Aristotle defines metaphysics as the study of being as being. Although there has been considerable subsequent disagreement about the meaning of this definition, and even more disagreement about what the subject matter of metaphysics really is, most philosophers would agree that metaphysicians are interested in something very basic. In this course, we are going to look at how one might attempt to describe the world, on this very basic level, in a broadly speaking Aristotelian framework. What is Change? How is it possible? What are the kinds of things that are capable of change? What is matter? What is physical extension? Why can’t, even in principle, two things be at the same place at the same time (or, can they?)?

2018 Spring syllabus