Metaphysics (Core Seminar)

Metaphysics, it has been claimed, is the study of the most fundamental aspects of the structure of reality, and in this sense precedes empirical science. So what is metaphysics, and how does it relate to science? Before we conclude the course by considering its relation to science, we will discuss many questions that can be thought to delineate metaphysics. The topics to be covered (although there is some flexibility about this) include existence, identity and change, universals and particulars, modality, causation, space, time and persistence, freedom and determinism, and metaphysics and science.

This class will engage these topics with an emphasis on contemporary views and debates. Accordingly, our approach will be topic-oriented, rather than historical.

Prerequisites: Graduate standing or permission of the instructor.

Distribution requirements: This course can be counted towards the fulfillment of the distribution requirement in metaphysics.

Course Materials

Course materials such as lecture notes, handouts, etc will be made available as they will be used in class. Here is the list:

Most texts will be made available through e-reserves: Link to this course's e-reserves page (password is 'cw205a')

Excellent background material for this class can be found in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.