Metaphysics is one of the traditional four main branches of philosophy, alongside ethics, logic and epistemology. It is also an area that continues to attract and hold a fascination for many people yet it is associated with being complex and abstract. For some it is associated with the mystical or religious. For others it is kwn through the metaphysical poets who talk of love and spirituality. This Very Short Introduction goes right to the heart of the matter, getting to the basic and most important questions of metaphysical thought in order to understand the theory: What are objects? Do colours and shapes have some form of existence? What is it for one thing to cause ather rather than just being associated with it? What is possible? Does time pass? By using these questions to initiate thought about the basic issues around substance, properties, changes, causes, possibilities, time, personal identity, thingness and emergentism, Stephen Mumford provides a clear and simple path through this analytical tradition at the core of philosophical thought. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Stephen Mumford is Professor of Metaphysics at the Department of Philosophy, University of Nottingham. He is also Head of the School of Humanities and Dean of the Faculty of Arts. He has written many papers and books in metaphysics, including a number of more popular works intended for a non-specialist audience including articles in Times Higher Education magazine, encyclopaedias, and magazines. His most famous book is Dispositions (Oxford, 1998) but he also authored Laws in Nature (Routledge, 2004), Getting Causes from Powers (with Rani Lill Anjum, Oxford, 2011) and Watching Sport: Aesthetics, Ethics and Emotions (Routledge, 2011). He is a frequent public speaker at both academic conferences and more popular events and has delivered talks in around 30 countries.