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An Introduction to Contemporary Debates and Their History

Anna Marmodoro and Erasmus Mayr

30 May 2019

ISBN: 9780190941628

240 pages

In Stock

Price: £15.99



This volume introduces readers to a selected number of core issues in metaphysics that have been central in the history of philosophy and remain foundational to contemporary debates, that is: substances; properties; modality and essence; causality; determinism and free will. Anna Marmodoro and Erasmus Mayr take a neo-Aristotelian approach both in the selection and presentation of the topics. But Marmodoro and Mayr's discussion is not narrowly partisan-it consistently presents opposing sides of the debate and addresses issues from different philosophical traditions, and encourages readers to draw their own conclusions about them.

  • Applies a systematic neo-Aristotelian approach to a range of core concerns in contemporary metaphysics
  • Combines up-to-date discussions from contemporary philosophy with extensive references to the history of philosophy
  • Written accessibly for beginners without oversimplifying the debates and key issues

About the Author(s)

Anna Marmodoro and Erasmus Mayr

Anna Marmodoro holds the Chair of Metaphysics in the Department of Philosophy at Durham University and she is concomitantly a Research Fellow of Corpus Christi College Oxford. Her major publications include Aristotle on Perceiving Objects (OUP 2014) and Everything in Everything: Anaxagoras's Metaphysics (OUP 2017). Erasmus Mayr is Professor for Practical Philosophy at the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg. He is the author of Understanding Human Agency (OUP 2011).

Table of Contents

    Chapter 1. Substance
    1.1 Introduction
    1.2 Substance versus properties
    1.3 Substrate and properties, or bundles of tropes?
    1.4 Aristotle's hylomorphism
    1.5 Persistence of the substance
    1.6 Conclusions
    Chapter 2. Properties and relations
    2.1 Introduction
    2.2. Do properties exist? Realism versus nominalism
    2.3 Reductionism and Fundamentality
    2.4 Dispositional properties (aka powers) and categorical properties
    2.5 Are powers genuine and irreducible properties?
    2.6 Are pure powers 'enough' to build the world out of?
    2.7 Relations versus monadic properties
    2.8 Conclusions
    Chapter 3. Modality and Essence
    3.1. Introduction
    3.2. Aristotle's essentialism
    3.3. Against essentialism and non-logical necessity: Quine's critique of de re necessity
    3.4. The revival of de re necessity and essentialism
    3.4.1 Possible worlds
    3.4.2 A posteriori necessity
    3.5. Powers and modality
    3.6 Conclusions
    Chapter 4. Causality
    4.1 Introduction
    4.2 Some Neo-Humean developments
    4.3 Aristotle's theory of causation
    4.4 Are there active and passive powers involved in causation?
    4.5. Mental Causation
    4.6 Conclusion
    Chapter 5. Determinism and Free Will
    5.1 Introduction
    5.2. A brief history of compatibilism and incompatibilism
    5.3 The Consequence argument and the fortunes of incompatibilism
    5.4 Moral responsibility and Free Will
    5.5 Free will and the 'new dispositionalism'
    5.6 Conclusion