An Essay on Metaphysics

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Clarendon Press, May 24, 2001 - Philosophy - 439 pages
An Essay on Metaphysics is one of the finest works of the great Oxford philosopher, historian, and archaeologist R. G. Collingwood (1889-1943). First published in 1940, it is a broad-ranging work in which Collingwood considers the nature of philosophy, especially of metaphysics. He putsforward his well-known doctrine of absolute presuppositions, expounds a logic of question and answer, and gives an original and influential account of causation. The book has been widely read and much discussed ever since.In this new edition the complete original text is accompanied by three previously unpublished essays by Collingwood which will be essential reading for any serious student of his thought: 'The Nature of Metaphysical Study' (1934), 'Function of Metaphysics in Civilization' (1938), and 'Notes for anEssay on Logic' (1939). These fascinating writings illuminate and amplify the ideas of the Essay, to which they are closely related. The distinguished philosopher and Collingwood scholar Rex Martin has established authoritative versions of these new texts, added a short set of notes on the Essay,and contributed a substantial introduction explaining the story of the composition of all these works, discussing their major themes, and setting them in the context of Collingwood's philosophy as a whole.
 

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Contents

ABBREVIATIONS
xiii
SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY
xcvi
AUTHORS DEDICATION AND PREFACE
ciii
Aristotles Metaphysics
3
No Science of Pure Being II
11
Metaphysics without Ontology
17
Presuppositions
34
Metaphysics an Historical Science
49
Polytheistic and Monotheistic Science
201
Quicunque Vult
213
Kants Problem and the Problem of Today
231
Metaphysics and Critical Philosophy
237
Metaphysics as Transcendental Analytics
243
Axioms of Intuition
248
Anticipations of Perception
258
Analogies of Experience
262

The Reform of Metaphysics
58
What AntiMetaphysics Is
81
Psychology as AntiMetaphysics
101
Psychology as the PseudoScience
112
A PseudoScience refutes itself I 22
122
The Propaganda of Irrationalism
133
XIV Positivistic Metaphysics
143
A Positivistic Misinterpretation
155
Suicide of Positivistic Metaphysics
162
The Son of the Child
172
EXAMPLES
181
The Proposition God Exists
185
Religion and Natural Science in Primitive Society
191
Postulates of Empirical Thought
273
Three Senses of the Word Cause
285
Causation in History
290
Causation in Practical Natural Science
296
Causation in Theoretical Natural Science
313
Causation in Kantian Philosophy
328
Epilogue 338
338
ENDNOTES 344
344
THE NATURE OF METAPHYSICAL STUDY 1934
356
FUNCTION OF METAPHYSICS IN CIVILIZATION
379
NOTES FOR AN ESSAY ON LOGIC 1939
422
INDEX
429
Copyright

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About the author (2001)

The Late R. G. Collingwood was Waynflete Professor of Metaphysical Philosophy at the University of Oxford from 1935 to 1941.

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