parts and moments -- one is and admirer of Leibniz and the 17th-century rationalists and thus finds himself strongly allied to certain modern deductive trends. The other feels more at home in the 13th or 14th centuries and is accordingly critical of the over-enthusiastic and often over-simplistic use of formal logical techniques in contemporary metaphysics. The editors are however equally convinced that it is precisely the tension between the deductive and descriptive approaches to the problems of metaphysics and ontology which will be responsible for the future creative advances in these fields. And they are convinced also that such advances can be furthered by an understanding of the history of metaphysics and ontology., an understanding -- guided by the most sophisticated modern research and by the use of the most sophisticated modern techniques -- of the sort this Handbook has been designed to facilitate." (from the Introduction).
Loux, Michael J., and Zimmermann, Dean W., eds. 2003. The Oxford Handbook of Metaphysics. New York: Oxford University Press.
Contents: Notes on the contributors X; Introduction by Michael J. Loux & Dean W. Zimmerman 1; Part I. Universals and particulars 1. Nominalism by Zoltán Gendler Szabó 11; 2. Platonistic theories of universals 46; 3. Individuation by E. J. Lowe 75; Part II. Existence and identity 4. Identity by John Hawthorne 99; 5. Existence, ontological commitment, and fictional entities by Peter van Inwagen 131; Part III. Modality and possible worlds 6. The problem of possibilia by Kit Fine 161; 7. Reductive theories of modality by Theodore Sider 180; Part IV. Time, space-time, and persistence 8. Presentism by Thomas M. Crisp 211; 9. Four-dimensionalism by Michael C. Rea 246; 10. Space-time substantivalism 281; 11. Persistence through time by Sally Haslanger 315; Part V. Events, causation, and physics 12. Events by Peter Simons 357; 13. Causation and supervenience by Michael Tooley 386; 14. Causation in a physical world by Hartry Field 435; 15. Distilling metaphysics from quantum physics by Tim Maudlin 461; Part VI. Persons and the nature of mind 16. Material people by Dean W. Zimmerman 491; 17. The ontology of the mental by Howard Robinson 527; 18. Supervenience, emergence, realization, reduction by Jaegwon Kim 556; Part VII. Freedom of the will 19. Libertarianism by Carl Ginet 587; 20. Compatibilism and incompatibilism: some arguments by Ted Warfield 613; Part VIII. Anti-realism and vagueness 21. Realism and anti-.realism: Dummett's challenge by Michael J. Loux 633; 22. Ontological and conceptual relativity and the Self by Ernest Sosa 665; 23. Vagueness in reality by Timothy Williamson 690; Index 717-724.
"Most philosophers today who identify themselves as metaphysicians are in basic agreement with the Quinean approach to systematic metaphysics exemplified in the work of Chisholm and Lewis. Indeed, it is probably not much of an exaggeration to say that today's crop of metaphysicians can be divided fairly exhaustively into those most influenced by the one or the other. That division is reflected in the debates discussed in the chapters that follow. Those chapters approach the field topically. Each focuses on a fundamental metaphysical issue; the aim is to provide an account of the nature and structure of the debate over the issue. But the chapters are not merely about metaphysics; they are also exercises in metaphysics with authors attempting to advance the debate over the relevant issues. The first three focus on the traditional dichotomy of universal and particular. Zoltán Szabó discusses nominalistic accounts of the phenomena central to the debate over universals; whereas Joshua Hoffman and Gary Rosenkrantz focus on Platonistic accounts of universals. E. J. Lowe closes Part I by discussing problems surrounding the individuation of particulars. Next, there follows a pair of chapters on very general ontological issues. John Hawthorne deals with the concept of identity, and Peter van Inwagen discusses the phenomenon of ontological commitment and attempts to show how the case of fictional discourse is to be accommodated.
Modal issues have been pivotal in recent analytic metaphysics. Here, the central debate has been between those endorsing non-reductive theories of modality and those insisting on reductive accounts of modal phenomena. In his contribution Kit Fine deals with approaches of the first sort; whereas Ted Sider examines approaches of the second sort. In addition, discussion of non-reductive theories can be found in Hoffman and Rosenkrantz's chapter on Platonistic theories of universals.
Part IV focuses on issues bearing on the metaphysics of time and space. One important debate on the nature of time pits what are called presentists against those who construe time as a fourth dimension on a par with the three spatial dimensions. Thomas Crisp examines presentist theorists; whereas Michael Rea discusses fourdimensionalism. In his chapter, Graham Nerlich discusses issues bearing on the debate over the status of space-time. Finally, Sally Haslanger discusses the different approaches to questions about persistence through time and their theoretical roots in the metaphysics of time.
Part V deals with a series of interrelated issues about events, causation, and physical theory. In the first chapter Peter Simons discusses recent debates about the existence and nature of events. Michael Tooley and Hartry Field each contribute a chapter on causation. Tooley focuses on broader issues about the analysis of our concept of causation; whereas Field examines the more particular case of causation in physical theory. Finally, we have a chapter by Tim Maudlin on the metaphysical implications of quantum mechanics.
The next three chapters focus on questions about the metaphysics of persons and the mental. Dean Zimmerman examines materialist accounts of persons. His chapter is followed by two more general discussions of the metaphysical status of the mental. The first, by Howard Robinson, focuses on general ontological questions about the nature and structure of perceptual and conceptual episodes. The second, by Jaegwon Kim, considers the way questions about supervenience and reduction have come together in recent attempts at providing materialist accounts of intentional phenomena. Then we have two chapters on the problem of freedom of the will. Carl Ginet examines libertarian approaches; whereas Ted Warfield discusses compatibilist accounts of freedom.
Part VII bears broadly on realism and attempts to delineate alternatives to realism. Michael Loux discusses the very influential debates over realism and anti-realism that originated with Michael Dummett and dominated the British philosophical scene in the 1970s, 1980s, and early 1990s. Ernest Sosa considers approaches to questions about realism that have their origin in facts bearing on ontological relativity. Finally, Timothy Williamson attempts to lay out the central features of metaphysical debates over the nature of vagueness" pp. 6-7.
Rosenkrantz, Gary S., and Hoffman, Joshua. 2011. Historical Dictionary of Metaphysics. Lanham: Scarecrow Press.
Le Poidevin, Robin, Simons, Peter M., McGonigal, Andrew, and Cameron, Ross P., eds. 2009. The Routledge Companion to Metaphysics. New York: Routledge.
