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Metaphysics, 4th Edition (Foundations of Philosophy Series) Paperback – September 11, 1991

ISBN-13: 978-0135678190 ISBN-10: 0135678196 Edition: 4th

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 4th edition (September 11, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0135678196
  • ISBN-13: 978-0135678190
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.4 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #706,837 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

This classic, provocative introduction to classical metaphysical questions focuses on appreciating the problems, rather than attempting to proffer answers.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By not me VINE VOICE on November 25, 2005
Format: Paperback
For my money, Richard Taylor's "Metaphysics" is still the best short introduction to metaphysics for undergraduates or general readers. Taylor had a unique gift for explaining "heavy" philosophical topics -- God, fatalism, mind, time, causality -- in readable prose that met analytical standards but never mired the reader in a bog of technicalities and linguistic distinctions. The chapters on God and fatalism, in particular, are near-classic essays that have been widely discussed in the secondary literature and reprinted in anthologies.

Taylor conveyed a sense of excitement about philosophy and taught readers that metaphysics is central to any thoughtful life. Maybe he got a bit carried away on this score -- to judge by a few statements in "Metaphysics," he took himself very seriously and believed that only philosophers can have meaningful lives. But these are minor annoyances and conceits in an otherwise outstanding book. There's a reason why it's gone through four editions and is still in print after more than 40 years! I've read the book three times and still find riches in it.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 17, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is the text book for many college philosophy-knowledge and reality courses. A small book that one can read over a few times and think about the tough questions of epistemology and metaphysics. The mind-body relation(or lack thereof), freedom and determinism, fate, space and time,temporal passage,causation,God,and polarity, are among the topics touched upon. This is a book in which you must think as you read,and watch out for assumptions the author makes at points. Go for it.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 3, 2003
Format: Paperback
"Metaphysics" has been used in classrooms since the 1960s, and for good reason -- it is a clearly-written introduction to central metaphysical issues such as the mind/body problem, determinism and free will, and the existence of God (the chapter on God has been reprinted in numerous anthologies). Here and there, author Taylor gets carried away with the "heaviness" of his subject, as when he writes like Ecclesiastes, or succumbs to faux-Spinoza-isms about how "untutored and vulgar" people lead impoversished lives because they can't understand metaphysics. But otherwise the book is excellent. If you wanted to introduce a smart teenager or college freshman to philosophy, you couldn't do better than "Metaphysics."
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Quentin on January 22, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is excellent for getting a good grasp on some of the contemporary problems involved in metaphysics. He seems to take sides in the determinism section, but maintains the other side to a degree that keeps the problem (barely) alive. The text is straightforward and very readable.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. Devendorf on March 2, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is a great introduction to problems of metaphysics and to philosophical thinking in general. I highly recommend it if you're new to philosophy or if you just want a refresher on some of the fundamentals. Richard Taylor is both clear and profound. He is one of the few contemporary philosophers who appreciates the value of living an examined life.

I also recommend his book Good and Evil. Frankena's book Ethics is also a great short introduction.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 3, 2003
Format: Paperback
"Metaphysics" has been in print and used in classrooms since the 1960s, and for good reason -- it is a clearly-written introduction to central metaphysical issues such as the mind/body problem, determinism and free will, and the existence of God. Here and there, author Taylor seems to get carried away with the "heaviness" of his subject, which leads him to immitate the tone of Ecclesiastes, or to succumb to faux-Spinoza-isms about how "untutored and vulgar" people lead impoversished lives as a consequence of their inability to understand metaphysics. But otherwise the book is excellent. If you wanted to introduce a smart teenager or college freshman to the subject of philosophy, you couldn't do better than "Metaphysics."
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Metaphysics, 4th Edition (Foundations of Philosophy Series)
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