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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ A judge and landlord, he throve on amateur metaphysics and early anthropology, purveying monkey theories almost a century ahead of Darwin.
▪ But given, too, Prentice's age, much of the conversation centres on a raw, adolescent metaphysics.
▪ Morality does not depend on our acceptance or rejection of Darwinism, either as biology or as metaphysics.
▪ Obviously there are far-reaching differences between early modern metaphysics and post-structuralism.
▪ Public schools should not teach metaphysics without clearly identifying them as such.
▪ The elimination of metaphysics is not the simple matter that some humanist philosophers have supposed.
▪ The Leibnizian concept of reality always begins with logic and metaphysics, from which one works into progressively more exterior ontological orders.
▪ This freedom enables Eliot to find the proper niche for art, science, poetry and metaphysics as meaningful, liberating endeavors.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Metaphysics \Met`a*phys"ics\, n. [Gr. ? ? ? after those things which relate to external nature, after physics, fr. ? beyond, after + ? relating to external nature, natural, physical, fr. ? nature: cf. F. m['e]taphysique. See Physics. The term was first used by the followers of Aristotle as a name for that part of his writings which came after, or followed, the part which treated of physics.]

  1. The science of real as distinguished from phenomenal being; ontology; also, the science of being, with reference to its abstract and universal conditions, as distinguished from the science of determined or concrete being; the science of the conceptions and relations which are necessarily implied as true of every kind of being; philosophy in general; first principles, or the science of first principles.

    Note: Metaphysics is distinguished as general and special. General metaphysics is the science of all being as being. Special metaphysics is the science of one kind of being; as, the metaphysics of chemistry, of morals, or of politics. According to Kant, a systematic exposition of those notions and truths, the knowledge of which is altogether independent of experience, would constitute the science of metaphysics.

    Commonly, in the schools, called metaphysics, as being part of the philosophy of Aristotle, which hath that for title; but it is in another sense: for there it signifieth as much as ``books written or placed after his natural philosophy.'' But the schools take them for ``books of supernatural philosophy;'' for the word metaphysic will bear both these senses.

    Now the science conversant about all such inferences of unknown being from its known manifestations, is called ontology, or metaphysics proper.
    --Sir W. Hamilton.

    Metaphysics are [is] the science which determines what can and what can not be known of being, and the laws of being, a priori.

  2. Hence: The scientific knowledge of mental phenomena; mental philosophy; psychology.

    Metaphysics, in whatever latitude the term be taken, is a science or complement of sciences exclusively occupied with mind.
    --Sir W. Hamilton.

    Whether, after all, A larger metaphysics might not help Our physics.
    --Mrs. Browning.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1560s, Middle English metaphisik, methaphesik (late 14c.), "branch of speculation which deals with the first causes of things," from Medieval Latin metaphysica, neuter Medieval Greek (ta) metaphysika, from Greek ta meta ta physika "the (works) after the Physics," title of the 13 treatises which traditionally were arranged after those on physics and natural sciences in Aristotle's writings. The name was given c.70 B.C.E. by Andronicus of Rhodes, and was a reference to the customary ordering of the books, but it was misinterpreted by Latin writers as meaning "the science of what is beyond the physical." See meta- + physics. The word originally was used in English in the singular; plural form predominated after 17c., but singular made a comeback late 19c. in certain usages under German influence.


n. 1 (context philosophy uncountable English) The branch of philosophy which studies fundamental principles intended to describe or explain all that is, and which are not themselves explained by anything more fundamental; the study of first principles; the study of being insofar as it is being (''ens in quantum ens''). 2 (context philosophy countable English) The view or theory of a particular philosopher or school of thinkers concerning the first principles which describe or explain all that is. 3 (context uncountable by extension from the philosophical sense English) Any fundamental principles or rules. 4 (context uncountable English) The study of a supersensual realm or of phenomena which transcend the physical world. 5 (context uncountable English) displeasingly abstruse, complex material on any subject. 6 (context countable English) countable senses of metaphysic.


n. the philosophical study of being and knowing

Metaphysics (album)

Metaphysics is the second album by Duncan Avoid.


