Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that studies being qua being—reality as a whole instead of part of reality. The word metaphysics means “after the physics,” and originally referred to the work of Aristotle that was located “after the Physics” in the collection of Aristotle’s writings. Unlike the special sciences such as physics, chemistry, biology, and so on, metaphysics seeks to understand the nature of being in the most general sense possible. While biology is limited to the study of living systems, their parts and attributes, and physics is limited to discovering the ultimate constituents and states of matter in the universe, metaphysics is unlimited in scope. Among questions considered to be metaphysical are “Does God exist?” “What is the relationship between mind and ...

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