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  • Edition: 3rd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 8/4/2008
  • Publisher: Perseus Books

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This essential core text introduces readers to metaphysics. In thoughtful and engaging prose, Peter van Inwagen examines three profound questions: What are the most general features of the world? Why is there a world? And, what is the place of human beings in the world? The third edition includes an entirely new chapter on ontology. The new chapter presents a theory of the nature of being and proceeds to apply this theory to two problems of ontology: the problem of non-existent objects and the problem of universals. Equally valuable as a textbook in a university course or an introduction to metaphysical thinking for the interested layperson,Metaphysicsremains a fascinating book for a wide range of readers, from first-time students to the most sophisticated philosophers.Contents1. IntroductionPart One: The Way the World Is 2. Individuality 3. Externality 4. Temporality 5. ObjectivityPart Two: Why the World Is 6. Necessary Being: The Ontological Argument 7. Necessary Being: The Cosmological ArgumentPart Three: The Inhabitants of the World 8. What Rational Beings Are There? 9. The Place of Rational Beings in the World: Design and Purpose 10. The Nature of Rational Beings: Dualism and Physicalism 11. The Nature of Rational Beings: Dualism and Personal Identity 12. The Powers of Rational Beings: Freedom of the Will 13. Concluding Meditation 14. Coda: Being

Author Biography

Peter van Inwagen is the John Cardinal O'Hara Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame.

Table of Contents

Preface to the Third Editionp. ix
Introductionp. 1
The Way the World isp. 23
Introductionp. 23
Individualityp. 27
Externalityp. 53
Temporalityp. 71
Objectivityp. 93
Why the World isp. 109
Introductionp. 109
Necessary Being: The Ontological Argumentp. 115
Necessary Being: The Cosmological Argumentp. 145
The Inhabitants of the Worldp. 169
Introductionp. 169
What Rational Beings Are There?p. 175
The Place of Rational Beings in the World: Design and Purposep. 187
The Nature of Rational Beings: Dualism and Physicialismp. 209
The Nature of Rational Beings: Dualism and Personal Identityp. 235
The Powers of Rational Beings: Freedom of the Willp. 253
Concluding Meditationp. 273
Coda: Beingp. 277
Bibliographyp. 315
Indexp. 319
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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