Table of Contents: General Introduction Robin Le Poidevin Part 1: History of Metaphysics Peter Simons 1. Pre-Socratic Themes: Being, Not-being and Mind David Sedley 2. Plato: Arguments for Forms Richard Patterson 3. Aristotle: Form, Matter and Substance Stephen Makin 4. Aristotle: Time and Change Ursula Coope 5. Medieval Metaphysics 1: The Problem of Universals Claude Panaccio 6. Medieval Metaphysics 2: Things, Non-things, God and Time John Marenbon 7. Descartes: The Real Distinction Dugald Murdoch 8. Hobbes: Matter, Cause and Motion George MacDonald Ross 9. Spinoza: Substance, Attribute and Mode Richard Glauser 10. Locke: The Primary and Secondary Quality Distinction Lisa Downing 11. Leibniz: Mind-body Causation and Pre-established Harmony Gonzalo RodriguePereyra 12. Berkeley: Arguments for Idealism Tom Stoneham 13. Hume: Necessary Connections and Distinct Existences Alexander Miller 14. Kant: The Possibility of Metaphysics Lucy Allais 15. Hegel and Schopenhauer: Reason and Will Rolf-Peter Horstmann 16. Anti-Metaphysics I: Nietzsche Maudemarie Clark 17. Bradley: the Supra-relational Absolute William Mander 18. Whitehead: Process and Cosmology Peter Simons 19. Heidegger: The Question of Being Herman Philipse 20. Anti-Metaphysics II: verificationism and kindred views Cheryl Misak 21. Metaphysics revivified Avrum Stroll Part 2: Ontology: On What Exists Ross P. Cameron 22. To Be Christopher Daly 23. Not to Be Graham Priest 24. Razor Arguments Peter Forrest 25. Substance David Robb 26. Intrinsic and Extrinsic Properties Ross P. Cameron 27. Universals: The Contemporary Debate Fraser McBride 28. Particulars Herbert Hochberg 29. Persistence, Composition and Identity Nikk Effingham 30. Relations John Heil 31. Facts, Events and States of Affairs Julian Dodd 32. Possible Worlds and Possibilia John Divers 33. Mathematical Entities Peter Clark 34. Fictional Objects Richard Hanley 35. Vagueness Elizabeth Barnes 36. Minor Entities: Surfaces, Holes and Shadows Roberto Casati 37. Truth-Makers and Truth-Bearers John Bigelow 38. Values Kevin Mulligan Part 3: Metaphysics and Science Robin Le Poidevin 39. Space, Absolute and Relational Tim Maudlin 40. The Infinite Daniel Nolan 41. The Passage of Time Eric Olsen 42. The Direction of Time D. H. Mellor 43. Causation Michael Tooley 44. Laws and Dispositions Stephen Mumford 45. Probability and Determinism Philip Percival 46. Essences and Natural Kinds Alexander Bird 47. Metaphysics and Relativity Katherine Hawley 48. Metaphysics and Quantum Physics Peter J. Lewis 49. Supervenience, Reductionism and Emergence Howard Robinson 50. Biometaphysics Barry Smith 51. Social Entities Amie L. Thomasson 52. The Mental and the Physical Louise Antony 53. The Self John Campbell A Short Glossary of Metaphysics Peter Simons and Ross P. Cameron.
Gale, Richard M., ed. 2002. The Blackwell Guide to Metaphysics. Malden: Blackwell.
Crane, Tim, and Farkas, Katalin, eds. 2004. Metaphysics. A Guide and Anthology. New York: Oxford University Press.
Hoy, Ronald C., and Oaklander, Nathan, eds. 2004. Metaphysics. Classic and Contemporary Readings. Belmont: Thomson/Wadsworth.
Table of Contents: Part I: TIME. 1. Parmenides: Being Is Not Temporal. 2. Wesley C. Salmon: A Contemporary Exposition of Zeno's Paradoxes. 3. Aristotle: Time Is a Measure of Change. 4. St. Augustine: What Is Time? 5. Isaac Newton: Time Is Absolute. 6. Henri Bergson: Time Is the Flux of Duration. 7. John M. E. McTaggart: Time Is Not Real. 8. Donald C. Williams: The Myth of Passage. 9. D. H. Mellor: McTaggart, Fixity and Coming True. 10. John Perry: Time, Consciousness and the Knowledge Argument. Further Reading. Part II: IDENTITY. 11. Plato: Phaedo. 12. Aristotle: On Substance. 13. Thomas Hobbes: Of Identity and Diversity. 14. John Locke: Of Identity and Diversity.15. Thomas Reid: Of Identity and on Mr. Locke's Theory of Personal Identity. 16. David Hume: Of Identity and Personal Identity. 17. Roderick M. Chisholm: Problems of Identity. 18. David Armstrong: Identity Through Time. 19. John Perry: The Bodily Theory of Personal Identity, The Third Night from A Dialogue on Personal Identity and Immortality. 20. Derek Parfit: Personal Identity. 21. Jennifer Whiting: Friends and Future Selves. 22. Thomas Nagel. The Self as Private Object. Further Reading. Part III: MIND. 23. Aristotle: On the Soul. 24. René Descartes: Meditations on First Philosophy. 25. Franz Brentano: The Distinction Between Mental and Physical Phenomena. 26. Daniel C. Dennett: Intentional Systems. 27. Ruth Garrett Millikan: Biosemantics. 28. David M. Armstrong: The Nature of Mind. 29. Hilary Putnam: Philosophy and Our Mental Life. 30. Thomas Nagel: What Is It Like to Be a Bat? 31. Frank Jackson: Epiphenomenal Qualia. 32. Paul Churchland: Reduction, Qualia, and the Direct Inspection of the Brain. 33. John Searle: Reductionism and the Irreducibility of Consciousness. 34. Patricia Smith Churchland: Dualism and the Arguments against Neuroscientific Progress. Further Reading. Part IV: FREEDOM. 35. Aristotle: Fatalism, Voluntary Action, and Choice. 36. L. Nathan Oaklander: Freedom and the New Theory of Time. 37. Thomas Aquinas: Whether There Is Anything Voluntary In Human Acts? 38. St. Augustine: God's Foreknowledge and Human Freedom. 39. William L. Rowe: Predestination, Divine Foreknowledge, and Human Freedom. 40. David Hume: On Liberty and Necessity. 41. Thomas Reid: Of the Liberty of Moral Agents. 42. George E. Moore: Free Will. 43. Roderick M. Chisholm: Human Freedom and the Self. 44. Harry Frankfurt: Alternative Possibilities and Moral Responsibility. 45. Robert Kane: Responsibility, Luck, and Chance: Reflections on Free Will and Indeterminism. 46. Daniel C. Dennett: A Hearing for Libertarianism. 47. Robert Brandom: Freedom and Constraint by Norms. Further Reading. Part V: GOD. 48. Aquinas: Five Ways. 49. Rene Descartes: Meditations on First Philosophy, Meditations III, IV and V. 50. William Rowe: The Cosmological Argument. 51. Bruce Russell and Stephen Wykstra: The "Inductive" Argument From Evil: A Dialogue. 52. Phillip Quinn: Creation, Conservation and the Big Bang. 53. Adolf Grünbaum: Theological Misinterpretations of Current Physical Cosmology. Further Reading. Part VI: KNOWING REALITY. 54. Berkeley: A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Understanding. 55. Hume: An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding. 56. Charles Sanders Peirce: The Fixation of Belief and How to Make our Ideas Clear. 57. Wilfrid Sellars: Philosophy and the Scientific Image of Man. 58. Willard V. O. Quine: Ontological Relativity. 59. Richard Rorty: The World Well Lost. 60. William Alston: Yes, Virginia, There is a Real World. Further Reading.
