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Contemporary Debates in Metaphysics (Contemporary Debates in Philosophy) [Paperback]

Theodore Sider , John Hawthorne , Dean W. Zimmerman

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Book Description

12 Dec 2007 1405112298 978-1405112291 1
In a series of thought–provoking and original essays, eighteen leading philosophers engage in head–to–head debates of nine of the most cutting edge topics in contemporary metaphysics. Explores the fundamental questions in contemporary metaphysics in a series of eighteen original essays – 16 of which are newly commissioned for this volume Features an introductory essay by the editors on the nature of metaphysics to prepare the reader for ongoing discussions Offers readers the unique opportunity to observe leading philosophers engage in head–to–head debate on cutting–edge metaphysical topics Provides valuable insights into the flourishing field of contemporary metaphysics

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“ Contemporary Debates in Metaphysics is a terrific book — 18 essays by some of the most distinguished voices in contemporary philosophy which collectively represent and define the state of the art in this ancient discipline. The writing is fresh and clear throughout, accessible to beginners but rigorous enough to satisfy the most exacting specialists. This is no bland survey of the subject: the book is structured as a series of debates, with partisans of opposed positions clashing directly on the page. For those who want to see how contemporary metaphysics is done, there is no better introduction to the subject.” Gideon A. Rosen, Princeton University<!––end––> “This is an incredibly good collection of original papers about the central problems of metaphysics. I will certainly use the book as a text in my yearly introductory graduate seminar on metaphysics." Peter Van Inwagen, University of Notre Dame “Until now we′ve had to choose between traditional texts, where the author pretends to be arguing with him/herself, and anthologies, where the reader pretends the authors are arguing with each other. This book has genuine focussed exchange between some of the best metaphysicians around. The introduction by Sider is a gem. What a great way to learn metaphysics.” Prof. Stephen Yablo, MIT “What might one want in a contemporary metaphysics reader? There are plenty of volumes that reprint the 20th century precursors to current debates; no need for another one of those. What would be great is a collection of first–rate essays by leading philosophers which effectively engage the most important issues in the field and give attention not only to the substantive debates but the meta–philosophical questions such as: what is metaphysics and how is it possible? And now we have it: Contemporary Debates in Metaphysics does it all.” Sally Haslanger, MIT “Written with philosophical sophistication … .Rewarding and valuable … .Teaching papers … .It would make a fine … and useful resource for the professional philosopher.” Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

From the Back Cover

Is personal identity psychological or physical? Determinism and freedom: are they incompatible? Do abstract entities – universals, propositions, and numbers – really exist? Contemporary Debates in Metaphysics addresses these and many more of the most contentious issues in the field today. An introductory essay on the nature of metaphysics prepares the reader for the text’s distinctive format – a series of head–to–head debates by eighteen leading professionals in metaphysics. Squaring off on opposite sides of the issues, they debate nine of the deepest and most puzzling topics in contemporary metaphysics. Contemporary Debates in Metaphysics is an excellent resource for advanced students and professional philosophers alike.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Impressive Contributions 1 Oct 2009
By TiZ - Published on
This book is a collection of essays presenting opposite views on various problems in metaphysics. These include problems about abstract entities, laws of nature, modality, personal identity, time, persistence, free will, mereology and metaontology.
Each section includes two essays, each presenting and defending a prominent view on the topic, though some sections do not canvass all views. While the essays address opposing views, they don't always contend directly with each other, and there are no subsequent replies from each author, in contrast to some other "debates" books.
The authors are significant contributors in their areas, and their contributions here are excellent. They are original, and written carefully and clearly. The book is nicely organized, and includes a brief general introduction as well as very brief introductions for each section.
This book will be of great interest to upper-level undergraduate and graduate students in philosophy as well as professional philosophers working in metaphysics. This is an impressive contribution to the series and to the field.
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