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Metaphysics: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)


Metaphysics: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Metaphysics is traditionally one of the four main branches of philosophy, alongside ethics, logic and epistemology. It is an area that continues to attract and fascinate many people, even though it is generally thought to be highly complex and abstract. For some it is associated with the mystical or religious. For others it is known through the metaphysical poets who talk of love and spirituality. This Very Short Introduction goes right to the heart of the matter, getting to the basic and most important questions of metaphysical thought in order to understand the theory: What are objects? Do colors and shapes have some form of independent existence? Is the whole just a sum of the parts? What is it for one thing to cause another rather than just being associated with it? What is possible? Does time pass? By using simple questions to initiate thought about the basic issues around substance, properties, changes, causes, possibilities, time, personal identity, nothingness, and consciousness, Stephen Mumford provides a clear and down-to-earth path through this analytical tradition at the core of philosophical thought.

About the Author

Stephen Mumford is Professor of Metaphysics at the Department of Philosophy, University of Nottingham. He is also Head of the School of Humanities and Dean of the Faculty of Arts. He has written many papers and books in metaphysics, including a number of more popular works intended for a non-specialist audience including articles in Times Higher Education magazine, encyclopaedias, and magazines. His most famous book is Dispositions (Oxford, 1998) but he also authored Laws in Nature (Routledge, 2004), Getting Causes from Powers (with Rani Lill Anjum, Oxford, 2011) and Watching Sport: Aesthetics, Ethics and Emotions (Routledge, 2011). He is a frequent public speaker at both academic conferences and more popular events and has delivered talks in around 30 countries.

Table of Contents

Introduction: What is an introduction?

1. What is a table?

2. What is a circle?

3. Are wholes just sums of parts?

4. What is a change?

5. What is a cause?

6. How does time pass?

7. What is a person?

8. What is possible?

9. Is nothing something?

10. What is metaphysics?

Furthe reading: what should you read next?


Product Details

Mumford, Stephen
Oxford University Press, USA
PHILOSOPHY / Metaphysics
Philosophy : General
Publication Date:
c. 10 black and white illustrations
4.3 x 6.7 x 0.4 in 0.238 lb

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