Metaphysics is the science of being as being. It is the most abstract and difficult branch of philosophy, but also the most rewarding because it involves our ultimate interpretation of reality. In this course, students will be introduced to the classical interpretation of reality along with alternative modern interpretations. Students will be equipped to:

  • demonstrate familiarity with the major metaphysical theories including monism, dualism, moderate realism, nominalism, materialism, radical idealism, pessimism, et cetera.
  • define the core ideas of classical metaphysics including essence, existence, truth, goodness, and beauty
  • demonstrate and explain the reality of essences, the real distinction of existence and essence, and the existence of the first cause of being
  • identify and critique key metaphysical ideas that continue to impact contemporary culture.

Course Content

  • General Introduction to Metaphysics
  • Monism and Atomism: Instructive Failures
  • The Science of Being according to Thomas Aquinas
  • Substance
  • Essence
  • Universals
  • Existence and the Real Distinction
  • God is the First Cause of Being
  • Truth and Goodness
  • Immanuel Kant, Critical Idealism, and Absolute Idealism
  • Heidegger, Existentialism, and Postmodernism
  • Retrospective: Oblivion or Luminosity