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A Companion to Metaphysics Hardcover – April 13, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-1405152983 ISBN-10: 1405152982 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 680 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 2 edition (April 13, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405152982
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405152983
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 1.7 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,312,717 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


?This is a resource no metaphysician in the Anglo-American tradition will want to do without. Summing Up: Essential.? (CHOICE, October 2009)


Almost since it first came into print, I have used the first edition of Metaphysics: An Anthology in upper level undergraduate metaphysics courses. I also use it whenever I teach a graduate survey of metaphysics. The second edition is not just new, but new and improved. And I intend to use it in future metaphysics courses.


-Trenton Merricks, University of Virginia



A thorough compilation of essential readings. Anyone seriously interested in contemporary analytic metaphysics needs to know these pieces. The nicely updated second edition adds papers foundational to the next generation of metaphysical research.


-Mark Heller, Syracuse University



The second edition of Metaphysics: An Anthology is a splendid update of the already-excellent first edition. Thirty new articles by well-known younger philosophers join recent classics to bring this comprehensive collection right up to the moment.


-Lynne Rudder Baker, University of Massachusetts - Amherst



An outstanding collection of classic to contemporary essays on some of the most interesting topics in metaphysics. It would provide a great basis for an upper-level undergraduate or graduate course in metaphysics.


-Amie Thommasson, University of Miami

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Rafe Champion on March 27, 2014
Format: Hardcover
One of the great controversies in 20th century philosophy of science concerned the role and function of metaphysics. The logical positivists and after them the logical empiricists devoted some decades to the quest for meaning or cognitive significance to be defined by some version of the verification principle. Karl Popper took a different path because he could see that the verification principle was never going to do the work that was demanded of it. In Logik der Forschung (1935) he offered an alternative program which accepted the role of metaphysics while insisting on the need for testability and attempted falsification to maintain high standards of criticism in scientific practice.

In addition to the "negative" role of eliminating errors, criticism (not just empirical testing) has a positive role to play by locating problems which are the growing point of science. Problems can be seen as ecological niches that can be colonised by new ideas (attempted solutions).

Popper's program developed in later years to include a theory of metaphysical research programs which exert a constant influence on the activities of scientists, whether they are aware of this or not. Popper's point was to maintain a critical watch on the role of metaphysical programs with the hope of improving them. This aspect of Popper's work should be a matter of great interest to everyone working on metaphysics but the Popper entry in this volume does not mention it.

JJE Gracia contributed a one-page entry referring to The Logic of Scientific Discovery, the 1959 English translation of Logid der Forschung. He wrote that Popper and the logical positivists shared the framework assumption that first-order logic is a legitimate tool to capture the structure of science.
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