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Metaphysics: An Anthology (Blackwell Philosophy Anthologies) Paperback – 19 Aug 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 736 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 2nd Edition edition (19 Aug. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444331027
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444331028
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 3.4 x 24.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 159,263 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


Almost since it first came into print, I have used the first edition of Metaphysics: An Anthology in upper level undergraduate metaphysics courses. I also use it whenever I teach a graduate survey of metaphysics. The second edition is not just new, but new and improved. And I intend to use it in future metaphysics courses.

Trenton Merricks, University of Virginia

A thorough compilation of essential readings. Anyone seriously interested in contemporary analytic metaphysics needs to know these pieces. The nicely updated second edition adds papers foundational to the next generation of metaphysical research.

Mark Heller, Syracuse University

The second edition of Metaphysics: An Anthology is a splendid update of the already–excellent first edition. Thirty new articles by well–known younger philosophers join recent classics to bring this comprehensive collection right up to the moment.

Lynne Rudder Baker, University of Massachusetts – Amherst


An outstanding collection of classic to contemporary essays on some of the most interesting topics in metaphysics. It would provide a great basis for an upper–level undergraduate or graduate course in metaphysics.

Amie Thomasson, University of Miami

From the Back Cover

Thoroughly updated, this second edition of the highly successful Metaphysics: An Anthology continues to represent the most comprehensive and authoritative collection of canonical readings in metaphysics. With greater coverage, it includes expanded section introductions, and has been designed for even wider accessibility to students, providing the ideal platform for course use.

In addition to retaining material from the first edition on the topics central to the field, this new edition offers greater coverage of selected subjects, including fictionalism, fundamentality, tropes, vague identity, temporary intrinsics, stage theory, composition, personal identity, and the nature of possible worlds, and entirely new sections on ontology and the metaphysics of material objects.

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By Jacquey on 8 Nov. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Best book to start with
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3 reviews
What is Metaphysics? (This Book Explains) 3 Sept. 2015
By Jeffrey Rubard - Published on
Format: Paperback
That there is an academic subspecialty called "analytic metaphysics" which is one of the currently flourishing parts of philosophy may come as a surprise to two sorts of people who would really find it quite interesting. The first sort are the kind of people who are skeptical about religious transcendence, an afterlife, or anything "other-worldly" and to whom "metaphysical" describes a sort of bookstore where you have your "aura" photographed; the second are people somewhat familiar with philosophy who think that the Vienna Circle or Derrida definitely undid metaphysics as an area of "scientific" research. Both are partially correct in their conjecture of what "metaphysicians" would be up to these days: metaphysics remains the study of the ultimate categories of being, and positivists like Carnap have had an enormous influence on how metaphysicians go about speculating "on what there is".

Still, neither scientism nor "skepticism" gets you out of having to take a harder look on what's "really real", and that is where contemporary metaphysics has its heart: assuming that modern science is as right as humanity's ever been about reality, what do we have to say about what it says? The name "metaphysics", originally applied to a treatise by Aristotle that came *meta ta phusika*, "after the physics", has thusly never been more appropriate. Furthermore, even if we all largely agree on what kinds of particles there are, there's a lot more to say about other kinds of entities built up out of them and what might happen to those entities if things were a certain way ("counterfactual" reasoning that relies on the consideration of "possible worlds" somewhat different from our actual world), when they are the same and when they are different from each other, what we are saying when we attribute characteristics to those entities, whether there is something meaningful about "unreal" entities like unicorns, and many other exciting problems.

Philosophy anthologies are often "behind the times", but the three high-powered editors have made an effort to be contemporary: relatively "classic" essays from the post-WWII period lead on to papers by some of the most notable names in metaphysics today (Gideon Rosen and Ted Sider are big deals right now, for example). The book is big without being unmanageable, and the two-column printing is relatively readable. If you can't understand why anyone would want to engage in "metaphysical speculation", this is a good way to see what that means for modern minds.
Excellent selections. This book was 'used' but it came ... 15 Feb. 2015
By Maidenfan - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent selections. This book was 'used' but it came in perfect condition. The font is a little small and hard to read. But there are two narrow columns of text on each page, which makes reading faster.
0 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Metaphysics: An Anthology (Blackwell) 26 Nov. 2012
By Alexandra - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I needed this textbook for a philosophy course at my university. I ordered the book on Amazon because I was able to find it at a more affordable price than at my university's bookstore. The book arrived on time (before the start of my course) in brand-new condition. Very pleased with my order.
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