Index of metaphysics articles

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Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that investigates principles of reality transcending those of any particular science. Cosmology and ontology are traditional branches of metaphysics. It is concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world. [1] Someone who studies metaphysics can be called either a "metaphysician" or a "metaphysicist". [2]

Metaphysics Branch of philosophy dealing with the nature of reality

Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that examines the fundamental nature of reality, including the relationship between mind and matter, between substance and attribute, and between possibility and actuality. The word "metaphysics" comes from two Greek words that, together, literally mean "after or behind or among [the study of] the natural". It has been suggested that the term might have been coined by a first century CE editor who assembled various small selections of Aristotle’s works into the treatise we now know by the name Metaphysics.

Philosophy intellectual and/or logical study of general and fundamental problems

Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental questions about existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Such questions are often posed as problems to be studied or resolved. The term was probably coined by Pythagoras. Philosophical methods include questioning, critical discussion, rational argument, and systematic presentation. Classic philosophical questions include: Is it possible to know anything and to prove it? What is most real? Philosophers also pose more practical and concrete questions such as: Is there a best way to live? Is it better to be just or unjust? Do humans have free will?

Ontology study of the nature of being, becoming, existence or reality, as well as the basic categories of being and their relations

Ontology is the philosophical study of being. More broadly, it studies concepts that directly relate to being, in particular becoming, existence, reality, as well as the basic categories of being and their relations. Traditionally listed as a part of the major branch of philosophy known as metaphysics, ontology often deals with questions concerning what entities exist or may be said to exist and how such entities may be grouped, related within a hierarchy, and subdivided according to similarities and differences.



Absolute idealism -- Absolute time and space -- Abstract object -- Absurdism -- Accident (philosophy) -- Accidentalism (philosophy) -- Action theory (philosophy) Actualism -- Adolph Stöhr -- Alfred North Whitehead Alvin Plantinga -- Ananda Coomaraswamy -- Anti-realism -- Apologism -- Arda Denkel -- Aristotelianism -- Aristotle -- Arthur Schopenhauer -- Axiology

Absolute idealism

Absolute idealism is an ontologically monistic philosophy "chiefly associated with Friedrich Schelling and G. W. F. Hegel, both German idealist philosophers of the 19th century, Josiah Royce, an American philosopher, and others, but, in its essentials, the product of Hegel". It is Hegel's account of how being is ultimately comprehensible as an all-inclusive whole. Hegel asserted that in order for the thinking subject to be able to know its object at all, there must be in some sense an identity of thought and being. Otherwise, the subject would never have access to the object and we would have no certainty about any of our knowledge of the world. To account for the differences between thought and being, however, as well as the richness and diversity of each, the unity of thought and being cannot be expressed as the abstract identity "A=A". Absolute idealism is the attempt to demonstrate this unity using a new "speculative" philosophical method, which requires new concepts and rules of logic. According to Hegel, the absolute ground of being is essentially a dynamic, historical process of necessity that unfolds by itself in the form of increasingly complex forms of being and of consciousness, ultimately giving rise to all the diversity in the world and in the concepts with which we think and make sense of the world.

Absurdism the conflict between the human tendency to seek inherent value and meaning in life and the human inability to find any; does not mean "logically impossible", but rather "humanly impossible"; a philosophical school of thought stating

In philosophy, "the Absurd" refers to the conflict between the human tendency to seek inherent value and meaning in life and the human inability to find any in a purposeless, meaningless or chaotic and irrational universe. The universe and the human mind do not each separately cause the Absurd, but rather, the Absurd arises by the contradictory nature of the two existing simultaneously.

An accident, in philosophy, is an attribute that may or may not belong to a subject, without affecting its essence.


