What is this thing called Metaphysics?

2nd Edition

By Brian Garrett

© 2011 – Routledge

172 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415617222
pub: 2011-02-23
US Dollars$44.95
Hardback: 9780415617215
pub: 2011-02-23
US Dollars$135.00

e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

Why is there something rather than nothing? Does God exist? Does time flow? What are we? Do we have free will? What is truth? Metaphysics is concerned with ourselves and reality, and the most fundamental questions regarding existence. This clear and accessible introduction covers the central topics in metaphysics in a concise but comprehensive way. Brian Garrett discusses the crucial concepts in a highly readable manner, easing the reader in with a look at some important philosophical problems. He addresses key areas of metaphysics:

  • God
  • Existence
  • Modality
  • Universals and particulars
  • Facts
  • Paradoxes of material constitution
  • Causation
  • Time
  • Free will
  • Personal identity
  • Truth.

This second edition has been thoroughly revised. Most chapters include substantial amounts of new material, and there are additional chapters on Existence, Modality, Facts and Paradoxes of Material Constitution.

What is this thing called Metaphysics? contains many helpful student-friendly features. Each chapter concludes with a useful summary of the main ideas discussed, a glossary of important terms, study questions, annotated further reading, and a guide to web resources. Text boxes provide bite-sized summaries of key concepts and major philosophers, and clear and interesting examples are used throughout.


Praise for the first edition:

"A clear, no-nonsense introduction to metaphysics." - David Robb, Davidson College, USA

"There are very few introductions to metaphysics currently available which are as lucid, punchy, concise and readable as Garrett's. This book will really help students see what the essence of the problems is. Highly recommended." - Tim Crane, University College London, UK

Table of Contents

Preface Introduction 1. God 2. What Are We? 3. Existence 4. Modality 5. Puzzles of Constitution and Identity 6. Objects and Properties 7. Causation 8. Time 9. Time: Three Puzzles 10. Free Will 11. Facts 12. Truth Glossary. Bibliography. Index

About the Author

Brian Garrett is Senior Lecturer in the School of Philosophy, Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University, Australia

About the Series

What is this thing called?

The Routledge Philosophy What is this thing called? series of concise textbooks have been designed for use by students coming to a core area of the discipline for the first time. Each volume explores the relevant central questions with clear explanation of complex ideas and engaging contemporary examples. Features to aid study include text boxes, chapter summaries, study questions, further reading and glossaries.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PHILOSOPHY / Epistemology
PHILOSOPHY / Metaphysics