metaphysics


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Related to metaphysics: quantum physics

met·a·phys·ics

(mĕt′ə-fĭz′ĭks)
n.
1. (used with a sing. verb) Philosophy The branch of philosophy that examines the nature of reality, including the relationship between mind and matter, substance and attribute, possibility and actuality.
2. (used with a pl. verb) The theoretical or first principles of a particular discipline: the metaphysics of law.
3. (used with a sing. verb) A priori speculation upon questions that are unanswerable to scientific observation, analysis, or experiment.
4. (used with a sing. verb) Excessively subtle or recondite reasoning.

[From pl. of Middle English methaphisik, from Medieval Latin metaphysica, from Medieval Greek (ta) metaphusika, from Greek (Ta) meta (ta) phusika, (the works) after the Physics, the title of Aristotle's treatise on first principles (so called because it followed his work on physics) : meta, after; see meta- + phusika, physics; see physics.]

metaphysics

(ˌmɛtəˈfɪzɪks)
n (functioning as singular)
1. (Philosophy) the branch of philosophy that deals with first principles, esp of being and knowing
2. (Philosophy) the philosophical study of the nature of reality, concerned with such questions as the existence of God, the external world, etc
3. (Philosophy) See descriptive metaphysics
4. (popularly) abstract or subtle discussion or reasoning
[C16: from Medieval Latin, from Greek ta meta ta phusika the things after the physics, from the arrangement of the subjects treated in the works of Aristotle]
metaphysician, metaphysicist n

met•a•phys•ics

(ˌmɛt əˈfɪz ɪks)

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.

metaphysics

a branch of philosophy concerned with being, first principles, and often including aspects of cosmology and epistemology. — metaphysician, n.metaphysical, adj.
See also: Philosophy

metaphysics

A branch of philosophy dealing with questions of being.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.metaphysics - the philosophical study of being and knowingmetaphysics - the philosophical study of being and knowing
hypostasis - (metaphysics) essential nature or underlying reality
philosophy - the rational investigation of questions about existence and knowledge and ethics
ontology - the metaphysical study of the nature of being and existence
cosmology - the metaphysical study of the origin and nature of the universe
entelechy - (Aristotle) the state of something that is fully realized; actuality as opposed to potentiality
Translations

metaphysics

[ˌmetəˈfɪzɪks] NSINGmetafísica f

metaphysics

[ˌmɛtəˈfɪzɪks] nmétaphysique f

metaphysics

n singMetaphysik f

metaphysics

[ˌmɛtəˈfɪzɪks] nsgmetafisica
References in classic literature ?
You can prove anything by metaphysics; and having done so, every metaphysician can prove every other metaphysician wrong--to his own satisfaction.
There are nearer approaches to modern metaphysics in the Philebus and in the Sophist; the Politicus or Statesman is more ideal; the form and institutions of the State are more clearly drawn out in the Laws; as works of art, the Symposium and the Protagoras are of higher excellence.
'They appeared in the form of a copious review of a work on Chinese metaphysics, Sir,' said Pott.
Katavasov was very fond of discussing metaphysics, having derived his notions from natural science writers who had never studied metaphysics, and in Moscow Levin had had many arguments with him of late.
Poe; I do not know just how, but it must have been in some exchange of books; he preferred metaphysics. At any rate I fell greedily upon them, and I read with no less zest than his poems the bitter, and cruel, and narrow-minded criticisms which mainly filled one of the volumes.
On the one hand, many psychologists, especially those of the behaviourist school, tend to adopt what is essentially a materialistic position, as a matter of method if not of metaphysics. They make psychology increasingly dependent on physiology and external observation, and tend to think of matter as something much more solid and indubitable than mind.
Now he would take up the position of a practical man and condemn dreamers; now that of a satirist, and laugh ironically at his opponents; now grow severely logical, or suddenly rise to the realm of metaphysics. (This last resource was one he very frequently employed.) He would transfer a question to metaphysical heights, pass on to definitions of space, time, and thought, and, having deduced the refutation he needed, would again descend to the level of the original discussion.
This was a case of metaphysics, at least as difficult for Joe to deal with, as for me.
The voodoos and medicine men and the devil- devil doctors were the fathers of metaphysics. Night and the Noseless One were ogres that beset the way of light and life.
brother what father of the church is it, who says that the errors of heretics have always had for their lurking place the thickets of Aristotle's metaphysics? A plague on Aristotle!
At one time we are in the clouds of mythology, at another among the abstractions of mathematics or metaphysics; we pass imperceptibly from one to the other.
If the boy had replied like Alcibiades, "By the gods, Socrates, I cannot tell," his grandfather would not have been surprised, but when, after standing a moment on one leg, like a meditative young stork, he answered, in a tone of calm conviction, "In my little belly," the old gentleman could only join in Grandma's laugh, and dismiss the class in metaphysics.