This page features a collection of the best resources on metaphysics. To get started, simply choose the type of resource that best suits your learning style.
If you want an academic overview of metaphysics:
- Read the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article on Metaphysics. However, you should keep in mind that the SEP is often quite technical and this article may be difficult for beginners. It’s also quite long at around 14,000 words. Here’s a short excerpt that introduces the idea of metaphysics:
“It is not easy to say what metaphysics is. Ancient and Medieval philosophers might have said that metaphysics was, like chemistry or astrology, to be defined by its subject-matter: metaphysics was the “science” that studied “being as such” or “the first causes of things” or “things that do not change”. It is no longer possible to define metaphysics that way, for two reasons. First, a philosopher who denied the existence of those things that had once been seen as constituting the subject-matter of metaphysics—first causes or unchanging things—would now be considered to be making thereby a metaphysical assertion. Second, there are many philosophical problems that are now considered to be metaphysical problems (or at least partly metaphysical problems) that are in no way related to first causes or unchanging things—the problem of free will, for example, or the problem of the mental and the physical. . . .”
If you’re looking for a somewhat shorter and more engaging introduction:
If you’d prefer a video introduction:
If you prefer audio and podcasts:
While these resources are a great starting point, there’s only so much you can learn by using free online resources. If you want to learn more, check out this list of the best books on Metaphysics.
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