PHIL 230.001 – Mind, Matter, and Metaphysics: the Philosophy of Experience and Reality

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Instructor: Zach Thornton. This course meets TR 9:30 – 10:45 a.m. in CW 105.

In this class, we will study metaphysics and the epistemology of metaphysics. Metaphysics is the study of theories that answer the questions “What exists?” and “What are the things that exist like?” As it turns out, there are many metaphysical theories that are consistent with our best scientific theories of the world. The epistemology of metaphysics aims to explain how we can know which of these theories is right. To study these topics, we will learn about some central problems in metaphysics, survey possible answers to these questions, then evaluate ways of deciding between these possible answers. The metaphysical questions we will study include: Is there such a thing as the objective present moment? What do we mean when we say that something is possible or necessary? How do objects such as human beings persist through time?