Schoedinger, Andrew, ed. 1990. Introduction to Metaphysics. The Fundamental Questions. Buffalo, New York: Prometheus Books.
Contents: Introduction; Part One: The Question of Universals; Introduction; 1. Aristotle: The Categories (Chapters 1-5); 2. Peter Abelard: On Universals; 3. John Locke: Of the signification of words, and general terms; 4. George Berkeley: First principles of human knowledge; 5. D. F. Pears: Universals; 6. Renford Bambrough: Universals and family resemblances; 7. Rudolf Carnap: Empiricism, semantics, and ontology; Select Bibliography; Part Two: The question of causation; Introduction; 8. David Hume: of the idea of necessary connection; 9. John Stuart Mill: Of the law of universal causation; 10. Bertrand Russell: On the notion of cause; 11. C. J. Ducasse: On the nature and the observability of the causal relation; 12. R. G. Collingwood: On the so-called idea of causation; 13. Roderick M. Chisholm: Law statement and counterfactual inference; 14. Richard Taylor: The metaphysics of causation. Select Bibliography: Part Three: The question of personal identity; Introduction; 15. René Descartes: On Thinking things and the soul; 16. John Locke: The body, the soul, and the person; 17. Joseph Butler: Of personal identity; 18. David Hume: On personal identity; 19. Sydney Shoemaker: Personal identity and memory; 20. Anthony Quinton The soul; 21. P. F. Strawson: Persons; Select Bibliography;Part Four: Introduction; 22. Alasdair MacIntyre: Determinism; 23. A. I. Melden Willing; 24. Arthur C. Danto: Basic actions; 25. Richard Taylor: Causal power and human agency; 26. Donald Davidson: Actions, reasons, and causes; 27. Alvin I. Goldman: Intentional action; 28. Andrew B. Schoedinger: Beliefs, wants, and decisions; Select Bibliography; Part Five: Problems of Artificial Intelligence; Introduction; 29. Allen Newell, J. C. Shaw, and Herbert Simon: Elements of a theory of human problem solving; 30. Michael Scriven: The complete robot: a prolegomena to androidology; 31. Keith Gunderson: The imitation game; 32: Arthur C. Danto: On consciousness in machines; 33. Paul Ziff: The feelings of robots; 34. Hilary Putnam: Minds and machines; 35. Paul Weiss: Love in a machine age; Select Bibliography.
"The word 'metaphysics' is derived from the two Greek words meta and physica, and literally means 'beyond physics.' The Ancient Greeks were very much interested in understanding the workings of the world around them. Hence, in the most general of ways, they sought an understanding of physics. This is most clearly evident in their preoccupation with the notion of change. What happens, they wondered, when a log burns and turns to ashes? How is it that the color of a tree's leaves change? Answers to these and other questions led some to conclude that the world must be composed of fundamental elements, i.e., atoms (the cheek word for unbreakable units), and that the world must function according to the law of conservation of energy (though they didn't express it in this formal way). Along with their quest for an understanding of physics came the realization that an in-depth explanation of the physical workings of the world required going beyond the physical in order to explain it adequately. Concepts with no physical referents are necessary in order to account for that which is physical. Consequently, metaphysics constitutes the foundation upon which the physics qua physical rests.
The notion of 'property' is a good case in point. If we were to inquire of a scientist if physical things possessed properties, he would undoubtedly respond in the affirmative. Such a response would commit him to the existence of properties. But what is a property? The concept of a property is that of something nonphysical. A little reflection will determine that we cannot account for anything physical without making reference to its properties or characteristics. Yet when going beyond the specific properties of a physical thing to analyze the concept of a property, all reference to the particular (physical) thing disappears. At that point, we have gone beyond physics and enter the realm of metaphysics." (from the Introduction).
Cooper, David Edward, ed. 2000. Metaphysics. The Classic Readings. Malden: Blackwell.
Table of ContentsSeries Preface. Introduction. 1. Tao Te Ching, Selected Chapters. 2. Plato, Phaedrus 245-50: Plato. 3. Metaphysics Books VII-VIII (Selected Chapters): Aristotle. 4. (A) Sayings On 'Conditioned Genesis'. (B) Lalitavistara, XIII 95-117. (C) Nagarjuna, Madhyamaka-Karika, Dedication and Chapter 25: Gotama (The Buddha). 5. Brahmasutrabhasya (Selections): Samkara. 6. Principles of Philosophy Part I: René: Descartes. 7. Ethics Part I: Benedict De Spinoza. 8. An Essay Concernin g Human Understanding Book II, Chapters 8 and 23 (1-11): John Locke. 9. Monadology: G. W. Liebnitz. 10. The Principles of Human Knowledge, Part I: 1-37: George Berkeley. 11. Critique of Pure Reason Second Edition, Transcendental Aesthetic, 1-3, 8: Immanuel Kant. 12. The World As Will and Representation, Vol II, Chapter 18: Arthur Schopenhauer. 13. An Examination of Sir William Hamilton's Philosophy, Chapter 11: John Stuart Mill. 14. Appearance and Reality, Chapters 13 and 14: F. H. Bradley. 15. 'The One and The Many': William James. 16. The Philosophy of Logical Atomism, Lecture VIII: Bertrand Russell. 17. A. N. Whitehead, Process and Reality, Part I, Chapters 1 and 2 (Selected Sections): A. N. Whitehead. 18. Being and Time, 14-15, 19, 21: Martin Heidegger. Index.
