Undergraduate Course: Metaphysics (PHIL10155)
|School||School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences
||College||College of Humanities and Social Science
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||This course will introduce and examine a number of central issues in contemporary metaphysics.
Metaphysics is the study of the most basic and general features of reality. This course will focus on a range of traditional and contemporary problems in metaphysics. Specific topics to be discussed may include: universals and particulars; objects, properties and events; composition and constitution; the nature of necessity and possibility; fundamentality; ontological dependence; realism and anti-realism about truth; conceptual relativity; and the question ¿Why is there something rather than nothing?¿.
Information for Visiting Students
|Pre-requisites||Visiting students should have at least 3 Philosophy courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses.
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Not being delivered|
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Demonstrate core skills in philosophy, including the ability to interpret and engage with philosophical texts, to evaluate arguments, and to develop one¿s own critical ideas in response.
- Acquire an understanding of some of the central problems in metaphysics and of leading approaches to resolving them.
- Analyse these problems and the strengths and weakness of various approaches made to resolving them.
Allaire, E. ¿Bare Particulars¿, Philosophical Studies 14:1-2, pp. 1-8 (1963)
Anscombe, G.E.M. ¿Causality and Determination¿, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1971) (excerpts)
Armstrong, D.M. Universals: An Opinionated Introduction (Boulder, CO: Westview, 1989). (Excerpts)
Armstrong, D.M. 'Against "Ostrich Nominalism": A Reply to Devitt', Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 61 (1980): 440-49.
Beebee, H. 'Causation and Necessary Connection', in D. O'Brien and A. Bailey, eds.,
Continuum Companion to Hume (London: Bloomsbury, 2012), pp. 131-45.
Beebee, H. ¿Causing and Nothingness¿, in L. A. Paul, E. J. Hall & J. Collins (eds.), Causation and Counterfactuals. The Mit Press. 291--308 (2004)
Black, M. ¿The Identity of Indiscernibles¿, Mind 61:242, pp. 153-164 (April, 1952) Cartwright, N. 'Causal Laws and Effective Strategies', Noûs, 13 (1979): 419-37.
Hume, D. A Treatise of Human Nature, Book I, Part III; An Enquiry Concerning the Human Understanding, sect. 4 (any edition)
Kim, J. 'Causes and Events: Mackie on Causation', The Journal of Philosophy, 68 (1971): 426-41.
Lewis, D. ¿Causation,¿ Journal of Philosophy, 70(17), 1973, pp. 556-567.
Lewis, D. On the Plurality of Worlds (Oxford: Blackwell, 1986), ch. 1, sect. 1 & 2; ch. 2; ch. 3, sects. 1-2; ch. 4, sects. 1-2.
MacBride, F. 'Universals: The Contemporary Debate', in R. Le Poidevin, et al., eds., The Routledge Companion to Metaphysics (London: Routledge, 2009), pp. 276-85.
Mackie, J.L. 'Causes and Conditions', American Philosophical Quarterly, 2 (1965): 245- 264.
Mackie, J.L. The Cement of the Universe: A Study of Causation. Oxford: Clarendon, 1974, ch. 3.
Mill, J.S. A System of Logic, vol. 1, 1843, book III, ch. 5.
Price, H.H. 'Universals and Resemblances', in Thinking and Experience (London: Hutchinson, 1953), pp. 7-32. Reprinted in C. Landesman, ed., The Problem of Universals (London: Basic, 1971).
Quine, W.V.O., 'On What There Is', Review of Metaphysics, 2 (1948): 21-28. Paul, L. ¿Aspect Causation¿, Journal of Philosophy xcvii (4), 235-256.
Van Inwagen and D.W. Zimmerman, eds., Metaphysics: The Big Questions, Blackwell 2008
Williams, D.C. ¿The Elements of Being¿, Review of Metaphysics 7(2):3-18 & 171-192 (1953)
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Additional Class Delivery Information
||11 Lectures and 11 tutorials.
|Course organiser||Dr Nick Treanor
Tel: (0131 6)51 3085
|Course secretary||Miss Samantha Bell
Tel: (0131 6)50 3602