Metaphysics (PHIL*4370) | College of Arts

Metaphysics (PHIL*4370)

Term: Fall 2013


The course is intended as an introduction to metaphysics for advanced students in philosophy. We shall combine an historical approach with a systematic approach. We shall begin with a discussion of the difficulty involved in forming and adequate definition of "metaphysics". We shall then proceed through selected writings of major ancient and medieval philosophers and theologians, focusing on particular "metaphysical" issues they address and tracing the development of the manners in which these issues are raised and treated. NOTE: While this initial "historical" component of the course may serve as a condensed review of major developments in the history of philosophy, its chief purpose is not historical, but thematic: it is intended primarily to provide the student of the opportunity to explore at greater depth particular problems and topics that are generally mentioned only in passing (if at all) in historical survey courses. After completing these readings, we shall examine Kent's critique of this earlier metaphysical tradition, focusing on his seminal treatment of the concepts of God, freedom and immorality, the clarification of which he identified as the defining task of metaphysics proper. Following our reading of Kant, we shall spend the final three weeks of the course analyzing in greater depth particular metaphysical issues that the members of the class have found especially interesting.


PDF icon PHIL4370 Syllabus.pdf27.47 KB