Meaning of metaphysics in English:


Pronunciation /ˌmɛtəˈfɪzɪks/

Translate metaphysics into Spanish

plural noun

  • 1usually treated as singular The branch of philosophy that deals with the first principles of things, including abstract concepts such as being, knowing, identity, time, and space.

    ‘they would regard the question of the initial conditions for the universe as belonging to the realm of metaphysics or religion’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Among philosophers, metaphysics is the science that identifies the basic concepts about the structures of reality.’
    • ‘It must ask, as Kant asked about metaphysics after Hume's critique of rationalism, how is philosophy still possible?’
    • ‘Kant is an 18th century German philosopher whose work initiated dramatic changes in the fields of epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, aesthetics, and teleology.’
    • ‘This little piece of reasoning is the first principle of his metaphysics or first philosophy, his theory of what has to be known for stable and exact science to be possible at all.’
    • ‘Logical positivists denied the soundness of metaphysics and traditional philosophy; they asserted that many philosophical problems are indeed meaningless.’
    • ‘By that I mean that the choice of whether to accept or reject Russell's theory has had profound consequences for our philosophy of language, epistemology, and metaphysics.’
    • ‘This goes beyond the self-understanding of modern metaphysics by revealing the ontological premisses of the concept of subjectivity.’
    • ‘What then is Nietzsche doing with his critique of metaphysics from within the philosophy institution?’
    • ‘The irony here, I always thought, was that it was the reintroduction of debatable metaphysics that gave analytic philosophy its power.’
    • ‘He studied philosophy because metaphysics and epistemology were on Friday morning and his favourite band was playing in a club on a Thursday night.’
    • ‘Before his work, there was little written in English on the more technical areas of philosophy - on metaphysics, physics, and even ethics.’
    • ‘His work on realism and anti-realism involves all of the following fields: philosophy of mathematics, philosophy of logic, philosophy of language and metaphysics.’
    • ‘Obviously, this ‘Newtonian’ approach cuts out almost every branch of philosophy, including ethics, metaphysics, and epistemology.’
    • ‘I have argued that the previous posts on everydayness outlined a social ontology or metaphysics of being.’
    • ‘His philosophical interests were mostly in theology, metaphysics, and marginally in ethics; epistemology seems to have held little attraction for him.’
    • ‘Bauer's late critique assimilated Hegel with Spinoza and the metaphysics of substance, understood as the negation of form and subjectivity.’
    • ‘The founder of Stoicism, Zeno of Citium, developed a systematic and elaborate metaphysics, ethics, and epistemology.’
    1. 1.1Abstract theory with no basis in reality.
      ‘the very subject of milk pricing involves one in a wonderland of accounting practice and a metaphysics all its own’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Worst of all, lyric theory veers toward metaphysics as though tugged by a gravitational force.’
      • ‘We must accept the natural world as we experience it, and not attempt to go behind nature in search of some ultimate reality or metaphysics.’
      • ‘The European idea of ‘man’ was formed precisely by casting off all the naive conceptions of what it meant to be human that had been imposed on it by religion and moralizing metaphysics.’
      • ‘Nonetheless, if this theory is not metaphysics, it is something very like it.’
      • ‘Once the debris of metaphysics and religion had been cleared away, science would be the source of our view of the world.’
      • ‘It's been carried over the centuries and millennia by mythology, religion, metaphysics and history.’
      • ‘Thus reason is led back from its vain speculations to the empirical world, trading the illusions of metaphysics for the realities of empirical science.’
      • ‘In the longer term, one can envisage that they seek to institute their metaphysics as social law and incorporate their organisations within government structures themselves.’
      • ‘Brecht's forthright communism is no more concerned with ‘actual reality’ than a forthright metaphysics might be.’
      • ‘I grant that the metaphysics of the Gaia Hypothesis is dumb, dumb, dumb.’
      • ‘The positing of an absolute distinction between law and trend is an exercise in logical metaphysics, which violates the nature of a complex social reality.’
      • ‘However, I still think it is useful to assign truth content to scientific theories; otherwise, one risks lapsing into metaphysics.’
      • ‘He's not really concerned with metaphysics or with doctrines or proving this point of view to be right, or that point of view to be wrong, his primary concern is to resolve the existential anguish, the pain, of being human.’
      • ‘Many New Age therapies, however, are little more than a mixture of metaphysics, religion and pseudoscientific ‘insights’.’
      • ‘They hate mysticism and metaphysics, religion and faith.’
      • ‘Physics, when studied in depth, is not able to quench the scientist's thirst and soon melts into metaphysics.’
      • ‘But I think there's a tendency to choose the latter for moral reasons and, ugh, a morality of pop music persona is like a metaphysics of pudding.’

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


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’.