PHIL 203  Metaphysics

Fall Semester 2011 | DAY


INSTRUCTOR:  P. Hanson, WMX 5658


  • What Is This Thing Called Metaphysics? 2nd  Edition;  Brian Garrett, Routledge (2011).  Background readings related to material in the text will also be made available.



On one conception, metaphysics is concerned with giving an adequate, illuminating, unified account of the most general ontological categories with which we characterize reality.  Ontological categories that inform at least our pre-theoretic ways of looking at the world include: object, property, relation, event, process, fact, person, and maybe even reality tout court.  Certain kinds of  properties and relations also have central metaphysical importance, including: spatio-temporal, causal, and compositional relations; relations between language and reality; and modal properties and relations.  This course is intended as an introductory survey of metaphysics so conceived, in which we shall also pay particular attention to issues concerning the identity, individuation, and continuity through change of physical objects in time on the one hand; and issues concerning the identity, individuation, and continuity through multiple instantiations of properties in space on the other.



  • 4 short papers – worth 25% each


Note: Prerequisites: one of Phil 100, 150, 151.