Beebee, Helen, and Dodd, Julian, eds. 2007. Reading Metaphysics. Selected Texts with Interactive Commentary. Malden: Blackwell.
Contents: Sources and Acknowledgements; Introduction; Introduction; Derek Parfit: 'Personal Identity'; Commentary on Parfit; Marya Schechtman: 'Personhood and Personal Identity'; Commentary on Schechtman; Further Reading; Essay Questions: Introduction; Peter van Inwagen: 'The Incompatibility of Free Will and Determinism'; Commentary on van Inwagen; Daniel Dennett: 'Could Have Done Otherwise' (extract from Elbow Room); Commentary on Dennett; Further Reading; Essay Questions; Appendix; Introduction; Donald Davidson: 'On the Very Idea of a Conceptual Scheme'; Commentary on Davidson; Thomas Nagel: 'Thought and Reality' (extract from The View from Nowhere); Commentary on Nagel; Further reading; Essay questions; Introduction; Michael Devitt: '"Ostrich Nominalism" or "Mirage Realism"?'; Commentary on Devitt; D. M. Armstrong: 'Against "Ostrich" Nominalism: A Reply to Michael Devitt'; Commentary on Armstrong; Further reading; Essay questions; Introduction; David Lewis: extract from Counterfactuals; Commentary on Lewis; Saul Kripke: extract from Naming and Necessity; Commentary on Kripke; Further reading; Essay questions; Introduction; David Lewis: extract from On the Plurality of Worlds; Commentary on Lewis; Sally Haslanger: 'Endurance and Temporary Intrinsics'; Commentary on Haslanger; David Lewis: 'Tensing the Copula'; Commentary on Lewis; Further reading; Essay questions; Bibliography; Index.
Rea, Michael C., ed. 2009. Arguing About Metaphysics. New York: Routledge.
Kim, Jaegwon, Korman, Daniel Z., and Sosa, Ernest, eds. 2011. Metaphysics. An Anthology. Oxford: Blackwell.
Second revised edition (First edition 1999).
Part I: Ontology 1; 1. "On What There Is" (W. V. Quine) 7; 2. "Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology" (Rudolf Carnap) 16; 3. "Holes" (David and Stephanie Lewis) 27; 4. "Beyond Being and Nonbeing" (Roderick M. Chisholm) 32; 5. "Does Ontology Rest on a Mistake?" (Stephen Yablo) 40; 6. "Fictional Objects" (Amie L. Thomasson) 59; 7. "On What Grounds What" (Jonathan Schaffer) 73; Part II: Identity 97; 8. "The Identity of Indiscernibles" (Max Black) 103; 9. "Primitive Thisness and Primitive Identity" (Robert M. Adams) 109; 10. "Identity and Necessity" (Saul Kripke) 122; 11. "Contingent Identity" (Allan Gibbard) 141 12. "Can There Be Vague Objects?" (Gareth Evans) 158 13. "Vague Identity" (Robert C. Stalnaker) 159 Part III: Modality 167; 14. "Modalities: Basic Concepts and Distinctions" (Alvin Plantinga) 173; 15. "Actualism and Thisness" (Robert M. Adams) 187; 16. "A Philosopher's Paradise: The Plurality of Worlds" (David Lewis) 208; 17. "Possible Worlds" (Robert C. Stalnaker) 230; 18. "Modal Fictionalism" (Gideon Rosen) 236; 19. "Essence and Modality" (Kit Fine) 255; Part IV: Properties 267; 20. "Natural Kinds" (W. V. Quine) 271; 21. "Causality and Properties" (Sydney Shoemaker) 281; 22. "The Metaphysic of Abstract Particulars" (Keith Campbell) 298; 23. "New Work for a Theory of Universals" (David Lewis) 307; 24. "Universals as Attributes" (D. M. Armstrong) 332; Part V: Causation 345; 25. "On the Notion of Cause" (Bertrand Russell) 351; 26. "Causes and Conditions" (J.L. Mackie) 362; 27. "Causal Relations" (Donald Davidson) 378; 28. "Causality and Determination" (G.E.M. Anscombe) 386; 29. "Causation" (David Lewis) 397; 30. "Causal connections" (Wesley C. Salmon) 405; 31. "Causation: Reductionism Versus Realism" (Michael Tooley) 419 32. "Two Concepts of Causation" (Ned Hall) 432; Part VI: Persistence 455; 33. "Identity Through Time" (Roderick M. Chisholm) 461; 34. "Identity, Ostension, and Hypostasis" (W. V. Quine) 472; 35. "Parthood and Identity Across Time" (Judith Jarvis Thomson) 480; 36. "Temporal Parts of Four-Dimensional Objects" (Mark Heller) 492; 37. "The Problem of Temporary Intrinsics" (David Lewis) 504; 38. "Endurance and Temporary Intrinsics" (Sally Haslanger) 506; 39. "All the World's a Stage" (Theodore Sider) 511; Part VII: Persons 527; 40. "Persons and Their Pasts" (Sydney Shoemaker) 533; 41. "The Self and the Future" (Bernard Williams) 552; 42. "Personal Identity" (Derek Parfit) 562; 43. "Survival and Identity" (David Lewis) 575; 44. "Lonely Souls: Causality and Substance Dualism" (Jaegwon Kim) 588; 45. "The Ontological Status of Persons" (Lynne Rudder Baker) 597; 46. "An Argument for Animalism" (Eric T. Olson) 610; Part VIII: Objects 621; 47. "When are Objects Parts?" (Peter van Inwagen) 627; 48. "Many But Almost One" (David Lewis) 642; 49. "Existential Relativity" (Ernest Sosa) 652; 50. "The Argument from Vagueness" (Theodore Sider) 661; 51. "Epiphenomenalism and Eliminativism" (Trenton Merricks) 673; 52. "Against Revisionary Ontology" (Eli Hirsch) 686; 53. "Strange Kinds, Familiar Kinds, and the Charge of Arbitrariness" (Daniel Z. Korman) 703.