Baruch Spinoza -- Being -- Bertrand Russell -- Bertrand Russell's views on philosophy -- Body hopping -- Borussian myth -- Brian Leftow -- Bundle theory --

Baruch Spinoza Dutch philosopher

Baruch Spinoza was a Jewish-Dutch philosopher of Portuguese Sephardi origin. By laying the groundwork for the Enlightenment and modern biblical criticism, including modern conceptions of the self and the universe, he came to be considered one of the great rationalists of 17th-century philosophy. Along with René Descartes, Spinoza was a leading philosophical figure of the Dutch Golden Age. Spinoza's given name, which means "Blessed", varies among different languages. In Hebrew, it is written ברוך שפינוזה. His Portuguese name is Benedito "Bento" de Espinosa or d'Espinosa. In his Latin works, he used Latin: Benedictus de Spinoza.

Being broad concept encompassing objective and subjective features of reality and existence

In philosophy, being means the existence of a thing. Anything that exists has being. Ontology is the branch of philosophy that studies being. Being is a concept encompassing objective and subjective features of reality and existence. Anything that partakes in being is also called a "being", though often this usage is limited to entities that have subjectivity. The notion of "being" has, inevitably, been elusive and controversial in the history of philosophy, beginning in Western philosophy with attempts among the pre-Socratics to deploy it intelligibly. The first effort to recognize and define the concept came from Parmenides, who famously said of it that "what is-is". Common words such as "is", "are", and "am" refer directly or indirectly to being.

Bertrand Russell British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, writer, social critic, political activist and Nobel laureate

Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, writer, essayist, social critic, political activist, and Nobel laureate. At various points in his life, Russell considered himself a liberal, a socialist and a pacifist, although he also confessed that his skeptical nature had led him to feel that he had "never been any of these things, in any profound sense." Russell was born in Monmouthshire into one of the most prominent aristocratic families in the United Kingdom.


C. D. Broad -- Carlo Michelstaedter -- Categories of the understanding -- Category of being -- Causality -- Charles François d'Abra de Raconis -- Choice -- Church of Divine Science -- Clinamen -- Cogito ergo sum Compatibilism and incompatibilism -- Conatus -- Concept -- Conceptualism -- Concluding Unscientific Postscript to Philosophical Fragments -- Container space -- Counterpart theory -- Creative visualization --

C. D. Broad English philosopher

Charlie Dunbar Broad, usually cited as C. D. Broad, was an English epistemologist, historian of philosophy, philosopher of science, moral philosopher, and writer on the philosophical aspects of psychical research. He was known for his thorough and dispassionate examinations of arguments in such works as Scientific Thought, published in 1923, The Mind and Its Place in Nature, published in 1925, and An Examination of McTaggart's Philosophy, published in 1933.

Carlo Michelstaedter Italian philosopher

Carlo Michelstaedter or Michelstädter was an Italian philosopher, artist, poet and man of letters.

In ontology, the different kinds or ways of being are called categories of being; or simply categories. To investigate the categories of being is to determine the most fundamental and the broadest classes of entities. A distinction between such categories, in making the categories or applying them, is called an ontological distinction.


Damon Young -- David Kellogg Lewis -- David Kolb -- David Wiggins -- Dean Zimmerman -- Dermot Moran -- Determinism -- Dickinson S. Miller -- Disquisitions relating to Matter and Spirit -- Doctrine of internal relations -- Donald Davidson (philosopher) -- Dorothy Emmet -- Downward causation -- Dualistic cosmology -- Duns Scotus -- Duration (Bergson) -- Dynamism (metaphysics) -- Dysteleology --

Damon Young Australian philosopher

Damon Young is an Australian philosopher, writer and commentator, and author of the books Distraction, Philosophy in the Garden and How to Think About Exercise. He is an Honorary Fellow in Philosophy at the University of Melbourne.

David Kolb is an American philosopher and the Charles A. Dana Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Bates College in Maine.

David Wiggins FBA is a British moral philosopher, metaphysician, and philosophical logician working especially on identity and issues in meta-ethics.


