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A Guide and Anthology

Edited by Tim Crane and Katalin Farkas

Publication Date - March 2004

ISBN: 9780199261970

792 pages

Retail Price to Students: $124.99


A complete and self-contained introduction to metaphysics, this anthology provides an extensive and varied collection of fifty-four of the best classical and contemporary readings on the subject. The readings are organized into ten sections: God, idealism and realism, being, universals and particulars, necessity and contingency, causation, space and time, identity, mind and body, and freewill and determinism. It features a substantial general introduction and detailed section introductions that set the selections in context and guide readers through them. Discussion questions and detailed guides to further reading are also included.


  • Complete introduction to Metaphysics
  • Combines 54 classic writings on the subject with a substantial, broad-ranging introduction and detailed introductions to each of the ten parts of the book (the editorial material amounts to about 130 pages)
  • Discussion questions and further reading at the end of each part stimulate the student and make this book ideal for course use and seminar discussion
  • The flexible structure enables teachers to plan a number of different kinds of courses based on this book
  • Introductory material is clear and accessible

Table of Contents

    Each Part opens with an Introduction and ends with Study Questions and Further Reading.
    List of Boxes
    Notes on Contributors
    Part I. God
    1. Why Anything? Why This?, Derek Parfit
    2. The Five Ways, Thomas Aquinas
    3. Selection from Natural Theology, William Paley
    4. Selection from Proslogion, Anselm of Canterbury
    5. Selection from Monadology, G.W. Leibniz
    6. Evil and Omnipotence, J.L. Mackie
    Part II. Realism and Idealism
    7. Selection from Essay Concerning Human Understanding, John Locke
    8. Selection from Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous, George Berkeley
    9. Selection from Critique of Pure Reason, Immanuel Kant
    10. Selection from Matter and Sense, Howard Robinson
    11. Realism, Michael Dummett
    Part III. Being
    12. Selection from Categories, Aristotle
    13. Selection from Essay Concerning Human Understanding, John Locke
    14. Primitive Thisness and Primitive Identity, Robert M. Adams
    15. On What There Is, W.V. Quine
    16. Selection from Material Beings, Peter van Inwagen
    17. Can There Be Vague Objects?, Gareth Evans
    18. Vague Identity: Evans Misunderstood, David Lewis
    Part IV. Universals and Particulars
    19. Selections from Parmenides and Republic, Plato
    20. Selection from Universals: An Opinionated Introduction, D.M. Armstrong
    21. Selection from New Work for a Theory of Universals, David Lewis
    22. On the Elements of Being: I, Donald C. Williams
    23. Causality and Properties, Sydney Shoemaker
    Part V. Necessity
    24. Selection from Naming and Necessity, Saul Kripke
    25. Selection from On the Plurality of Worlds, David Lewis
    26. Actualism and Possible Worlds, Alvin Plantinga
    27. Selection from A Combinatorial Theory of Possibility, D.M. Armstrong
    Part VI. Causation
    28. Selection from Metaphysics, Aristotle
    29. Selection from Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, David Hume
    30. Causation, David Lewis
    31. Causal Relations, Donald Davidson
    32. Selections from The Facts of Causation, D.H. Mellor
    Part VII. Time and Space
    33. Selection from Physics, Aristotle
    34. Selection from The Nature of Existence, J.M.E McTaggart
    35. Changes in Events and Changes in Things, Arthur N. Prior
    36. Selection from Asymmetries in Time, Paul Horwich
    37. Selection from the Leibniz-Clarke Correspondence
    38. The Space-Time World, J.J.C. Smart
    39. The Paradoxes of Time Travel, David Lewis
    Part VIII. Identity
    40. Identity through Time, Roderick M. Chisholm
    41. Selection from On the Plurality of Worlds, David Lewis
    42. Personal Identity, Derek Parfit
    43. Persons, Animals, and Ourselves, P.F. Snowdon
    Part IX. Mind and Body
    44. Selection from Meditations on First Philosophy, René Descartes
    45. Selection from New System of the Nature of Substances, G.W. Leibniz
    46. Selections from Thought, Gilbert Harman
    47. Psychophysical and Theoretical Identifications, David Lewis
    48. Selection from Thinking Causes, Donald Davidson
    49. What Is It Like to Be a Bat?, Thomas Nagel
    X. Freedom and Determinism
    50. Selection from Treatise of Human Nature, David Hume
    51. Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person, Harry Frankfurt
    52. The Incompatibility of Freewill and Determinism, Peter van Inwagen
    53. Selection from Freedom from Physics: Quantum Mechanics and Free Will, Barry Loewer
    54. Human Freedom and the Self, Roderick M. Chisholm