Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Reading Recommendations

Steve Thomas inquires:

Do you have any recommendations for beginning Metaphysics students?

I am not familiar with the latest introductory works, but I have used Peter van Inwagen, Metaphysics (Westview Press, 1993) and Richard Taylor, Metaphysics (Prentice-Hall, 3rd ed. 1983) in courses with some success. On the special topic of universals, D. M. Armstrong's Universals: An Opinionated Introduction (Westview Press, 1989) is very good and very accessible. You are probably already familiar with J. P. Moreland's Universals (McGill-Queen's UP, 2001) parts of which I discuss in "The Moreland-Willard-Lotze Thesis on Being," Philosophia Christi (vol. 6, no. 1, 2004), pp. 27-58.

Less narrowly analytic, and more historically based, is T. L. S. Sprigge, Theories of Existence (Penguin, 1984). Sprigge is an absolute idealist, a breed of cat not often encountered nowadays.

I can recommend more technical works on special topics later if you want.