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Riddles of Existence

A Guided Tour of Metaphysics

Earl Conee and Theodore Sider

Publication Date - August 2007

ISBN: 9780199215188

224 pages

An ideal first book for anyone curious about philosophy, filled with clear discussions of some the deepest and most puzzling questions we can ponder


The riddles of metaphysics are the deepest and most puzzling questions we can ponder. Riddles of Existence is the first book ever to make metaphysics genuinely accessible and fun. Its lively, informal style brings these questions to life and shows how stimulating it can be to think about them.
Earl Conee and Theodore Sider offer a lucid discussion of the major topics in metaphysics. What makes me the same person I was as a child? Is everything fated to be exactly as it is? Does time flow? How fast does it flow, and can one travel back in time, against the current? Does God exist? Why is there anything at all rather than nothing? If our actions are caused by things science can predict and control, how can we have free will? The authors approach these topics in an open-minded and undogmatic manner, giving readers a full sense of the issues involved. They don't try to convince us of their point of view. Instead, they hope that, by reading this book, we will come to appreciate the importance of such problems and develop reasoned opinions of our own.
Riddles of Existence shows that philosophy can be exciting and important, and understandable by anyone.

About the Author(s)

Earl Conee is Professor of Philosophy at University of Rochester
Theodore Sider is Frederick Whiton Professor of Philosophy at Cornell University

Table of Contents

    1. Personal Identity
    2. Fatalism
    3. Time
    4. God
    5. Why Not Nothing?
    6. Free Will and Determinism
    7. Constitution
    8. Universals
    9. Possibility and Necessity
    10. What is Metaphysics