Edward N. Zalta -- Elbow Room (book) -- Eleatics -- Embodied cognition -- Emergence -- Endurantism -- Entity -- Essence -- Essentialism -- Eternalism (philosophy of time) -- Eternity of the world -- Event (philosophy) -- Evil demon -- Exemplification theory -- Existence -- Existentialism -- Experience -- Extension (metaphysics) --


Face-to-face -- Ferdinando Cazzamalli -- Form -- Formal distinction -- Fragmentalism -- Frankfurt counterexamples -- Free will -- Free will in antiquity -- Frithjof Schuon --


Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel -- George Berkeley -- G. E. Moore -- Gerardus Everardus Tros -- Gilbert Simondon -- Gottfried Leibniz -- Graham Priest -- Growing block universe -- Gunk (mereology) --


Hilary Putnam -- Hindu idealism -- Human spirit -- Humanistic naturalism -- Huna (New Thought) -- Hylomorphism -- Hylozoism --


Ian Rumfitt -- Idea -- Idealism -- Identity and change -- Identity (philosophy) -- Identityism -- Immanence -- Immanuel Kant -- Impenetrability -- Indefinite monism -- Indeterminism -- Information -- Inherence -- Intention -- Introduction to Metaphysics (Bergson) -- Intuition (Bergson) -- Involution (philosophy) -- Irrealism (philosophy) --


Jay Rosenberg -- Jean-Paul Sartre -- Jewish Science -- John Hawthorne -- John Locke -- Joseph Murphy (author) -- Judith Jarvis Thomson --


Kit Fine --


Law of attraction (New Thought) -- Letters to a Philosophical Unbeliever -- Libertarianism (metaphysics) -- List of metaphysicians -- Logical atomism -- Logical holism -- Ludwig Wittgenstein


Mahmoud Khatami -- Marcus Fronius -- Martin Heidegger Mary Ellen Tracy -- Material monism -- Material substratum -- Materialism -- Matter (philosophy) -- Meaning (existential) -- Meaning of life -- Mechanism (philosophy) -- Meditations on First Philosophy -- Meliorism -- Melissus of Samos -- Mental representation -- Meta-ontology -- Metametaphysics -- Metaphysical naturalism -- Metaphysical nihilism -- Metaphysical Society -- Metaphysical Society of America -- Metaphysics -- Michael Devitt -- Mind -- Mind-body dualism -- Monism -- Morris Lichtenstein -- Motion (physics)


Nathan Salmon -- Natural law -- Naturalism (philosophy) -- Necessary and sufficient condition -- New Age -- New Thought -- Nihilism Nominalism -- Non-essentialism -- Noneism -- Notion (philosophy) -- Noumenon --


Object -- Objective idealism -- Objectivism (Ayn Rand) -- Ontological pluralism -- Ontology -- Open individualism Organicism -- Other --


P. F. Strawson -- Parmenides -- Participation (philosophy) -- Particular -- Pattern -- Paul Benacerraf -- Paul Weiss (philosopher) -- Perception -- Perdurantism -- Personal identity -- Peter Glassen -- Peter Unger -- Peter van Inwagen -- Peter Wessel Zapffe -- Phenomenalism -- Philosophical realism -- Philosophical theology -- Philosophy -- Philosophy of mind -- Philosophy of Organism -- Philosophy of space and time -- Philosophy of Spinoza -- Physical body -- Physicalism -- Physis -- Pirsig's metaphysics of Quality -- Plato -- (Plato) The cave -- (Plato) The divided line -- (Plato) The Sun -- Platonic idealism -- Platonic realism -- Plotinus -- Pluralism (philosophy) -- Practical Metaphysics -- Predeterminism -- Primary/secondary quality distinction -- Principle -- Principle of individuation -- Projectivism -- Property (philosophy) -- Psychonautics --


Qualia -- Quality (philosophy) -- Quantity -- Quiddity -- Quietism --


Rational mysticism -- Reality -- Reductionism -- Reflexive monism -- Relational space -- Relativism -- Religious Science -- René Descartes -- Rhonda Byrne -- Robert Merrihew Adams -- Robert Stalnaker --


