I. Abstract entities.
1.1 Abstract entities: Chris Swoyer (University of Oklahoma).
1.2 There are no abstract objects: Cian Dorr (University of Pittsburgh).
II. Causation and laws of nature.
2.1 Nailed to Hume’s cross?: John W. Carroll (North Carolina State University).
2.2 Causation and laws of nature: Reductionism: Jonathan Schaffer (University of Massachusetts-Amherst).
III. Modality and possible worlds.
3.1 Concrete possible worlds: Phillip Bricker(University of Massachusetts- Amherst).
3.2 Ersatz possible worlds: Joseph Melia (University of Leeds).
IV. Personal identity.
4.1 People and their bodies: Judith Jarvis Thomson (MIT).
4.2 Persons, bodies, and human beings: Derek Parfit (All Souls College, Oxford).
5.1 The privileged present: defending an “A-theory” of time: Dean Zimmerman (Rutgers University).
5.2 The tenseless theory of time: J. J. C. Smart (Australian National University).
6.1 Temporal parts: Theodore Sider (Rutgers University).
6.2 Three-dimensionalism vs. four-dimensionalism: John Hawthorne (Rutgers University).
VII. Free will.
7.1 Incompatibilism: Robert Kane (University of Texas at Austin).
7.2 Compatibilism, incompatibilism, and impossibilism: Kadri Vihvelin (University of Southern California).
8.1 The moon and sixpence: a defense of mereological universalism: James van Cleve (University of Southern California).
8.2 Restricted composition: Ned Markosian (Western Washington University).
9.1 Ontological arguments: interpretive charity and quantifier variance: Eli Hirsch (Brandeis University).
9.2 The picture of reality as an amorphous lump: Matti Eklund (Cornell University).
— Gideon A. Rosen, Princeton University
“This is an incredibly good collection of original papers about the central problems of metaphysics. I will certainly use the book as a text in my yearly introductory graduate seminar on metaphysics."
— Peter Van Inwagen, University of Notre Dame
“Until now we've had to choose between traditional texts, where the author pretends to be arguing with him/herself, and anthologies, where the reader pretends the authors are arguing with each other. This book has genuine focussed exchange between some of the best metaphysicians around. The introduction by Sider is a gem. What a great way to learn metaphysics.”
— Prof. Stephen Yablo, MIT
“What might one want in a contemporary metaphysics reader? There are plenty of volumes that reprint the 20th century precursors to current debates; no need for another one of those. What would be great is a collection of first-rate essays by leading philosophers which effectively engage the most important issues in the field and give attention not only to the substantive debates but the meta-philosophical questions such as: what is metaphysics and how is it possible? And now we have it: Contemporary Debates in Metaphysics does it all.”
—Sally Haslanger, MIT
“I'd see this book as most useful in an upper-level survey of metaphysics, or for philosophers who are not themselves metaphysicians, but want to acquaint themselves with these issues (or indeed, even for metaphysicians, but who focus on just a subset of these areas, wanting to get into other realms). For such purposes, this is a nice volume indeed. … Let me conclude, then, by reiterating the quality of the papers produced for this volume, and saying again that it would make a fine textbook, and a useful resource for the professional philosopher.”
— Alan Sidelle, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews
- Explores the fundamental questions in contemporary metaphysics in a series of eighteen original essays - 16 of which are newly commissioned for this volume
- Features an introductory essay by the editors on the nature of metaphysics to prepare the reader for ongoing discussions
- Offers readers the unique opportunity to observe leading philosophers engage in head-to-head debate on cutting-edge metaphysical topics
- Provides valuable insights into the flourishing field of contemporary metaphysics