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Metaphysics
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Metaphysics: The Fundamentals presents readers with a systematic, comprehensive introductory overview of modern analytic metaphysics. Presents an accessible, up-to-date and broad-ranging survey of one of the most dynamic and often daunting sub-fields in contemporary philosophyIntroduces readers to the seminal works of contemporary and historic philosophers, including Descartes, Leibniz, Russell, David Lewis, Alvin Plantinga, Kit Fine, Peter van Inwagen, John Hawthorne and many othersExplores key questions while identifying important assumptions, axioms, and methodological principlesAddresses topics in ontology, modality, causality, and universals; as well as issues surrounding material composition, persistence, space, and time
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix 1 What Is Metaphysics? 1 1.1 The Subject of Metaphysics 1 1.2 The Methods of Metaphysics 2 1.3 The Waxing and Waning of Metaphysics 3 1.4 Modern Challenges to Metaphysics 4 1.5 The Renaissance of Metaphysics in the Later Analytic Era 6 1.6 Metaphysics as First Philosophy 8 1.7 Overview of the Book 9 2 Truthmakers 15 2.1 Propositions 17 2.2 Classical Truthmaker Theory 20 2.3 Deflationism 34 2.4 Truth Supervenes on Being 36 2.5 Conclusion 38 3 Causation and Powers 40 3.1 Do Causes Exist? 41 3.2 Causal Dispositions and Conditionals 45 3.3 Four Metaphysical Theories 47 3.4 Neo-Humeism 53 3.5 Powerism 63 3.6 Conclusion 74 4 Properties 76 4.1 The Theoretical Role of Properties 77 4.2 Realism 79 4.3 Reductive Nominalism 88 4.4 Trope Theory 96 5 Particulars 102 5.1 Facts 102 5.2 Substances 104 5.3 Conclusion 124 6 Composition 126 6.1 The Special Composition Question 127 6.2 Ontological Free Lunch? 131 6.3 Atomism and Monism 138 6.4 Emergence and Compositional Pluralism 144 6.5 Possible Evidence for Compositional Emergence 145 6.6 Conclusion 152 7 Modality 154 7.1 Possible Worlds: Concretism versus Abstractionism 157 7.2 Modality De Re: Transworld Identity versus Counterpart Theory 175 8 The Passage of Time 182 8.1 The A Theory and the B Theory 182 8.2 Varieties of A Theories 185 8.3 Arguments for the B Theory 188 8.4 Arguments for the A Theory 192 8.5 Conclusion 198 9 Continuity and Persistence 199 9.1 Discrete and Continuous Causation 200 9.2 Instants versus Intervals: Which Are Fundamental? 202 9.3 Possible and Impossible Super-Tasks 206 9.4 Persistence: Fundamental or Non-Fundamental, Supervenient or Anti-Supervenient? 211 9.5 The Persistence of Simple Things: The Problem of Intrinsic Motion 215 9.6 The Persistence of Composite Things: Paradoxes of Intransitivity 217 9.7 Extreme Perdurantism: Who Needs Persistence? 224 9.8 Conclusion: Two Metaphysical Packages 227 10 Concluding Unmetaphysical Postscript 230 10.1 Metaphysical Truth: Anti-Realism 231 10.2 Metaphysical Language: Nonsense and Verbal Disagreement 234 10.3 Metaphysical Skepticism 238 10.4 Metaphysical Fictions 240 10.5 Conclusion: The Inevitability of Metaphysics 241 References 242 Index 250

About the Author

Robert C. Koons is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of Paradoxes of Belief and Strategic Rationality (2009), Realism Regained (2000), and co-editor of The Waning of Materialism (2010). Timothy Pickavance is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Chair of the Talbot Department of Philosophy at Biola University, La Mirada, California. He has published a number of papers on topics relating to metaphysics and epistemology.

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