PHI-30021 - Metaphysics
Coordinator: James Tartaglia Room: CBB 2.014 Tel: +44 1782 7 34315
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 6
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office:

Programme/Approved Electives for 2024/25


Available as a Free Standing Elective





Completion of core modules at level 2 in Philosophy or with the permission of the module convenor

Barred Combinations


Description for 2024/25

Metaphysics is the attempt to describe the fundamental nature of reality; for example, idealist metaphysics holds that reality is fundamentally related to the human mind, while physicalist metaphysics holds that reality is fully described by physical science. This module will survey and assess some of the great systems of metaphysics, from the ancient greeks to the present day.

To provide the student with an overview of core metaphysical problems. Metaphysics is the study of reality at the most fundamental level. The course considers problems concerning numerical identity, space and time, causality, necessity and possibility, universals and particulars. We will also consider questions about how, if at all, it is possible to engage in genuine metaphysical enquiry.

Talis Aspire Reading List
Any reading lists will be provided by the start of the course.

Intended Learning Outcomes

articulate clearly and fully some of the central problems in metaphysics: 1
develop a plausible, justified and intellectually independent response to the central problems in metaphysics: 1
analyse and evaluate contemporary and historical answers to central problems in metaphysics: 1

Study hours

15 hours lectures
5 hours small group seminars
100 hours essay preparation
30 hours independent reading

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Essay weighted 100%
Essay (max. 3000 words) selected from a list of ten questions
One essay, chosen from a list, written on a topic covered in the lecture series.