Saul Kripke -- Scientific realism -- Self (philosophy) -- Shadworth Hodgson -- Simple (philosophy) -- Simulacra and Simulation -- Simulated reality -- Simulation hypothesis -- Simulism -- Solipsism -- Soul -- Space -- Species (metaphysics) -- Speculative realism -- Stoic categories -- Stuart Wilde -- Subject -- Subject (philosophy) -- Subjectivism -- Substance -- Substance theory -- Sufi metaphysics -- Supervenience --


Teaism -- Teleology -- Temporal finitism -- Temporal parts -- Terence Parsons -- The Doctrine of Philosophical Necessity Illustrated -- The Philosophical Library -- The Realms of Being -- Theoretical physics -- Theory of everything (philosophy) -- Theory of Forms -- Theosophy -- Thomas Aquinas -- Thought -- Time -- Transcendental idealism -- Transcendental perspectivism -- Trenton Merricks -- Truth -- Truth-value link -- Tychism -- Type (metaphysics) --


Unity Church -- Universal (metaphysics) -- Universal mind -- Universal reason -- Universality (philosophy) -- Unobservable --


Value (ethics) -- Voluntarism (metaphysics) --


Willard Van Orman Quine -- Wallace Wattles -- Will (philosophy) -- Will to live -- Willard Van Orman Quine -- William Alston -- William Desmond (philosopher) -- William Lycan -- Wolfgang Smith -- World Hypotheses -- World


Zeno of Elea

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Gilles Deleuze French philosopher

Gilles Deleuze was a French philosopher who, from the early 1950s until his death in 1995, wrote on philosophy, literature, film, and fine art. His most popular works were the two volumes of Capitalism and Schizophrenia: Anti-Oedipus (1972) and A Thousand Plateaus (1980), both co-written with psychoanalyst Félix Guattari. His metaphysical treatise Difference and Repetition (1968) is considered by many scholars to be his magnum opus. A. W. Moore, citing Bernard Williams's criteria for a great thinker, ranks Deleuze among the "greatest philosophers". His work has influenced a variety of disciplines across philosophy and art, including literary theory, post-structuralism and postmodernism.

In philosophy, Idealism is the group of metaphysical philosophies that assert that reality, or reality as humans can know it, is fundamentally mental, mentally constructed, or otherwise immaterial. Epistemologically, Idealism manifests as a skepticism about the possibility of knowing any mind-independent thing. In contrast to Materialism, Idealism asserts the primacy of consciousness as the origin and prerequisite of material phenomena. According to this view, consciousness exists before and is the pre-condition of material existence. Consciousness creates and determines the material and not vice versa. Idealism believes consciousness and mind to be the origin of the material world and aims to explain the existing world according to these principles.

Materialism is a form of philosophical monism which holds that matter is the fundamental substance in nature, and that all things, including mental aspects and consciousness, are results of material interactions.

In metaphysics, nominalism is a philosophical view which denies the existence of universals and abstract objects, but affirms the existence of general or abstract terms and predicates. There are at least two main versions of nominalism. One version denies the existence of universals – things that can be instantiated or exemplified by many particular things. The other version specifically denies the existence of abstract objects – objects that do not exist in space and time.

In metaphysics, the problem of universals refers to the question of whether properties exist, and if so, what they are. Properties are qualities or relations that two or more entities have in common. The various kinds of properties, such as qualities and relations, are referred to as universals. For instance, one can imagine three cup holders on a table that have in common the quality of being circular or exemplifying circularity, or two daughters that have in common being the female offsprings of Frank. There are many such properties, such as being human, red, male or female, liquid, big or small, taller than, father of, etc. While philosophers agree that human beings talk and think about properties, they disagree on whether these universals exist in reality or merely in thought and speech.

