Metaphysics: An Introduction


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Product details

  • Language: : English
  • ISBN-10 : 0415640741
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0415640749


Metaphysics: An Introduction combines comprehensive coverage of the core elements of metaphysics with contemporary and lively debates within the subject. It provides a rigorous and yet accessible overview of a rich array of topics, connecting the abstract nature of metaphysics with the real world. Topics covered include:

  • Basic logic for metaphysics
  • An introduction to ontology
  • Abstract objects
  • Material objects
  • Critiques of metaphysics
  • Free will
  • Time
  • Modality
  • Persistence
  • Causation
  • Social ontology: the metaphysics of race

This outstanding book not only equips the reader with a thorough knowledge of the fundamentals of metaphysics but provides a valuable guide to contemporary metaphysics and metaphysicians.

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Editorial Reviews


“An up-to-date, well-written text that is both challenging and accessible. I think that the greatest strengths of the book are its science-friendliness and the interweaving of under-represented issues, such as social construction, race, and numbers, with traditionally-favoured topics.” – Matthew Slater, Department of Philosophy, Bucknell University, USA

“Exemplary clarity and concision…The author has presented some difficult material in a light, brisk and appealing style.” – Barry Lee, Department of Philosophy, University of York, UK

“An excellent introduction…some very complicated and important work is made accessible to students, without either assuming background knowledge or over-simplifying.”  – Carrie Ichikawa Jenkins, Department of Philosophy, University of British Columbia, Canada

“This book will serve as an excellent introduction to contemporary metaphysics. The issues and arguments are well chosen and explained with a carefulness and rigor ideal for beginning students. The teaching-oriented materials, which include a helpful overview of elementary logic, are useful additions to Ney’s expert discussion.” – Sam Cowling, Philosophy Department, Denison University, USA

“Over the last several decades, metaphysics has been a particularly active and productive area of philosophy. Alyssa Ney’s Metaphysics: An Introduction offers a superb introduction to this exciting field, covering the issues, claims, and arguments on fundamental topics, such as existence and persistence, material object, causation, modality, and the nature of metaphysics. While the presentation is admirable in its clarity and accessibility, Ney does not shy away from sophisticated problems and theories, many of them from recent developments in the field, and she succeeds in infusing them with immediacy and relevance. The reader has a sense of being a fellow companion on Ney’s journey of exploration into some fascinating metaphysical territories. This is the best introduction to contemporary metaphysics that I know.”  – Jaegwon Kim, Professor of Philosophy, Brown University, USA

“This is a terrific text. In a remarkably short space Alyssa Ney manages to be simultaneously comprehensive, authoritative and deep. She gives a cutting-edge account of all the standard topics, and for good measure adds an illuminating discussion of the metaphysics of race. This will be not only be a boon to students, but also a valuable resource for more experienced philosophers.”  – David Papineau, Professor of Philosophy, Kings College London, UK

“One of the best introductions to metaphysics available. It covers a wide range of contemporary topics in metaphysics, giving a clear, accessible yet substantive account of the key questions and issues and providing an up to date account of the current debate. It’s the text I’d choose for my own course on the subject.”  – L.A. Paul – Professor of Philosophy University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA

About the Author

Alyssa Ney is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of California – Davis, USA. She is editor (with David Albert) of The Wave Function: Essays in the Metaphysics of Quantum Mechanics (2013).


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