This course aims to introduce students to the discipline, problems, and methodology in contemporary analytic metaphysics. Specific topics include the nature of being, essentialism, the composition of material objects and their persistence over time, and the relation of God to the world. The course approaches contemporary topics through a historical engagement with Aristotle and his contemporary Neo-Aristotelian or Thomist disciples.
Bibliography : Thomas Aquinas, De ente et essentia. Aristotle, The Basic Works of Aristotle, edited by Richard McKeon (Random House, 2002). Michael Loux, Metaphysics, A Contemporary Introduction, 3rd edition (Routledge, 2006). David Armstrong, A World of States of Affairs (Cambridge University Press, 1998). Edward Feser, An Introduction to Scholastic Metaphysics (Editiones Scholasticae, 2014). Bertrand Russell, “The World of Universals,” In The Problems of Philosophy (1912). WVO Quine, “On What There Is.” The Review of Metaphysics Vol. 2, No. 5 (Sep., 1948): 21-38. Jeffrey Brower, “Aquinas on the Problem of Universals,” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research Vol. 92, No. 2 (2016): 715-735. Jonathan Jacobs, “A Powers Theory of Modality,” Philosophical Studies Vol. 151, No. 2 (November 2010): 227-248. Jonathan Schaffer, “On What Grounds What,” In Metametaphysics, edited by David Chalmers, David Manley, and Ryan Wasserman (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2009). Gaven Kerr, “Aquinas’ Argument for the Existence of God in De Ente et Essentia,” Journal of Philosophical Research 37 (2012): 99-133. David Oderberg, “Persistence,” In A companion to metaphysics. 2nd edition. Edited by Kim, J., Sosa, E. and Rosenkrantz, G. (Blackwell Companions to Philosophy. Blackwell, Oxford, 2009): 55-65.