This book is an accessible introduction to the central themes of contemporary metaphysics. It carefully considers accounts of causation, freedom and determinism, laws of nature, personal identity, mental states, time, material objects, and properties, while inviting students to reflect on metaphysical problems. The philosophical questions discussed include: What makes it the case that one event causes another event? What are material objects? Given that material objects exist, do such things as properties exist? What makes it the case that a person may exist at two different times? An Introduction to Metaphysics makes these tough questions tractable by presenting the features and flaws of current attempts to answer them. Intended primarily for students taking a first class in metaphysics, this lucid and well-written text would also provide an excellent introduction for anyone interested in knowing more about this important area of philosophy.
• Structured around self-contained topic chapters that enable a flexible approach • References central and accessible sources that offer students appropriate direction to more in depth study of the topics • Refrains from advancing metaphysical doctrines and encourages students to reflect independently on tough problems
Preface; 1. Introduction; 2. Causation; 3. Freedom and determinism; 4. Laws of nature; 5. Personal identity; 6. Mental states; 7. Time; 8. Material objects; 9. Properties; Bibliography; Index.
'This textbook does remarkably well at combining breadth with depth, and accessibility with rigor. It covers every major issue debated in metaphysics today; it is clear and careful; it avoids taking sides. The writing style is decidedly engaging and at times amusing – if the book were not being so clear about such confusing matters, one would almost say that it is fun to read.' Crawford L. Elder, University of Connecticut