This book is an accessible introduction to the central themes of contemporary metaphysics. It carefully considers accounts of causation, freedom and determinism, laws of nature, personal identity, mental states, time, material objects, and properties, while inviting students to reflect on metaphysical problems. The philosophical questions discussed include: What makes it the case that one event causes another event? What are material objects? Given that material objects exist, do such things as properties exist? What makes it the case that a person may exist at two different times? An Introduction to Metaphysics makes these tough questions tractable by presenting the features and flaws of current attempts to answer them. Intended primarily for students taking a first class in metaphysics, this lucid and well-written text would also provide an excellent introduction for anyone interested in knowing more about this important area of philosophy.
Preface; 1. Introduction; 2. Causation; 3. Freedom and determinism; 4. Laws of nature; 5. Personal identity; 6. Mental states; 7. Time; 8. Material objects; 9. Properties; Bibliography; Index.
What makes it the case that one event causes another event? What are material objects? What makes it the case that a person may exist at two different times? This engaging and well-written introduction makes these questions tractable by presenting the features and flaws of current attempts to answer them.
John W. Carroll is Professor of Philosophy at North Carolina State University. He is the author of Laws of Nature (Cambridge, 1994). Ned Markosian is Professor of Philosophy at Western Washington University.