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Beginning Metaphysics: An Introductory Text with Readings

Beginning Metaphysics: An Introductory Text with Readings

Heimir Geirsson (Editor), Michael Losonsky (Editor)

ISBN: 978-1-557-86729-2 October 1998 Wiley-Blackwell 512 Pages


In Stock



This flexible textbook is both an introduction and a reader in metaphysics combining original discussion with selections from primary sources.
1. What is Metaphysics?.

2. Metaphysics and Political Philosophy.

Readings: Plato, Crito. Plato, Phaedo. Thomas Hobbes, Selection from The Leviathan. Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex, Introduction. Bertrand Russell, Selection from The Problems of Philosophy.

3. Values and Reality.

Readings: John O'Neill, The Varieties of Intrinsic Value. J. L. Mackie, The Subjectivity of Values. Richard Boyd, How to be a Moral Realist.

4. God and Evil.

Readings: St Anselm of Canterbury, Selection from Proslogion. Thomas of Aquinas, Selection from Summa Theologica. David Hume, Selection from Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion. Gottfried Willhelm von Leibniz, Summary of the Controversy Reduced to Formal Arguments. J. L. Mackie, Evil and Omnipotence. Alvin Plantinga, Was it within God's Power to Create Any Possible World He Pleased?.

5. Causation and Society.

Readings: David Hume, Selection from Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding. Edward Madden,Third View of Causality. Alan Garfinkel, Ethics of Explanation.

6. Mind and Morality.

Readings: René Descartes, Selections from Principles of Philosophy and Passions of the Soul. Denis Diderot, Selection from Conversation Between d'Alembert and Diderot. Thomas Nagel, What is it Like to be a Bat? John Searle, Is the Brain's Mind a Computer Program? Paul M. Churchland and Patricia S. Churchland, Could a Machine Think?.

7. Freedom and Responsibility.

Readings: Paul Henri Thiery d'Hollbach, Selection from The System of Nature.


C. A. Campbell, Has the Self "Free Will"?: C. A. Campbell.

Two Concepts of Freedom:William L. Rowe.

Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person: Harry Frankfurt.

Sanity and the Metaphysics of Responsibility:Susan Wolf.

8. Against Metaphysics.

Readings: The Elimination of Metaphysics Through Logical Analysis of Language:Rudolf Camap.

The Four Great Errors:Friedrich Nietzsche.

Justice as Fairness: Political Not Metaphysical:John Rawls.



* Students are engaged in metaphysical issues through emphasis on ethical, social and political concerns.
* Up-to-date discussion is followed by classical and contemporary selections.
* Includes classroom tested material.