"This Anthology, intended to accompany A Companion to Metaphysics (Blackwell, 1995), brings together 53 selections which represent the best and most important works in metaphysics during this century. The selections are grouped under ten major metaphysical problems and each section is preceded by an introduction by the editors. Some of the problems covered are existence, identity, essence and essential properties, "possible worlds", things and their identity over time, emergence and supervenience, causality, and realism/antirealism. The coverage is comprehensive and should be accessible to those without a background in technical philosophy."
Blackman, Larry Lee, ed. 1984. Classics of Analytical Metaphysics. New York: University Press of America.
Table of Contents: Preface. Introduction. PART I. Philosophical background. 1. Gottlob Frege: On concept and objet 2. Gottlob Frege: On sense and meaning 3. F. H. Bradley: Substantive and adjective 4. F. H. Bradley: Relation and quality 5. Alexius Meinong: The theory of objects PART II. Philosophical analysis 1. F. H. Bradley: On appearance, error, and contradiction 2. Bertrand Russell: Some explanations in reply to Mr. Bradley 3. F. H: Bradley: Reply to Mr. Russell's explanations 4. Bertrand Russell: The philosophy of Logical Atomism DISCUSSION: 1. Gustav Bergmann: Facts and things 2. Gustav Bergmann: Sketch of ontological analysis 3. Panayot Butchvarov: The limits of ontological analysis PART III: Universals and Particulars 1. Bertrand Russell: On the relations of universals and particulars 2. G. F. Stout: The nature of universals and propositions 3. G. E. Moore and G. F. Stout: Are the characteristics of particular things universal or particular? 4. DISCUSSION: 1. H. H. Price: Universals and resemblances 2. Panayot Butchvarov: The identity and resemblance theories PART IV. Identity and Individuation. 1. G. E. Moore: Identity DISCUSSION: Max Black: The identity of indiscernibles 2. Edwin B. Allaire: Bare particulars 3. V. C. Chappell: Particulars re-clothed 4. Edwin B. Allaire: Another look to bare particulars 5. Panayot Butchvarov: Identity PART V. Names and descriptions: Bertrand Russell: On denoting DISCUSSION: 1. P. F. Strawson: On referring 2. Bertrand Russell: Mr. Strawson on referring 3. Herbert Hochberg: Strawson, Russell, and the King of France PART VI. Intentionality 1. G. E. Moore: The refutation of Idealism 2. G. E. Moore: Beliefs and propositions 3. Bertrand Russell: Propositions and facts with more than one verb DISCUSSION: 1. Gustav Bergmann: Intentionality 2. Herbert Hochberg: Intentions, facts and propositions.
"The purposes of this book are: (1) to make available in a single volume many of the "classics" of analytical metaphysics, works by GottIob Frege, Bertrand Russell, G. E. Moore, and others roughly in the years 1890-1925, (2) to bring together a similar number of recent "discussions" of issues raised in the earlier papers, and (3) to provide an introduction both to metaphysics and to twentieth-century analytical philosophy. In selecting the "classics" my guiding principle has been to include works which have been most influential and which exhibit the most important themes of the movement. The papers by Frege, Russell, Moore, and G. F. Stout have these characteristics. Alexius Meinong's 'The Theory of Objects" merits inclusion not only because Russell found the admission of "nonexistent objects" so repugnant, but, also, because in trying to grasp the relation between thought and reality, a number of thinkers in the analytical tradition, such as Gustav Bergmann and Panayot Butchvarov, have been so strongly attracted to Meinongian positions. The selections by F. H. Bradley are important, not because they are pieces of analytical philosophy (which they are not), but because they represent the kind of thinking against which Russell and the others reacted. All of the "discussion" articles have appeared since 1950. My aim has been to include those which are most closely allied to the "Classics" in style and in substance and which therefore show the continuity of the earlier and more recent thought. Of necessity, some excellent papers, which in every way qualify as works of analytical metaphysics, were excluded. The ones that remain seem to lend themselves most strikingly to the thematic unity of the book. As the reader will discover, certain topics, such as the nature of identity, the existence of universals, the status of nonexistent objects, the viability of artificial languages, and the very possibility of analysis, are almost constantly the focus of concern." (from the Preface).
Sider, Theodor, Hawthorne, John, and Zimmermann, Dean W., eds. 2008. Contemporary Debates in Metaphysics. Malden: Blackwell.
Notes on contributors Introduction1.1 Abstract entities: Chris Swoyer (University of Oklahoma) 1.2 There are no abstract objects: Cian Dorr (University of Pittsburgh) 2.1 Nailed to Hume's cross?: John W. Carroll (North Carolina State University) 2.2 Causation and laws of nature: Reductionism: Jonathan Schaffer (University of Massachusetts-Amherst) 3.1 Concrete possible worlds: Phillip Bricker(University of Massachusetts- Amherst) 3.2 Ersatz possible worlds: Joseph Melia (University of Leeds) 4.1 People and their bodies: Judith Jarvis Thomson (MIT) 4.2 Persons, bodies, and human beings: Derek Parfit (All Souls College, Oxford) 5.1 The privileged present: defending an "A-theory" of time: Dean Zimmerman (Rutgers University) 5.2 The tenseless theory of time: J. J. C. Smart (Australian National University) 6.1 Temporal parts: Theodore Sider (Rutgers University) 6.2 Three-dimensionalism vs. four-dimensionalism: John Hawthorne (Rutgers University) 7.1 Incompatibilism: Robert Kane (University of Texas at Austin) 7.2 Compatibilism, incompatibilism, and impossibilism: Kadri Vihvelin (University of Southern California) 8.1 The moon and sixpence: a defense of mereological universalism: James van Cleve (University of Southern California) 8.2 Restricted composition: Ned Markosian (Western Washington University) 9.1 Ontological arguments: interpretive charity and quantifier variance: Eli Hirsch (Brandeis University) 9.2 The picture of reality as an amorphous lump: Matti Eklund (Cornell University) Index.
Hales, Steven, ed. 1999. Metaphysics. Contemporary Readings. Belmont, California: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning.
