Loyola University Chicago

Department of Philosophy

PHIL 272: Metaphysics

PHIL 272: Metaphysics

The Generic Catalog Description

This course will take up basic questions about reality and inquire into fundamental principles by which the nature of reality can be coherently explained. An analysis of issues such as: the nature of being and existence; the principles in terms of which anything (e.g., physical and non-physical things, God) is said to be real; and the nature of the relations between things (e.g., space and time, mechanical and goal-directed causality).

PHIL 272: Metaphysics

Andrew Cutrofello

The aim of metaphysics is to say what there is. This ambition raises two basic questions. One is whether we can ever truly succeed in saying what there is. The other is whether success would depend on making language conform to the structure of being, or making being conform to the structure of language. In this class we will consider alternative answers to these questions, including those set forth by Plato, Aristotle, Kant, and Hegel.

This course has a Mind and Science (M&S) designation for the purposes of major specialization

PHIL 272: Metaphysics

James Murphy

This general introduction explores the nature and scope of metaphysics.  It tackles: (1) Applied ontology, dealing with different categories of being or reality, and pure ontology, dealing with the nature of existence; (2) Issues (e.g. causality, mind/body, free will, person) important in, but not directly treated by, the sciences; (3) The metaphysical presuppositions of the sciences; (4) The big picture issues: the meaning of life, God, etc.  Issues of ontology (the real) will be distinguished from issues of semantics (the true) and issues of epistemology (knowledge and concepts). The relevance of the realism vs. idealism (constructionism) debate will also be treated.   

Typical readings:
Plato, Phaedo, Republic, Symposium.
Aristotle, Categories, Metaphysics.