Metaphysics: Contemporary Themes

Abstract
Confounding earlier predictions of naysayers and sceptics, by the beginning of the twenty-first century, metaphysics had re-emerged for the first time in decades as a vital, progressive and exciting branch of philosophy. Although the most strident criticisms came from early analytic philosophers such as Carnap, it is analytical metaphysics that has led the way. But rather than trace the stages of the revival of metaphysics, we consider a spread of contemporary themes which have been especially fruitful in expanding the circle of metaphysical discussion from its modest beginnings at the hands of Strawson and Quine in mid-century. The topics are divided into four groups: Expanding the Toolbox; Ontological Speculations; Systematics; and Applications
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