General metaphysics
Metaphysics Met`a*phys"ics, n. [Gr. ? ? ? after those things which relate to external nature, after physics, fr. ? beyond, after + ? relating to external nature, natural, physical, fr. ? nature: cf. F. m['e]taphysique. See {Physics}. The term was first used by the followers of Aristotle as a name for that part of his writings which came after, or followed, the part which treated of physics.] 1. The science of real as distinguished from phenomenal being; ontology; also, the science of being, with reference to its abstract and universal conditions, as distinguished from the science of determined or concrete being; the science of the conceptions and relations which are necessarily implied as true of every kind of being; philosophy in general; first principles, or the science of first principles. [1913 Webster]

Note: Metaphysics is distinguished as general and special. {General metaphysics} is the science of all being as being. {Special metaphysics} is the science of one kind of being; as, the metaphysics of chemistry, of morals, or of politics. According to Kant, a systematic exposition of those notions and truths, the knowledge of which is altogether independent of experience, would constitute the science of metaphysics. [1913 Webster]

Commonly, in the schools, called metaphysics, as being part of the philosophy of Aristotle, which hath that for title; but it is in another sense: for there it signifieth as much as ``books written or placed after his natural philosophy.'' But the schools take them for ``books of supernatural philosophy;'' for the word metaphysic will bear both these senses. --Hobbes. [1913 Webster]

Now the science conversant about all such inferences of unknown being from its known manifestations, is called ontology, or metaphysics proper. --Sir W. Hamilton. [1913 Webster]

Metaphysics are [is] the science which determines what can and what can not be known of being, and the laws of being, a priori. --Coleridge. [1913 Webster]

2. Hence: The scientific knowledge of mental phenomena; mental philosophy; psychology. [1913 Webster]

Metaphysics, in whatever latitude the term be taken, is a science or complement of sciences exclusively occupied with mind. --Sir W. Hamilton. [1913 Webster]

Whether, after all, A larger metaphysics might not help Our physics. --Mrs. Browning. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Metaphysics — • That portion of philosophy which treats of the most general and fundamental principles underlying all reality and all knowledge Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Metaphysics     Metaphysics …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Metaphysics — Met a*phys ics, n. [Gr. ? ? ? after those things which relate to external nature, after physics, fr. ? beyond, after + ? relating to external nature, natural, physical, fr. ? nature: cf. F. m[ e]taphysique. See {Physics}. The term was first used… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • metaphysics — /met euh fiz iks/, n. (used with a sing. v.) 1. the branch of philosophy that treats of first principles, includes ontology and cosmology, and is intimately connected with epistemology. 2. philosophy, esp. in its more abstruse branches. 3. the… …   Universalium

  • Metaphysics and science in the thirteenth century: William of Auvergne, Robert Grosseteste and Roger Bacon — Steven Marrone By the third decade of the thirteenth century there emerge the first signs of a new metaphysics. Alongside Neoplatonizing idealism we now see attempts to lay greater emphasis on the ontological density of the created world and to… …   History of philosophy

  • metaphysics — [met΄ə fiz′iks] n. [< ML metaphysica, neut. pl. < Gr (ta) meta (ta) physika, lit., (that) after (the) physics (in reference to location after the Physics in early collections of Aristotle s works)] 1. the branch of philosophy that deals… …   English World dictionary

  • Metaphysics — This article is about the branch of philosophy dealing with theories of existence and knowledge. For the work of Aristotle, see Metaphysics (Aristotle). For the occult field, see Metaphysics (supernatural). Philosophy …   Wikipedia

  • Metaphysics (Aristotle) — Part of a series on Aristotelianism …   Wikipedia

  • metaphysics — Originally a title for those books of Aristotle that came after the Physics, the term is now applied to any enquiry that raises questions about reality that lie beyond or behind those capable of being tackled by the methods of science. Naturally …   Philosophy dictionary

  • METAPHYSICS —    the RATIONAL analysis of the necessary and universal aspects of BEING and the characteristics which must be shown by any thing which exists. It investigates what to be means and the universal or general principles found in anything that is.… …   Concise dictionary of Religion

  • Special metaphysics — Metaphysics Met a*phys ics, n. [Gr. ? ? ? after those things which relate to external nature, after physics, fr. ? beyond, after + ? relating to external nature, natural, physical, fr. ? nature: cf. F. m[ e]taphysique. See {Physics}. The term was …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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