TABLE OF CONTENTS: Editor's Preface. I. EXISTENCE. Michael Burke, Introduction to Existence. Nicholas Rescher, On Explaining Existence. Derek Parfit, Why is Reality as It Is? Robert Nozick, Why Is There Something Rather Than Nothing? Bibliography of Further Readings. II. REALISM/ANTI-REALISM. Simon Blackburn, Introduction to the Realism Debates. Michael Dummett, Realism and Anti-Realism. Hilary Putnam, Why There Isn't a Ready-Made World. Ernest Sosa, Putnam's Pragmatic Realism. Michael Devitt, A Naturalistic Defense of Realism. Michael Devitt, Postscript to A Naturalistic Defense of Realism. Bibliography of Further Readings. III. TRUTH. Frederick Schmitt, Introduction to Truth. Alfred Tarski, The Semantic Conception of Truth. Susan Haack, The Pragmatist Theory of Truth. Nicholas Rescher, Truth as Ideal Coherence. Paul Horwich, The Disquotational Conception of Truth. Marian David, Truth as Correspondence. Bibliography of Further Readings. IV. ABSTRACTA: PROPERTIES, NUMBERS, PROPOSITIONS. Bob Hale, Introduction to Abstracta. W.V. Quine, On What There Is. Rudolf Carnap, Empiricism, Semanitcs, and Ontology. Alonzo Church, On Carnap's Analysis of Statements of Assertion and Belief. W.V. Quine, Meaning and Truth. Paul Benacerraf, What Numbers Could Not Be. David M. Armstrong, Universals as Attributes. Bibliography of Further Readings. V. SECONDARY QUALITIES. Edward Averill, Introduction to Secondary Qualities. David M. Armstrong, The Secondary Qualities. Paul A. Boghossian and David Velleman, Colour as a Secondary Quality. C.L. Hardin, Color and Illusion. Bibliography of Further Readings. VI. CONCRETA: EVENTS. Jonathan Bennett, Introduction to Events. Donald Davidson, The Individuation of Events. JaegwonKim, Events as Property Exemplifications. Lawrence Lombard, Events. Bibliography of Further Readings. VII. CONCRETA: SUBSTANCE. Ernest Jonathan Lowe, Introduction to Substance. James Van Cleve, Three Versions of the Bundle Theory. Gary Rosenkrantz and Joshua Hoffman, The Independence Criterion of Substance. Peter Simons, Particulars in Particular Clothing: Three Trope Theories of Substance. Bibliography of Further Readings. VIII. DEPENDENT PARTICULARS: HOLES, BOUNDARIES, AND SURFACES. Scott H. Hestevold, Introduction to Dependent Particulars. David Lewis and Stephanie Lewis, Holes. Roberto Casati and Achille C. Varzi. Immaterial Bodies. Roderick Chisholm, Boundaries as Dependent Particulars. Avrum Stroll, Two Conceptions of Surfaces. Bibliography of Further Readings. IX. MEREOLOGY. Peter Simons, Introduction to Mereology. W.V. Quine, Identity, Ostension, and Hypostasis. Mark Heller, Temporal Parts of Four-Dimensioned Objects. Peter Van Inwagen, Four-Dimensional Objects. James Van Cleve, Mereological Essentialism, Mereological Conjunctivism, and Identity Through Time. BIBLIOGRAPHY OF FURTHER READINGS.
"Metaphysics is one of the oldest and most central divisions of philosophy, an its study is found in full flower among the Greeks of the fifth century B.C.E. The word metaphysics itself comes from a first-century B.C.E. edition of certain collected writings of Aristotle, assembled under the title Ta Meta ta Phusika, which means no more than 'what comes after the writings on nature' (ta phusika). The topics treated by Aristotle in posthumous edition became the focus of the specialty of metaphysics. Aristotle set out three main tasks in Ta Meta ta Phusika. The first was the study of first principles of logic and causation. The second chore was the reasoned investigation of the nature of divinity. The third was ontology: the exploration of being qua being, or intrinsic nature of existence. In the past two thousand years, the first assignment has been divided variously among logicians, philosophers of science, and scientists. The second task has become the specialized subject of the philosophy of religion. It is the third task, that of ontology, which remains to metaphysics proper today. Ontology has three primary objectives. The first is to establish the basic categories of what there is, or the taxonomy of the ultimate furniture of reality. In one respect, a kind of taxonomy is implied by the very divisions of this book, in which, for example, an entire part is devoted to one kind of thing (such as truth) and another whole part is devoted to another kind of thing (such as events). (...) The second task of ontology is to investigate the relations that hold among different types of things. (...) The third objective of ontology is to delineate the relations that obtain among things in the same category. (...) Though no single book could cover every issue in metaphysics, the volume you are holding surveys some of the most prominent topics in contemporary metaphysics. Each of the nine parts of the book is introduced by a leading scholar on the topic of that part, and each of the articles is accompanied by study questions to help you quickly grasp the key points of the article. In addition, extensive further readings at the end of each part allow you to delve more deeply. (from the Preface for the Students).
Laurence, Stephen, and Macdonald, Cynthia, eds. 1998. Contemporary Readings in the Foundations of Metaphysics. Oxford: Blackwell.
Contents: List of Contributors for State of the Art Essays. Acknowledgements. Introduction: Metaphysics and Ontology: Stephen Laurence and Cynthia MacDonald. Part I: Methodology and Ontological Commitment: State of the Art Essay. 1. The Nature of Metaphysics: Peter van Inwagen.
Readings. 2. Descriptive and Revisionary Metaphysics: Susan Haack. 3. On What There Is: W. V. O. Quine. 4. Ontological Commitments: William P. Alston. 5. Quantifiers: Susan Haack. 6. Identity and Substitutivity: Richard Cartwright. Part II: Possible Worlds and Possibilia: State of the Art Essay.
7. Possible Worlds and Possibilia: William G. Lycan. Readings. 8. Possible Worlds: David Lewis. 9. Possible Worlds: Robert Stalnaker. 10. Ways Worlds Could Be: Peter Forrest. Part III: Universals and Properties: State of the Art Essay. 11. Universals and Properties: George Bealer. Readings.
12. On Properties: Hilary Putnam. 13. New Work for a Theory of Universals: David Lewis. 15. A Theory of Structural Universals: John Bigelow and Robert Pargetter. Part IV: Substances: State of the Art Essay. 16. Beyond Substrata and Bundles: A Prolegomenon to a Substance Ontology: Michael J. Loux. Readings. 17. Bare Particulars: Edwin B. Allaire. 18. Particulars Re-Clothed: V. C. Chappell. 19. Another Look at Bare Particulars: Edwin B. Allaire. 20. Three Versions of the Bundle Theory: James Van Cleve. Part V: Events: State of the Art Essay. 21. Ontologies of Events: Lawrence Brian Lombard. Readings. 22. The Individuation of Events: Donald Devidson. 23. Events as Property Exemplifications: Jaegwon Kim.
