Metaphysics: A Contemporary Introduction (Routledge by Michael Loux

By Michael Loux

Metaphysics: A Contemporary Introduction is aimed toward scholars of metaphysics who've already accomplished an introductory philosophy path. This third edition of the successful textbook offers a clean examine key themes in metaphysics and includes two new chapters on time and causation.

Topics addressed include:

• the matter of universals
• the character of summary entities
• the matter of individuation
• the character of modality
• identification via time
• the character of time
• the Realism/anti-Realism debate

Wherever attainable, Loux hyperlinks modern perspectives to their classical assets within the background of philosophy. This new version additionally retains the basic structure, the chapter overviews summarizing the most subject matters and examples to elucidate tough options.

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Extra resources for Metaphysics: A Contemporary Introduction (Routledge Contemporary Introductions to Philosophy)

Example text

Realists call these shared entities universals; they say that universals are entities that can be simultaneously exemplified by several different objects; and they claim that universals encompass the properties things possess, the relations into which they enter, and the kinds to which they belong. Toward showing us that we must endorse the reality of universals, realists point to the phenomena of subject predicate discourse and abstract reference. They claim that unless we posit universals as the referents of predicate expressions, we cannot explain how subject predicate sentences can be true, and they argue that we can explain the truth of sentences incorporating abstract referring terms only if we take universals to be the things identified by the use of those terms.

In none of these cases is it plausible to claim that the predicate functions as a name of the universal it is supposed to refer to. In each case, there is another term (‘circularity,’ ‘wisdom,’ ‘exhaustion’) that is more plausibly construed as the name of the relevant universal. The fact that we cannot take the predicates of (1), (6), (7), or (8) to be names of universals suggests that ‘red’ is not playing that role in (5) either; and the fact is that it is not. ‘Red,’ along with other color words is ambiguous; it can function as a noun (as in ‘Red is a color’), and in that use it is plausibly construed as a name of the relevant color; but it can also function as an adjective (as in ‘red house’ and ‘red complexion’), and in that use it does not name anything.

5 Whereas objects exemplify properties by possessing them, things exemplify kinds by belonging to them. Philosophers who draw this distinction frequently tell us that while kinds constitute the particulars that exemplify them as what they are, properties merely modify or characterize particulars antecedently so marked out; and they often claim that kinds are individuative universals. What is meant is that kinds constitute their members as individuals distinct from other individuals of the same kind as well as from individuals of other kinds.

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