This volume is an essential collection of the most influential attempts to depict the fundamental nature of reality or being - from Spiza's doctrine of a single, indivisible substance to Russell's logical atomism and from the Buddha's account of a casual interrelated world to Leibniz's one of causally independent monads . Among the metaphysical debates are those between monists and pluralist and materialist and idealist. The authors range in time from Lao Tzu and Plato to Heidegger and Whitehead. The selected texts include many classics from 'the golden age' of metaphysics in the seventeenth and eighteenth century. A comprehensive introduction by the editor, together with his preambles to each text, makes this an ideal volume for students on historically informed courses in metaphysics and the more speculative realms of philosophy.
David E. Cooper is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Durham. He is the author of a number of books including Metaphor (1986), Existentialism (1990, second edition 1999) and World Philosophies: An Historical Introduction (1996). He is also editor of A Companion to Aesthetics (1992), and three previous volumes in the series Philosophy: The Classic Readings - Aesthetics (1997), Ethics (1997) and Epistemology (1999). All of the above are published by Blackwell.