Part VI: Tropes: State of the Art Essay. 24. Tropes and Other Things: Cynthia Macdonald. Readings. 25. The Metaphysic of Abstract Particulars: Keith Campbell. 26. Particulars in Particular Clothing: Three Trope Theories of Substance: Peter Simmons. Part VII: Mathematical Objects:
State of the Art Essay. 27. Mathematical Objectivity and Mathematical objects: Hartry Field. Readings. 28. Philosophy of Logic: Hilary Putnam.
29. What Numbers Could Not Be: Paul Benacerraf. Index.
From the Introduction: "One of the most fundamental questions in metaphysics is which (...) metaphysical categories of entities exist.
Philosophers have differed markedly over which categories they believe to exist. In David Lewis's suggestive phrase, they have varied widely from 'All-ists' to None-ists', with None-ists accepting only the existence of actual ordinary physical objects, and All-ists accepting all manner of further category of existents (David Lewis 'Noneism or Allism?' Mind vol. 99: 393, January 1990, pp. 23-31). As Lewis remarks, most philosophers fall somewhat in between. Even among philosophers who accept a given category of existents, there is still room for disagreement, however. One might accept the existence of a certain kind of entity without believing that that category of entities is basic. For example, one might think that there are such things as states of affairs, but hold that they are nothing over and above the particular objects and properties and relations involved in them. A theorist who took this view would insist that although states of affairs form a metaphysical category, they do not form a basic metaphysical category. Taking another example, one might hold that although there are particular objects, these objects are nothing more than 'bundIes' of properties, and do not constitute a category of entities in addition to the category of properties. A theorist who took this view would likewise insist that although particular objects form a metaphysical category, they do not form a basic metaphysical category. As these examples illustrate, disputes over whether or not a given category is basic are closely connected to questions about the natures of such entities. Together, these two sorts of questions -- questions about which metaphysical categories of entities there are and questions about the natures of different kinds of entities -- constitute the central questions in that part of metaphysics called 'ontology'. Ontology is plausibly viewed as the very foundation of metaphysics; and it is the focus of this Reader."
Inwagen, Peter van, and Zimmermann, Dean W., eds. 1998. Metaphysics. The Big Questions. Oxford: Blackwell.
Contents: Preface. Introduction: What is Metaphysics? Part I: What are the most General Features of the World?: Introduction. A. What is the Relationship between an Individual and its Characteristics? 1. Universals and Resemblances: Chapter 1 of Thinking and Experience: H. H. Price. 2. The Elements of Being: D. C. Williams. 3. The Principle of Individuation: an Excerpt from Human Knowledge, its Scope and Limits: Bertrand Russell. 4. Distinct Indiscernibles and the Bundle Theory: Dean W. Zimmerman. B. What is Time? What is Space? 5. Time: an Excerpt from The Nature of Existence: J. McT. E. McTaggart. 6. McTaggart's Arguments against the Reality of Time: an Excerpt from Examination of McTaggart's Philosophy. 7. The Notion of the Present: A. N. Prior. 8. The General Problem of Time and Change: an Excerpt from Scientific Thought: C. D. Broad. 9. The Space-Time World: An Excerpt from Philosophy and Scientific Realism: J. J. C. Smart. 10. Topis, Soris, Noris: an Excerpt from The Existence of Space and Time: Ian Hinckfuss. 11. Some Free Thinking about Time: A. N. Prior. 12. The Fourth Dimension: an Excerpt from The Ambidextrous Universe: Martin Gardner. 13. Incongruent Counterparts and Higher Dimensions: James Van Cleve. 14. Achilles and the Tortoise: Max Black. 15. A Contemporary Look at Zeno's Paradoxes: an Excerpt from Space, Time and Motion: Wesley C. Salmon. 16. Grasping the Infinite: José A. Bernadete. 17. The Paradoxes of Time Travel: David Lewis. C. How do things Persist through Changes of Parts and Properties? 18. Of Confused Subjects which are Equivalent to Two Subjects: an Excerpt from The Port-Royal Logic: Antoine Arnauld and Pierre Nicole. 19. Identity Through Time: Roderick M. Chisholm. 20. Identity, Ostension, and Hypostasis: W. V. O. Quine. 21. Identity: an Excerpt From Quiddities: W. V. O. Quine. 22. In Defense of Stages: Postscript B to 'Survival and identity': David Lewis. 23. Some Problems About Time: Peter Geach. 24. The Problem of Temporary Intrinsics: an Excerpt from On the Plurality of Worlds: David Lewis. 25. Temporary Intrinsics and Presentism: Dean W. Zimmerman. D. How do Causes Bring about their Effects? 26. Constant Conjunction: an excerpt from A Treatise of Human Nature: David Hume. 27. Efficient Cause and Active Power: an excerpt from Essays on the Active Powers of the Human Mind: Thomas Reid. 28. Psychological and Physical Causal Laws: an Excerpt from The Analysis of Mind: Bertrand Russell. 29. Causality: an Excerpt from A Modern Introduction to Logic: L. Susan Stebbing. 30. Causality and Determination: G. E. M. Anscombe. Part II: What is our Place in the World?: Introduction. A. How is the Appearance of a Thing Related to the Thing that Appears? 31. The Theory of Sensa: an Excerpt from Scientific Thought: C. D. Broad. 32. Qualities: an Excerpt from Consciousness and Causality: D. M. Armstrong. 33. The Status of Appearances: an Excerpt from Theory of Knowledge, 1st edition: Roderick M. Chisholm. B. What is the Relation Between Mind and Body? 34. Which Physical Thing am I?: an Excerpt From 'Is There a Mind Body Problem?': Roderick M. Chisholm. 35. Personal Identity: a Materialist Account: Sydney Shoemaker. 36. Dividend Minds and the Nature of Persons: Derek Parfit. 37. Body and Soul: an Excerpt from The Evolution of the Soul: Richard Swinburne. 38. The Puzzle of Conscious Experience: David Chalmers. C. Is it Possible for us to Act Freely?
