The Possibility of Metaphysics

The Possibility of Metaphysics : Substance, Identity, and Time

4.28 (18 ratings by Goodreads)
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Jonathan Lowe argues that metaphysics should be restored to a central position in philosophy, as the most fundamental form of rational inquiry, whose findings underpin those of all other disciplines. He portrays metaphysics as charting the possibilities of existence, by identifying the categories of being and the relations of ontological dependency between entities of different categories. He proceeds to set out a unified and original metaphysical system: he defends
a substance ontology, according to which the existence of the world as one world in time depends upon the existence of persisting things which retain their identity over time and through processes of qualitative change. And he contends that even necessary beings, such as the abstract objects of
mathematics, depend ultimately for their existence upon there being a concrete world of enduring substances. Within his system of metaphysics Lowe seeks to answer many of the deepest and most challenging questions in philosophy.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 288 pages
  • 163 x 244 x 21mm | 620g
  • Clarendon Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • 0198236832
  • 9780198236832

Table of contents

1. The Possibility of Metaphysics ; 2. Objects and Identity ; 3. Identity and Unity ; 4. Time and Persistence ; 5. Persistence and Substance ; 6. Substance and Dependence ; 7. Primitive Substances ; 8. Categories and Kinds ; 9. Matter and Form ; 10. Abstract Entities ; 11. Facts and the World ; 12. The Puzzle of Existence ; Bibliography ; Index
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Review quote

... serious metaphysics is alive and well in the work of Jonathan Lowe. His book The Possibility of Metaphysics is a major contribution to analytical metaphysics; it confirms Lowe's standing as a leading figure in the field. * Philosophy and Phenomenological Research * ... a very rich book ... deserves to be read carefully by anyone interested in any of the many subjects [Lowe] discusses. * British Journal of the Philosophy of Science * E. J. Lowe's good book is an essay in traditional metaphysics that covers both first-order and second-order issues. He also offers us interesting accounts of what metaphysics is - it is not a branch of semantics or of science, for example - and of how it should be justified. His answer to the justification question is partly a proof of the pudding one (that is, read this book), and partly a critique of various objections to traditional metaphysics. * Frank Jackson, Times Literary Supplement *
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About E. J. Lowe

E. J. Lowe is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Durham.
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Rating details

18 ratings
4.28 out of 5 stars
5 50% (9)
4 33% (6)
3 11% (2)
2 6% (1)
1 0% (0)
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