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Magidor, Ofra, , . Arguments by Leibniz’s Law in Metaphysics
2011, Philosophy Compass 6 (3):180-195
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Added by: Berta Grimau, Contributed by:

Abstract: Leibniz’s Law (or as it sometimes called, ‘the Indiscerniblity of Identicals’) is a widely accepted principle governing the notion of numerical identity. The principle states that if a is identical to b, then any property had by a is also had by b. Leibniz’s Law may seem like a trivial principle, but its apparent consequences are far from trivial. The law has been utilised in a wide range of arguments in metaphysics, many leading to substantive and controversial conclusions. This article discusses the applications of Leibniz’s Law to arguments in metaphysics. It begins by presenting a variety of central arguments in metaphysics which appeal to the law. The article then proceeds to discuss a range of strategies that can be drawn upon in resisting an argument by Leibniz’s Law. These strategies divide into three categories: (i) denying Leibniz’s Law; (ii) denying that the argument in question involves a genuine application of the law; and (iii) denying that the argument’s premises are true. Strategies falling under each of these three categories are discussed in turn.

Comment: Ideal as a main reading in a course in general metaphysics with a section on Leibniz’s Law, at both undergrad and postgrad level.

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Ney, Alyssa, , . Metaphysics: An Introduction
2015, Routledge.
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Added by: Emily Paul, Contributed by: Tyron Goldschmidt

Publisher’s note: <em>Metaphysics: An Introduction</em> combines comprehensive coverage of the core elements of metaphysics with contemporary and lively debates within the subject. It provides a rigorous and yet accessible overview of a rich array of topics, connecting the abstract nature of metaphysics with the real world. Topics covered include: Basic logic for metaphysics, An introduction to ontology, Abstract objects, Material objects Critiques of metaphysics, Free Will, Time, Modality, Persistence, Causation, Social ontology: the metaphysics of race. This outstanding book not only equips the reader with a thorough knowledge of the fundamentals of metaphysics but provides a valuable guide to contemporary metaphysics and metaphysicians. Additional features such as exercises, annotated further reading, a glossary and a companion website www.routledge.com/cw/ney will help students find their way around this subject and assist teachers in the classroom

Comment: An excellent textbook to use for an introduction to metaphysics course. Provides a great overview of and introduction to topics such as modality, inexistence, causation, time, race, social ontology, and the special composition question. This textbook could be used as the key reading for the whole course.

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Sullivan, Meghan, , Peter Van Inwagen. Metaphysics
2016, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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Added by: Laura Jimenez, Contributed by:

Introduction: It is not easy to say what metaphysics is. Ancient and Medieval philosophers might have said that metaphysics was, like chemistry or astrology, to be defined by its subject matter: metaphysics was the ‘science’ that studied ‘being as such’ or ‘the first causes of things’ or ‘things that do not change’. It is no longer possible to define metaphysics that way. First, a philosopher who denied the existence of those things that had once been seen as constituting the subject-matter of metaphysics – first causes or unchanging things – would now be considered to be making thereby a metaphysical assertion. Second, there are many philosophical problems that are now considered to be metaphysical problems (or at least partly metaphysical problems) that are in no way related to first causes or unchanging things – the problem of free will, for example, or the problem of the mental and the physical.

The first three sections of this entry examine a broad selection of problems considered to be metaphysical and discuss ways in which the purview of metaphysics has expanded over time. The central problems of metaphysics were significantly more unified in the Ancient and Medieval eras. Which raises a question – is there any common feature that unites the problems of contemporary metaphysics? The final two sections of the entry discuss some recent theories of the nature and methodology of metaphysics, including those that consider metaphysics as an impossible enterprise.

Comment: Essential article for introducing metaphysics to undergraduete students.The article offers a clear overview of the main problems of metaphysics as well as of the historical evolution from antient to contemporary metaphysics.

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