39. Free Will as Involving Determination and Inconceivable Without it: R. E. Hobart. 40. Human Freedom and the Self: Richard M. Chisholm. 41. The Mystery of Metaphysical Freedom: Peter van Inwagen. 42. The Agent as Cause: Timothy O'Connor. Part III: Is There Just One World?: Introduction. 43. Speaking of Objects: W. V. O. Quine. 44. After Metaphysics, What?: Hilary Putnam. 45. Truth and Convention: Hilary Putnam. 46. Nonabsolute Existence and Conceptual Relativity: an Excerpt from 'Putnam's Pragmatic Realism': Ernest Sosa. 47. Addendum to 'Nonabsolute Existence and Conceptual Relativity': Objections and Replies: Ernest Sosa. Part IV: Why is There a World?: Introduction. A. Is There an Answer? 48. The Problem of Being: Chapter 3 of Some Problems of Philosophy: William James. 49. The Puzzle of Reality: Derek Parfit. 50. Reply to Parfit: Richard Swinburne. B. Does the Answer Involve a Necessary Being? 51. The Cosmological Argument and the Principle of Sufficient Reason: William L. Rowe. 52. The Ontological Argument: Chapters II-IV of the Proslogion: St. Anselm. 53. Anselm's Ontological Arguments: Norman Malcolm. Part V: Is Metaphysics Possible?: Introduction. 54. The Rejection of Metaphysics: Chapter 1 of Philosophy and Logical Syntax: Rudolf Carnap. 55. Postmodernism, Feminism, and Metaphysics: an excerpt from Thinking Fragments: Jane Flax. 56. Metaphysics and Feminist Theory: Excerpts from 'Feminist Metaphysics' and 'Anti-Essentialism in Feminist Theory': Charlotte Witt. 57. Nonabsolute Existence and Conceptual Relativity: An Excerpt From "Putnam's Pragmatic Realism": Ernest Sosa 58. Addendum to "Nonabsolute Existence and Conceptual Relativity": Objections and Replies: Ernest Sosa 59. The Problem of Being: Chapter 3 of Some Problems of Philosophy: William James 60. Why Anything? Why This? Derek Parfit 61. Reply to Parfit: Richard Swinburne 62. The Cosmological Argument: An Excerpt from A Demonstration of the Being and Attributes of God: Samuel Clarke 63. The Cosmological Argument and the Principle of Sufficient Reason: William L. Rowe 64. The Ontological Argument: Chapters II-IV of the Proslogion: St. Anselm 65. Anselm's Ontological Arguments: Norman Malcolm Index.
"With the exception of the final group of essays, all the readings are made to fall under a series of questions about 'the world'. We assume that the world includes everything that there is -- that is, all that exists. The first and largest part 'What are the most general features of the world,?' includes readings on the problem of universals, the nature of particular things and the manner of their persistence through time, rival theories of the passage of time, absolute space and incongruent counterparts, causation, and a budget of paradoxes: McTaggart's paradox, paradoxes of motion, of the infinite, of time travel, and of intrinsic change. The second, and second largest, part asks, 'What is our place in the world?'. Here are questions about the relation between the way things appear to us and the way they are (sense data, secondary qualities), personal identity (two forms of materialism, a version of Cartesian dualism, and Derek Parfit's 'Buddhism'), the nature of phenomenal experience, and free will. Part Three raises the question of 'anti-realism': Is there just one world, one complete inventory of what there is? Or does what there is vary from community to community or person to person? Part Four begins with reflection on whether there could be an answer to the question, 'Why is there a world?' -- that is, why is there something, rather than nothing? The part ends with two attempts to answer the question by appeal to a necessary being (the Deity of the cosmological and ontological arguments). The final part includes challenges to the very possibility of metaphysics from both positivist and postmodern perspectives". (from the Preface).
Loux, Michael J., ed. 2001. Metaphysics. Contemporary Readings. New York: Routledge.
Contents: Introduction; Part One: Universals; 1. The Problem of Universals, Michael J. Loux; 2. The World of Universals, Bertrand Russell; 3. Universals and Resemblance, H. H. Price; 4. On What There Is, W. V. Quine; 5. The Elements of Being, David Armstrong; 6. Properties and States of Affair Intentionally Considered, Roderick Chisholm; Part Two: Particulars; 1. The Ontological Structure of Concrete Particulars, Michael j. Loux; 2. The Identity of Indiscernibles, Max Black; 3. The Identity of Indiscernibles, A. J. Ayer; 4. Bare Particulars, Edwin Allaire; 5. Three Versions of Bundle Theory, James Van Cleve, 6. A Fourth Version of Bundle Theory, Albert Casullo; 7. Bodies, P. F. Strawson; Part Three: Possible Worlds; 1. Modality and Possible Worlds, Michael J. Loux; 2. Possible Worlds, David Lewis; 3. Actualism and Possible Worlds, Alvin Plantinga; 4. Counterparts or Double Lives, David Lewis; 5. Two Concepts of Possible Worlds, Peter van Inwagen; 6. Identity and Necessity, Saul Kripke; Part Four: Causation; 1. Cause and Effect, Michael J. Loux; 2. Causality in Everyday Life and in Recent Science, Moritz Schlick; 3. Cause, A.C. Ewing; 4. Causes and Conditions, John L. Mackie; 5. Causality and Determination, G. E. M. Anscombe; 6. Causation, David Lewis; Part Five: Time; 1. Time: The A-Theory and the B-Theory, Michael J. Loux; 2. Time, J. M. E. McTaggart; 3. Ostensible Temporality, C. D. Broad; 4. Time and Eternity, Richard Taylor; 5. The Notion of the Present, A. N. Prior; 6. The Space-Time World, J. J. C. Smart; 7. The Need for Time, D. H. Mellor; 8. How Fast Does Time Pass?, Ned Markosian; Part Six: Persistence Through Time; 1. Endurantism and Perdurantism, Michael J. Loux; 2. Temporal Parts of Four Dimensional Objects, Mark Heller; 3. Identity Through Time, Roderick Chisholm; 4. Endurance and Indiscernibility, Trenton Merricks; 5. Personal Identity, Derek Parfit; 6. Survival and Identity, David Lewis; 7. Personal Identity: The Dualist Theory, Richard Swinburne; Part Seven: Realism and Anti-Realism; 1. Realism and Anti-Realism, Michael J. Loux; 2. Realism, Michael Dummett; 3. Ontological Relativity, W. V. Quine; 4. A Problem About Reference, Hilary Putnam; 5. Objectivity, Peter van Inwagen; 6. Yes, Virginia, There Is a Real World, William Alston.
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