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Undergraduate Module Descriptor

PHL2016: Metaphysics

This module descriptor refers to the 2016/7 academic year.

Indicative Reading List

This reading list is indicative - i.e. it provides an idea of texts that may be useful to you on this module, but it is not considered to be a confirmed or compulsory reading list for this module.

Core Reading:

The core reading for the course is Kim &Sosa (eds): Metaphysics: An Anthology (1999). This includes almost all of the key readings for the course and I recommend that you purchase a copy. Also, the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, which is free and online, contains many useful entries whichwill give you an appropriate grounding in each topic, but should not be used as a replacement for key readings. I will recommend additional readings in class.

1 Introduction -what the course is about, structure of teaching and assessment.

2 Existence


W.V. Quine (1948): 'On What There Is'; Review of Metaphysics.

(In Kim &Sosa; and here:

3 Realism and Anti-Realism


M. Dummett (1982): 'Realism'; Synthese, 52, pp55-112.

(In Kim & Sosa).

4 Supervenience and Emergence


J. Kim (1999): 'Making Sense of Emergence'; Philosophical Studies, 95

J. Kim (1990): 'Supervenience as a Philosophical Concept'; Metaphilosophy, 21

(In Kim & Sosa).

5 Identity over time


R.Chisholm (1976): 'Identity Through Time'; originally published in his Person & Object.

W.V. Quine (1953): 'Identity, Ostension, and Hypostasis'; originally published in his From a Logical Point of View.

(Both in Kim & Sosa).

6 Persons and persistence


D. Parfit (1971): 'Personal Identity'; Philosophical Review, 80

(In Kim &Sosa)

E. Olson (2007): 'What are We?' Journal of consciousness studies.

(and here:

7 Causation


J.L. Mackie (1965): 'Causes and Conditions'; American Philosophical Quarterly, 5

D. Lewis (1973): 'Causation'; Journal of Philosophy, 70

(Both in Kim & Sosa).

8 Mental Causation


L. R. Baker (1993): 'Metaphysics and Mental Causation'; in Heil & Mele. (eds), 1993: Mental Causation; Oxford. (other entries in this volume are extremely good, too).

Block, N. (2003) 'Do Causal Powers Drain Away?'; Philosophy and Phenomenological Research


9 Abstract and Puzzling Entities


R. Sorensen (1999): 'Seeing Intersecting Eclipses'; The Journal of Philosophy, 96

R. Sorensen (2008): Seeing Dark Things. The Philosophy of Shadows,Oxford: OUP

G. Bealer (1993): 'Universals'; Journal of Philosophy, 90

10 Modality and Possible Worlds


A. Plantinga (1974): 'Modalities: Basic Concepts and Distinctions; in his The Nature of Necessity, Oxford.

D. Lewis (1986): 'Counterparts or Double Lives?'; in his On the Plurality of Worlds, Oxford.

(Both in Kim & Sosa).