Platonic realism is a philosophical term usually used to refer to the idea of realism regarding the existence of universals or abstract objects after the Greek philosopher Plato. As universals were considered by Plato to be ideal forms, this stance is ambiguously also called Platonic idealism. This should not be confused with idealism as presented by philosophers such as George Berkeley: as Platonic abstractions are not spatial, temporal, or mental, they are not compatible with the later idealism's emphasis on mental existence. Plato's Forms include numbers and geometrical figures, making them a theory of mathematical realism; they also include the Form of the Good, making them in addition a theory of ethical realism.

In metaphysics, a universal is what particular things have in common, namely characteristics or qualities. In other words, universals are repeatable or recurrent entities that can be instantiated or exemplified by many particular things. For example, suppose there are two chairs in a room, each of which is green. These two chairs both share the quality of "chairness", as well as greenness or the quality of being green; in other words, they share a "universal". There are three major kinds of qualities or characteristics: types or kinds, properties, and relations. These are all different types of universals.

Reality is the sum or aggregate of all that is real or existent, as opposed to that which is merely imaginary. The term is also used to refer to the ontological status of things, indicating their existence. In physical terms, reality is the totality of the universe, known and unknown. Philosophical questions about the nature of reality or existence or being are considered under the rubric of ontology, which is a major branch of metaphysics in the Western philosophical tradition. Ontological questions also feature in diverse branches of philosophy, including the philosophy of science, philosophy of religion, philosophy of mathematics, and philosophical logic. These include questions about whether only physical objects are real, whether reality is fundamentally immaterial, whether hypothetical unobservable entities posited by scientific theories exist, whether God exists, whether numbers and other abstract objects exist, and whether possible worlds exist.

Wilfrid Stalker Sellars was an American philosopher and prominent developer of critical realism, who "revolutionized both the content and the method of philosophy in the United States".

Transcendental idealism Epistemology of the 18th-century German philosopher Immanuel Kant. Space and time are merely formal features of how we perceive objects, not things in themselves that exist independently of us.

Transcendental idealism is a doctrine founded by German philosopher Immanuel Kant in the 18th century. Kant's doctrine maintains that human experience of things is similar to the way they appear to us—implying a fundamentally subject-based component, rather than being an activity that directly comprehends the things as they are in themselves. The doctrine is most commonly presented as the idea that time and space are just human perceptions; they are not necessarily real concepts, just a medium through which humans internalize the universe.

In metaphysics, realism about a given object is the view that this object exists in reality independently of our conceptual scheme. In philosophical terms, these objects are ontologically independent of someone's conceptual scheme, perceptions, linguistic practices, beliefs, etc.

Neopragmatism, sometimes called post-Deweyan pragmatism, linguistic pragmatism, or analytic pragmatism, is the philosophical tradition that infers that the meaning of words is a function of how they are used, rather than the meaning of what people intend for them to describe.

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to philosophy:

Metaphysical naturalism is a philosophical worldview which holds that there is nothing but natural elements, principles, and relations of the kind studied by the natural sciences. Methodological naturalism is a philosophical basis for science, for which metaphysical naturalism provides only one possible ontological foundation. Broadly, the corresponding theological perspective is religious naturalism or spiritual naturalism. More specifically, metaphysical naturalism rejects the supernatural concepts and explanations that are part of many religions.

Epistemology or theory of knowledge is the branch of philosophy concerned with the nature and scope (limitations) of knowledge. It addresses the questions "What is knowledge?", "How is knowledge acquired?", "What do people know?", "How do we know what we know?", and "Why do we know what we know?". Much of the debate in this field has focused on analyzing the nature of knowledge and how it relates to similar notions such as truth, belief, and justification. It also deals with the means of production of knowledge, as well as skepticism about different knowledge claims.

This is a list of philosophy of mind articles.

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to metaphysics:

Speculative realism is a movement in contemporary Continental-inspired philosophy that defines itself loosely in its stance of metaphysical realism against the dominant forms of post-Kantian philosophy.


  1. Geisler, Norman L. "Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics" page 446. Baker Books, 1999
  2. Random House Dictionary Online