Wednesday, January 9, 2008


The term Metaphysics can be used in a general (and even poetic and metaphoric) sense to means the opposite of science. Science uses "right-brain thinking", reason and scientific method to come to an understanding of reality. Metaphysics uses "left-brain thinking", reason in the service or intuition, or even intuition or imagination alone.

Used in this context, Metaphysics incorporates Religion, Non-materialistic Philosophical speculation, Mysticism, and Esotericism, and even fantasy, mythology, and imagined worlds.

In a more precise context however, Metaphysics means literally "after (not "beyond") physics". This confusing word was originally used in the context of Aristotle's writings. When the great philosopher's works had all been compiled, the volumes on Theology and other such subjects came after those on the natural world ("physics": phusis - nature), and hence were collectively referred to as "metaphysics".

Metaphysics begins with questions like: what is the nature of the World? Of the Soul, if any? Of God, if such a being does exist? In other words, questions concerning the ultimate nature and meaning of existence.

Metaphysics can be divided into various secondary fields of inquiry, such as the relationship between mind or spirit and body (the "mind-body problem"), the problem of free will and determinism, the nature of God (Theology), of man, and of the universe (Cosmology), the nature of Being (Ontology), and so on.