Metaphysics and Mind (PHIL*2370) | College of Arts

Metaphysics and Mind (PHIL*2370)

Code and section: PHIL*2370*01

Term: Winter 2019

Instructor: Kyle Bromhall


This course is an introduction to some of the most enduring problems in Western analytic metaphysics. We will consider two questions: “What are we?” and “What can we do?” The answers to these questions are far from simple. We need to know what kinds of things exist to say that we are a thing of that kind. We need to know what it means to exist to say that certain things exist. We even need to know why anything exists to say why some things exist and some don’t! Similarly, we can’t say that we know what we can do if we don’t know what parts of our behaviour is under our control. We can’t say what is under our control if we don’t have a concept of what it means to cause things to happen. And the whole system is challenged if it turns out that time and change are impossible! In short, this course examines some of the questions that are central to the human experience—and will leave nothing unexamined.


Course Outline

The University of Guelph resides on the land of the Between the Lakes Treaty No. 3, the territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit. This land is part of the Dish with One Spoon, a covenant between Indigenous nations to live peaceably on the territories of the Great Lakes region. We recognize that today this gathering place is home to many First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples and acknowledging them reminds us of our collective responsibility to the land where we learn, live and work.