The Blackwell Guide to Metaphysics

The Blackwell Guide to Metaphysics

Language: English

Pages: 360

ISBN: 0631221212

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub



The Blackwell Guide to Metaphysics is a definitive introduction to the core areas of metaphysics. It brings together sixteen internationally respected philosophers that demonstrate how metaphysics is done as they examine topics including causation, temporality, ontology, personal identity, idealism, and realism.

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other species could not survive. This is a causal explanation of the extinction, and one I find extremely interesting, but I don’t see any practical application of this piece of causal knowledge. Nevertheless, it is satisfying to understand the history of our planet and the forms of life that have inhabited it. In a more practical vein, airplanes crash, leading to death and destruction. We want to discover the causes of such accidents in order to prevent them in the future. If a crash is a result

Newton’s work are best understood in contrast to the explanation ideals promulgated by Descartes and his followers, where the model of scientific explanation offered was proposed as an alternative to what were taken to be, rightly or wrongly, the ideals of explanation of Descartes’ predecessors. The Cartesians are constantly contrasting their “modern” notion of scientific explanation with the outworn and foolish ideas, they think, of their Aristotelian or “Peripatetic” opponents. The Aristotelians

of God.” Though I am sympathetic to this conclusion (Smart and Haldane, 1996), even to prepare for that movement, let alone to embark upon it, really would be to go beyond the bounds of the present essay. Notes 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Both are contained in Aquinas 1993, pp. 67–80, and pp. 90–113, and in Aquinas 1998, pp. 18–29 and 30–49. Future references to the Summa Theologiae are to the translations in the edition of the English Dominican Fathers, London: Washbourne, 1912. For an account of the

hoping to reconcile non-reducible, non-physical characteristics with substance physicalism. Some of the difficulties attending this attempt are discussed in Haldane, 1999b, and a proposed form of emergentist physicalism is discussed in Haldane, 1996. Summa Theologiae Ia, q. 2, a. 3, responsio. For contrasting analytical discussions on Aquinas’s doctrine of the distinction between essence and existence see Geach, 1961, and Kenny, 1980. References Anscombe, G. E. M. (1981). “Causality and

these new predicates are systematically related to the meanings of the predicates of the old theory in such a way that the old theory analytically entails the new theory. It’s part of the meaning of “are arranged molecule-wise” that atoms which in fact compose a molecule are ipso facto arranged molecule-wise. This doesn’t depend on the assumption that the predicates of the new theory orthographically contain the corresponding predicates of the old theory. If we had written the new theory using

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