1st Edition

Current Controversies in Metaphysics

Edited By Elizabeth Barnes Copyright 2017
    174 Pages
    by Routledge

    174 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book showcases a range of views on topics at the forefront of current controversies in the field of metaphysics. It will give readers a varied and alive introduction to the field, and cover such key issues as: modality, fundamentality, composition, the object/property distinction, and indeterminacy. The contributors include some of the most important philosophers currently writing on these issues. The questions and philosophers are:

    • Are there any individuals at the fundamental level? / (1) Shamik Dasgupta (2) Jason Turner

    • Is there an objective difference between essential and accidental properties? / (1) Meghan Sullivan (2) Kris McDaniel and Steve Steward

    • Are there any worldly states of affairs? / (1) Daniel Nolan (2) Joseph Melia

    • Are there any intermediate states of affairs? / (1) Jessica Wilson (2) Elizabeth Barnes and Ross Cameron

    • Do ordinary objects exist? / (1) Trenton Merricks (2) Helen Beebee

    Editor Elizabeth Barnes guides readers through these controversies (all published here for the first time), with a synthetic introduction and succinct abstracts of each debate.


    Elizabeth Barnes, University of Leeds

    PART 1: Are there any individuals at the fundamental level?

    1. Shamik Dasgupta, Princeton University

    2. Jason Turner, University of Leeds

    PART 2: Is there an objective difference between essential and accidental properties?

    1. Meghan Sullivan, University of Notre Dame

    2. Kris McDaniel, Syracuse University

    PART 3: Are there any worldly states of affairs?

    1. Daniel Nolan, Australia National University

    2. Joseph Melia, Oxford University

    PART 4: Are there any indeterminate states of affairs?

    1. Jessica Wilson, University of Toronto

    2. Elizabeth Barnes, University of Leeds


    Elizabeth Barnes is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Virginia. She works in metaphysics and social and feminist philosophy, and is especially interested in the areas where these topics intersect.

     Elizabeth Barnes’s Current Controversies in Metaphysics features ten essays by leading experts on some of the most central debates in the field. It is an excellent addition to Routledge’s Current Controversies series, and a valuable resource for anyone looking to find a sophisticated yet accessible overview of key conversations now taking place within this core area of philosophy.

    --Michael Rea, University of Notre Dame 

    A first-rate collection of first-rate philosophers doing good old-fashioned, first-order metaphysics. Current Controversies in Metaphysics puts leaders in the field in direct conversation on some of the most central debates in metaphysics.

    --Daniel Z. Korman, University of Illinois

    I highly recommend this book for anyone who is interested in exploring the ideas and issues that are central to contemporary debates in metaphysics. The volume consists of a series of engaging and lively debates between some of the most interesting and important metaphysicians working today. The chapters discuss fundamentality, states of affairs, truth, existence, and properties, and are curated and introduced by Elizabeth Barnes, herself one of the best metaphysicians in the field. The philosophy is of the highest quality and the reader will gain insight into fundamental problems and issues in metaphysics.

    --L.A. Paul, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and St. Andrews University