These pages contain essays on various topics associated with the subject of metaphysics. This is a wide-ranging subject, one that is often viewed with derision. Some, but not all, topics and theories in metaphysics deserve this ridicule. I define metaphysics as the set of those subjects that study the external world but that do not fall under the domain of science. By “external world” I mean the world outside each of our minds. I present four essays here, each concerning a classic problem under this topic:
- Universals – Universals are the fundamental entities in metaphysics. Their existence is implicitly assumed in language, mathematics, and science. Yet their exact nature is hotly debated.
- Naturalism & Theology – The only ontological conception that is supported by any sound evidence is naturalism, the doctrine that everything can be explained as natural phenomena. Nothing is supernatural.
- Free Will – The question as to whether or not free will exists depends on one’s definition of it. Of the two leading conceptions of free will, the one most intuitively defined cannot exist.
- Time – Nothing seems more intuitive than the passage of time. However, special relativity violates this intuition, and raises a major philosophical problem.