An Essay on Metaphysics is one of the finest works of the great Oxford philosopher, historian, and archaeologist R. G. Collingwood (1889-1943). First published in 1940, it is a broad-ranging work in which Collingwood considers the nature of philosophy, especially of metaphysics. He puts forward his well-kwn doctrine of absolute presuppositions, expounds a logic of question and answer, and gives an original and influential account of causation. The book has been widely read and much discussed ever since. In this revised edition the complete original text is accompanied by three previously unpublished essays by Collingwood which will be essential reading for any serious student of his thought: 'The Nature of Metaphysical Study' (1934), 'The Function of Metaphysics in Civilization' (1938), and 'Notes for a Essay on Logic' (1939). These fascinating writings illuminate and amplify the ideas of the Essay, to which they are closely related. The distinguished philosopher and Collingwood scholar Rex Martin has established authoritative versions of these new texts, added a short set of tes on the Essay, and contributed a substantial introduction explaining the story of the composition of all these works, discussing their major themes, and setting them in the context of Collingwood's philosophy as a whole.
R. G. Collingwood was Waynflete Professor of Metaphysical Philosophy in the University of Oxford from 1935 to 1941.