Metaphysics is a traditional branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world that encompasses it, although the term is not easily defined. Traditionally, metaphysics attempts to answer two basic questions in the broadest possible terms:

  1. Ultimately, what is there?
  2. What is it like?

A person who studies metaphysics is called a metaphysician. Among other things, the metaphysician attempts to clarify the fundamental notions by which people understand the world, e.g., 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 each other. Some include epistemology as another central focus of metaphysics, but others question this. Another central branch of metaphysics is metaphysical cosmology: an area of philosophy that seeks to understand the origin of the universe and determine whether there is an ultimate meaning behind its existence. Metaphysical cosmology differs from physical cosmology, the study of the physical origins and evolution of the Universe.

Prior to the modern history of science, scientific questions were addressed as a part of metaphysics known as natural philosophy. Originally, the term "science" ( Latinscientia) simply meant "knowledge". The scientific method, however, transformed natural philosophy into an empirical activity deriving from experiment unlike the rest of philosophy. By the end of the 18th century, it had begun to be called "science" to distinguish it from philosophy. Thereafter, metaphysics denoted philosophical enquiry of a non-empirical character into the nature of existence. Some philosophers of science, such as the neo-positivists, say that natural science rejects the study of metaphysics, while other philosophers of science strongly disagree.

Metaphysics (Aristotle)

Metaphysics ( Greek: τὰ μετὰ τὰ φυσικά; Latin: Metaphysica) is one of the principal works of Aristotle and the first major work of the branch of philosophy with the same name. The principal subject is "being qua being," or being insofar as it is being. It examines what can be asserted about anything that exists just because of its existence and not because of any special qualities it has. Also covered are different kinds of causation, form and matter, the existence of mathematical objects, and a prime-mover God.

Metaphysics (disambiguation)

Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy concerned with the fundamental nature of being and the world.

The term may also refer to:

  • Metaphysical art, a style of painting created by Giorgio de Chirico
  • Metaphysical poets, a type of poetry in 17th-century England
  • Metaphysics (Aristotle), one of the principal works of Aristotle
  • New Age practices
  • Metaphysics, a Zimbabwean rapper and producer.
  • Metaphysics (album), a 2004 album by Duncan Avoid
  • Metaphysic, singular of metaphysis (a growing area of a bone)

Usage examples of "metaphysics".

NNE cults and stelliform subcults Lenz reports as existing around belief systems about the metaphysics of the Concavity and annular fusion and B.

Menippea, where everything is permitted and nothing decided, dissolves the metaphysics of Dostoyevsky, whose creative thought is a struggle to reconcile four antinomic freedoms, two of which oppose the other two.

I so did not need another man tied to me by metaphysics that demanded a piece of my bed, or at least my body.

I think if you have personal contact with something besides leopards that your beast will go back to being just amorphous, more metaphysics than physical.

The god of Anglicanism had crept under the skin of things, and all the stimulatingly inhuman strangeness of Nature had become as flatly familiar as a page from a textbook of metaphysics or theology.

It is also a problem in metaphysics -- a problem, one might almost say, in theology.

In this condition of apprehensive sobriety we are able to see that the contents of literature, art, music -- even in some measure of divinity and school metaphysics -- are not sophistry and illusion, but simply those elements of experience which scientists chose to leave out of account, for the good reason that they had no intellectual methods for dealing with them.

The huge pyramids, with their triangular sides of elevation and square bases, represented their Metaphysics, founded upon the knowledge of Nature.

We have not reduced Masonry to a cold metaphysics that exiles everything belonging to the domain of the imagination.

Initiation was a school, in which were taught the truths of primitive revelation, the existence and attributes of one God, the immortality of the Soul, rewards and punishments in a future life, the phenomena of Nature, the arts, the sciences, morality, legislation, philosophy, and philanthropy, and what we now style psychology and metaphysics, with animal magnetism, and the other occult sciences.

Mysteries, in which were developed the great principles of physics and metaphysics as to the origin of the soul, its condition here below, its destination, and its future fate.

God, that have produced all the systems of philosophy, all metaphysics, and all theology, since the world began.

Thus, from every direction,--from metaphysics, aesthetics, and morality above all, we rise to the same Principle, the common centre, and ultimate foundation of all truth, all beauty, all good.

By its intimate resemblances to the judgment of the true and the beautiful, it shows us the secret affinities of morality, metaphysics, and aesthetics.

Philosophy directed by metaphysics ends in visionary extravagance, 693-m.