Definition of metaphysics in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌmedəˈfiziks/

plural noun

[usually treated as singular]
1The branch of philosophy that deals with the first principles of things, including abstract concepts such as being, knowing, substance, cause, identity, time, and space.
Example sentences
  • Critics have gone too far in undermining fields of philosophy such as metaphysics and central concepts such as rationality.
  • While American philosophers have worked on traditional areas of philosophy, such as metaphysics, epistemology, and axiology, this is not unique to American Philosophy.
  • That order of learning is as follows: logic, mathematics, natural philosophy, moral philosophy, metaphysics.
1.1Abstract theory or talk with no basis in reality: his concept of society as an organic entity is, for market liberals, simply metaphysics
More example sentences
  • Physics can chip away, bringing things out of the realm of metaphysics and into testable reality.
  • I think this is why we look to sci-fi for this kind of social commentary, since it's better at playing with metaphysics than accurately reflecting political realities.
  • Furthermore, a good chunk of his theory is untestable metaphysics, psychobabble and gobbledygook.

Metaphysics has two main strands: that which holds that what exists lies beyond experience (as argued by Plato), and that which holds that objects of experience constitute the only reality (as argued by Kant, the logical positivists, and Hume). Metaphysics has also concerned itself with a discussion of whether what exists is made of one substance or many, and whether what exists is inevitable or driven by chance.



Pronunciation: /ˌmedəfəˈziSH(ə)n/
Example sentences
  • The anthropologists, the philosophers, the metaphysicians of presence - they already know the answer when they begin, and construct their observations accordingly.
  • Even if we shall never succeed in seeing ourselves as metaphysicians and epistemologists have hoped to see us, we nevertheless have no reason to doubt that the West is best at acquiring truth.
  • For, as scholastic metaphysicians tell us, the good and the true are but aspects of a single reality.


Mid 16th century: representing medieval Latin metaphysica (neuter plural), based on Greek ta meta ta phusika 'the things after the Physics', referring to the sequence of Aristotle's works: the title came to denote the branch of study treated in the books, later interpreted as meaning 'the science of things transcending what is physical or natural'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: met·a·phys·ics

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