The basic tools and concepts of metaphysics are employed in virtually every branch of philosophy, necessitating a basic understanding of metaphysics to completely understand any philosophical work. This volume is a comprehensive survey of contemporary thought on a wide range of issues and provides students with the basic background to current debates in metaphysics and ontology. An introductory essay by the editors offers an overview of the volume and introduces students to the major debates that are contained within the main body of the text.The collection contains classic contemporary papers on topics such as Ontological Commitment and Methodology, Possible Worlds and Possibilia, Properties and Universals, Substances, Events, Tropes and Mathematical Objects. It also includes seven newly-commissioned state-of-the-art articles by Van Inwagen, Lycan, Bealer, Loux, Lombard, Macdonald and Field. The volume is ideal for undergraduate and graduate courses in metaphysics and contemporary philosophy.
Stephen Laurence is a Lecturer in Philosophy at theUniversity of Sheffield, England and is co-editor with EricMargolis of Concepts: Core Readings (1998). Cynthia Macdonald is Professor at the University ofCanterbury at Christchurch, New Zealand. She is co-author withGraham Macdonald of Philosophy of Psychology (BlackwellPublishers, 1995) and Connectionism (Blackwell Publishers,1995).
List of Contributors for State of the Art Essays. Acknowledgements. Introduction: Metaphysics and Ontology: Stephen Laurence and Cynthia MacDonald. Part I: Methodology and Ontological Commitment: State of the Art Essay. 1. The Nature of Metaphysics: Peter van Inwagen. Readings. 2. Descriptive and Revisionary Metaphysics: Susan Haack. 3. On What There Is: W. V. O. Quine. 4. Ontological Commitments: William P. Alston. 5. Quantifiers: Susan Haack. 6. Identity and Substitutivity: Richard Cartwright. Part II: Possible Worlds and Possibilia: State of the Art Essay. 7. Possible Worlds and Possibilia: William G. Lycan. Readings. 8. Possible Worlds: David Lewis. 9. Possible Worlds: Robert Stalnaker. 10. Ways Worlds Could Be: Peter Forrest. Part III: Universals and Properties: State of the Art Essay. 11. Universals and Properties: George Bealer. Readings. 12. On Properties: Hilary Putnam. 13. New Work for a Theory of Universals: David Lewis. 15. A Theory of Structural Universals: John Bigelow and Robert Pargetter. Part IV: Substances: State of the Art Essay. 16. Beyond Substrata and Bundles: A Prolegomenon to a Substance Ontology: Michael J. Loux. Readings. 17. Bare Particulars: Edwin B. Allaire. 18. Particulars Re-Clothed: V. C. Chappell. 19. Another Look at Bare Particulars: Edwin B. Allaire. 20. Three Versions of the Bundle Theory: James Van Cleve. Part V: Events: State of the Art Essay. 21. Ontologies of Events: Lawrence Brian Lombard. Readings. 22. The Individuation of Events: Donald Devidson. 23. Events as Property Exemplifications: Jaegwon Kim. Part VI: Tropes: State of the Art Essay. 24. Tropes and Other Things: Cynthia Macdonald. Readings. 25. The Metaphysic of Abstract Particulars: Keith Campbell. 26. Particulars in Particular Clothing: Three Trope Theories of Substance: Peter Simmons. Part VII: Mathematical Objects: State of the Art Essay. 27. Mathematical Objectivity and Mathematical objects: Hartry Field. Readings. 28. Philosophy of Logic: Hilary Putnam. 29. What Numbers Could Not Be: Paul Benacerraf. Index.