Phil 3333  ē  Fall 2007

Course Description

Metaphysics is the study of existence or reality at its most general. What does it mean to say that something exists? Does reality have a beginning and end? What are space and time? Does reality have a creator? Is there a single unified order or is reality partitioned into multiple realms that never interact? What is interaction -- what are cause and effect?

One objective of this course is to introduce you to some awesome issues about existence. Another objective is to equip you with some of the vocabulary and techniques of contemporary anglophone philosophy.

Policies & Grading


Michael Loux, ed., Metaphysics: Contemporary Readings (Routledge, 2001).
Manuscripts by instructor, to be made available in class.
Recommended:  Roy Sorensen, Brief History of the Paradox (available in non-textbook section of bookstore).



Topic Readings Notes
Week of  Aug 21   "On What There Is" ch 1, ch 3  
Week of  Aug 28   "The Identity of Indiscernibles" Pt II Intro; ch 6 Paper 1 due Tues
Week of  Sept 4   "Possible Worlds" ch 10, ch 11  
Week of  Sept 11   "Counterparts or Double Lives?" ch 12 Paper 2 due Tues
Week of  Sept 18   "Personal Identity" ch 22  
Week of  Sept 25   "The Dualist Theory" ch 24 Paper 3 due Thurs
Week of  Oct 2   "The Furniture of the Universe" Saka  
Week of  Oct 9   Grad Student Presentations ch 14  
Week of  Oct 16   Grad Student Presentations ch 7  
Week of  Oct 23   "God" ch 25 Paper 4 due Tues
Week of  Oct 30   "Realism" ch 26  
Week of  Nov 6   "Ontological Relativity" ch 27 Paper 5 due Thurs
Week of  Nov 13   "A Problem about Reference" ch 28
Week of  Nov 20   "Objectivity" ch 18, ch 19 No class Thurs
Week of  Nov 27   "Why?" Saka Paper 6 due Thurs
Dec 13, 11-2:00     Final Exam

Syllabus subject to change.
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