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Grade 12 Philosophy: Metaphysics

The nature of Philosophy and the branches metaphysics, ethics, epistemology,philosophy of science, social and and political philsophy and aesthetics.

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The Metaphysical Approach to Life ~

Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy investigating the fundamental nature of being and the world that encompasses it. Metaphysics attempts to answer two basic questions:

Ultimately, what is there?
What is it like?
Topics of metaphysical investigation include existence, objects and their properties, space and time, cause and effect, and possibility. A central branch of metaphysics is ontology, the investigation into the basic categories of being and how they relate to one another. Another central branch is metaphysical cosmology: which seeks to understand the origin and meaning of the universe by thought alone.

There are two broad conceptions about what "world" is studied by metaphysics. The strong, classical view assumes that the objects studied by metaphysics exist independently of any observer, so that the subject is the most fundamental of all sciences. The weaker, more modern view assumes that the objects studied by metaphysics exist inside the mind of an observer, so the subject becomes a form of introspection and conceptual analysis. Some philosophers, notably Kant, discuss both of these "worlds" and what can be inferred about each one.

Some philosophers and scientists, such as the logical positivists, reject the entire subject of metaphysics as meaningless, while others disagree and think that it is legitimate.

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Philosophy Definitions

Philosophy:

the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, especially when considered as an academic discipline.

Metaphysics:

The branch of philosophy that deals with the first principles of things, including abstract concepts such as being, knowing, substance, cause, identity, time, and space.

Ethics:

Moral principles that govern a person's or group's behaviour.

Epistemology:

The theory of knowledge especially with regards to its methods, validity and scope.  Epistemology is the investigation of what distinguishes justified belief from opinion.

Idealism:

The practice of forming or pursuing ideals, especially unrealistically.

Materialism:

A tendency to consider material possessions and physical comfort as more important than spiritual values.

Recommended Books and How to Find them!

Use these search terms for general information on different topics: rationalism, existentialism, realism, Platonism, Buddhism, materialism, empiricism, Confucianism.

Use the name of the specific philosopher you are researching - example, Plato, Thoreau, Hume, Bacon, Mill, Kant, Descartes, de Beauvoir, etc.

Ask your LCI or public librarian for these books: