Metaphysics


Latest Popular


Beauty and aesthetics Bioethics Comparative philosophy Cosmopolitanism Death Ethics History of ideas Knowledge Logic and probability Meaning and the good life Metaphysics Philosophy of language Philosophy of mind Philosophy of religion Philosophy of science Political philosophy Thinkers and theories Values and beliefs Virtues and vices

Václav Havel wrote: ‘all at once, I seemed to rise above the coordinates of my momentary existence in the world into a kind of state outside time …’ Photo by Paolo Pellegrin/Magnum

Essay/
Thinkers and theories
Peak ellipsis

Does philosophy reside in the unsayable or should it care only for precision? Carnap, Heidegger and the great divergence

Sam Dresser

New York in 1946 from the New Jersey shore, taken with a 40-inch Dallmeyer telephoto lens. Photo by Andreas Feinin/Time Life/Getty

Essay/
Political philosophy
Project and system

There are two ways of seeing order in the world: as a spontaneous system or as an intentional project. Which way lies freedom?

Paul Kahn

‘Hume’s philosophy of time shows the fundamental relevance of the relation between an observer and a reference object.’ Photo by Himanshu Vyas/Hindustan Times/Getty

Essay/
History of science
No absolute time

Two centuries before Einstein, Hume recognised that universal time, independent of an observer’s viewpoint, doesn’t exist

Matias Slavov

Man of Science (1839), artist unknown. American. Courtesy the National Gallery of Art, Washington

Essay/
History of science
Natural philosophy redux

The great split between science and philosophy must be repaired. Only then can we answer the urgent, fundamental problems

Nicholas Maxwell

The last remaining house on Holland Island in Chesapeake Bay, Maryland, United States. Photo by Baldeaglebluff/Flickr

Essay/
Physics
In defence of disorder

Humans love laws and seek predictability. But like our Universe, which thrives on entropy, we need disorder to flourish

Alan Lightman

Photo by David Malan/Getty

Essay/
Logic and probability
What’s the best option?

It seems only logical: if A is better than B, and B is better than C, then A is better than C. Right? Not necessarily

Larry Temkin

Life as a process; a cicada larva emerges from its shell, July 2016 in Jinhua, China. Photo by VCG/Getty

Essay/
Philosophy of science
Metaphysics of metamorphosis

The swarming, ever-changing character of the living world challenges our deepest assumptions about the nature of reality

John Dupré

Isabelle Dinoire photographed in Paris, May 2009, after her partial face transplant. Photo by Julien Chatelin/REX/Shutterstock

Essay/
Metaphysics
Changing faces

Face transplants expose deep-held prejudices about identity and wellbeing. Are these ideas ripe for a radical rethink?

Sharrona Pearl

Photo by Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/GS

Essay/
Metaphysics
Bun or bump?

Does the mother contain the foetus or is it a part of her? On the metaphysics of pregnancy, and its ethical implications

Suki Finn

Marina Abramović during ‘The Artist is Present’ exhibition at MOMA, 9 March 2010 in New York. Photo by Andrew H Walker/Getty Images

Essay/
Metaphysics
Unspeakable things

Life’s most meaningful experiences can leave us tongue-tied. What can be said, let alone understood, about the unsayable?

Silvia Jonas

Detail from Non-objective 1910, by Vassily Kandinsky (1866-1944). Krasnodar, Museo D’Arte A.W.Lunascharski Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images

Essay/
Physics
Must science be testable?

String wars among physicists have highlighted just how much science needs philosophy – and not just the amateur version

Massimo Pigliucci