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Ontology, Identity, and Modality: Essays in Metaphysics (Cambridge Studies in Philosophy) 1st Edition

5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0521795487
ISBN-10: 0521795486
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Editorial Reviews

Book Description

This book gathers together thirteen of Peter van Inwagen's essays on metaphysics, several of which have acquired the status of modern classics in their field. They range widely across such topics as Quine's philosophy of quantification, the ontology of fiction, the part-whole relation, the theory of 'temporal parts', and human knowledge of modal truths. A specially-written introduction completes the collection, which will be an invaluable resource for anyone interested in metaphysics.

About the Author

Peter van Inwagen is the John Cardinal O'Hara Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. His most recent publications include Ontology, Identity, and Modality (Cambridge University Press, 2001) and The Problem of Evil (2006).

Ernest Sosa is the Board of Governors Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers University.

Jonathan Dancy is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Reading.


John Haldane is Professor of Philosophy, Head of the School of Philosophical and Anthropological Studies at the University of St. Andrews, and Fellow of the royal Society of Arts. He is an editor of the International Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Routledge).

Gilbert Harman is Stuart Professor of Philosophy at Princeton University and the author of "Explaining Value and Other Essays in Moral Philosophy" and "Reasoning, Meaning, and Mind. "
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Product Details

  • Series: Cambridge Studies in Philosophy
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (April 2, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521795486
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521795487
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,928,270 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
Peter van Inwagen is one of the best metaphysicians writing today, and this book includes some of his best work previously available only in journals. It includes his defense of three-dimensionalism (and attack on four-dimensionalism), his attack on the idea that there are multiple levels of being (a view often attributed to Meinong), his defense of a moderate modal skepticism of a sort, and lots of other work from one of the most influential and creative metaphysicians of our time.
The introduction includes a great summary of van Inwagen's work up to the time of publication and some detailed thoughts on the papers reprinted here. Many of these thoughts indicate his further thoughts on the matter or even in some cases where he's changed his mind in a substantive way or changed how he thinks the material would best be presented. In some ways this introduction is like some of David Lewis' postscripts to papers in his two volumes of collected papers entitled Philosophical Papers. So the introduction itself is worth having for his continued thoughts on some of these issues.
All said, this collection is definitely worth having.
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