Philosophy 3330
Metaphysics

Fall, 2007
Curtis Brown

This page contains some information pertaining to my Fall, 2007 course in Metaphysics (PHIL 3330).

Course Information

Syllabus

Schedule

Paper Information

Topics

Guidelines for Paper Presentations

Questions for the Midterm Exam

Questions for the Final Exam

Notes

Introductory

van Inwagen, chapter 1 (Intro)

Nihilism, Monism, and Pluralism

van Inwagen, chapter 2 (Individuality)

Universals and Particulars

Universals
Particulars

Objectivity and Externality

Objectivity

Time

McTaggart on the Unreality of Time (Revised notes from my seminar on philosophy and time.)
Diagram of Heinlein, "By His Bootstraps" (here is a bigger one)
Time in Fiction. Just a list of books and a few quotations.
Time Travel (notes on Heinlein and Lewis)
The 4D Conception of Time

Persistence through Time

Persistence through Time (notes on Chisholm, Quine, Lewis, Geach, etc.)
Persistence: Endurance vs. Perdurance

Necessary Being (God)

Ontological Argument (notes on van Inwagen, chapter 6 - pdf format)
Cosmological Argument (notes on van Inwagen, chapter 7 - pdf format)
Teleological Argument (notes on van Inwagen, chapter 9 - pdf format) (incomplete)

Possible Worlds

Modal Realism vs. Actualism (pdf format)
interesting quotation

Philosophy of Mind

Dualism and Physicalism (notes on van Inwagen, chapter 10 - pdf format)
Dualism and Personal Identity (notes on van Inwage, chapter 11)
Personal Identity Overview (Shoemaker, Swinburne)

Free Will

Libertarianism (notes on Dennett, Freedom Evolves, Chapter 4 - pdf format)

Reduction, Levels of Reality, Etc.

Reduction (pdf format)

Links

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Intriguing, growing project offering essays by leading scholars. Many essays on metaphysical topics, including the medieval problem of universals, properties, tropes, time, free will, causal processes, existence, holes, ontological arguments, the cosmological argument, and thought experiments, among other topics.

The Philosophy in Cyberspace collection of links to metaphysics-related sites. This is one section from a very useful index to philosophical sites on the WWW.

Brock's Philosophy Page. A collection of very good introductory or survey essays on a variety of topics in analytical metaphysics, written by Carl Brock Sides, who apparently is doing web page design while finishing up a Ph.D. at the University of Rochester.

The Metaphysics Research Lab. An ambitious attempt, by Edward N. Zalta of Stanford, to develop an "axiomatic theory of abstract objects and relations."

Rudy Rucker's home page. The homepage of the author of The Fourth Dimension, a book on time (and also on the idea of a fourth spatial dimension) that I highly recommend. (Also author of many other books on a variety of topics.)

David Chalmers's home page. This is a superb resource for materials on the philosophy of mind; it includes many of Chalmers's own writings, and links to a huge amount of other material. Also has a good collection of links to zombie-related web sites, and of links to philosophical humor.

Patterns, Programs, and Links for Conway's Game of Life. There are many other web sites related to Conway's Game of Life, but they are linked from this excellent site. See also this very nice Java applet with helpful descriptions, and for even more stuff see these links at the dmoz Open Directory project.



Last modified:  December 3, 2007
Curtis Brown  |  Department of Philosophy  |  Trinity University
cbrown@trinity.edu