A report on Metaphysics

Different approaches toward resolving the mind–body problem
The circled dot was used by the Pythagoreans and later Greeks to represent the first metaphysical being, the Monad or The Absolute.
The modern "yin and yang symbol" (taijitu)

Branch of philosophy that studies the fundamental nature of reality, the first principles of being, identity and change, space and time, causality, necessity, and possibility.

- Metaphysics
Different approaches toward resolving the mind–body problem

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The School of Athens (1509–1511) by Raphael, depicting famous classical Greek philosophers in an idealized setting inspired by ancient Greek architecture.

Philosophy

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Systematized study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence, reason, knowledge, values, mind, and language.

Systematized study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence, reason, knowledge, values, mind, and language.

The School of Athens (1509–1511) by Raphael, depicting famous classical Greek philosophers in an idealized setting inspired by ancient Greek architecture.
The Vinegar Tasters (Japan, Edo period, 1802-1816) by Kanō Isen'in, depicting the three main philosophical figures in East Asian thought: Buddha, Confucius and Laozi.
Statue of Aristotle (384–322 BCE), a major figure of ancient Greek philosophy, in Aristotle's Park, Stagira.
A painting of the influential modern philosopher Immanuel Kant (in the blue coat) with his friends. Other figures include Christian Jakob Kraus, Johann Georg Hamann, Theodor Gottlieb von Hippel and Karl Gottfried Hagen.
A page of The Maxims of Ptahhotep, traditionally attributed to the Vizier Ptahhotep (c. 2375–2350 BCE).
An Iranian portrait of Avicenna on a Silver Vase. He was one of the most influential philosophers of the Islamic Golden Age.
Adi Shankara is one of the most frequently studied Hindu philosophers.
The parable of the blind men and the elephant illustrates the important Jain doctrine of anēkāntavāda.
Statue of the Neo-Confucian scholar Zhu Xi at the White Deer Grotto Academy in Lushan Mountain.
Kitaro Nishida, considered the founder of the Kyoto School of philosophical thought, c. 1943.
Painting of Zera Yacob from Claude Sumner's Classical Ethiopian Philosophy.
A Tlamatini (Aztec philosopher) observing the stars, from the Codex Mendoza.
Depiction of Pachacuti worshipping Inti (god Sun) at Coricancha, in the 17th century second chronicles of Martín de Murúa. Pachacuti was a major Incan ruler, author and poet.
Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) was an English writer and philosopher.
The Beijing imperial college was an intellectual center for Confucian ethics and classics during the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties.
Dignaga founded a school of Buddhist epistemology and logic.
The beginning of Aristotle's Metaphysics in an incunabulum decorated with hand-painted miniatures.
Thomas Hobbes, best known for his Leviathan, which expounded an influential formulation of social contract theory.
Martin Luther King Jr.

Today, major subfields of academic philosophy include metaphysics, which is concerned with the fundamental nature of existence and reality; epistemology, which studies the nature of knowledge and belief; ethics, which is concerned with moral value; and logic, which studies the rules of inference that allow one to derive conclusions from true premises.

René Descartes, who is often credited as the father of modern philosophy, was often preoccupied with epistemological questions in his work.

Epistemology

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Branch of philosophy concerned with knowledge.

Branch of philosophy concerned with knowledge.

René Descartes, who is often credited as the father of modern philosophy, was often preoccupied with epistemological questions in his work.
Bertrand Russell famously brought attention to the distinction between propositional knowledge and knowledge by acquaintance.
An Euler diagram representing a version of the traditional definition of knowledge that is adapted to the Gettier problem. This problem gives us reason to think that not all justified true beliefs constitute knowledge.
The analytic–synthetic distinction was first proposed by Immanuel Kant.
David Hume, one of the most staunch defenders of empiricism.

Epistemology is considered a major subfield of philosophy, along with other major subfields such as ethics, logic, and metaphysics.

Parmenides was among the first to propose an ontological characterization of the fundamental nature of reality.

Ontology

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Branch of philosophy that studies concepts such as existence, being, becoming, and reality.

Branch of philosophy that studies concepts such as existence, being, becoming, and reality.

Parmenides was among the first to propose an ontological characterization of the fundamental nature of reality.

Ontology is sometimes referred to as the science of being and belongs to the major branch of philosophy known as metaphysics.

Portrait by Johann Gottlieb Becker, 1768

Immanuel Kant

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German philosopher and one of the central Enlightenment thinkers.

German philosopher and one of the central Enlightenment thinkers.

Portrait by Johann Gottlieb Becker, 1768
Kant's house in Königsberg
Portrait of philosopher David Hume
Engraving of Immanuel Kant
Kant with friends, including Christian Jakob Kraus, Johann Georg Hamann, Theodor Gottlieb von Hippel and Karl Gottfried Hagen
Kant's tomb in Kaliningrad, Russia
Immanuel Kant by Carle Vernet (1758–1836)
Kant statue in the School of Philosophy and Human Sciences (FAFICH) in the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Immanuel Kant
In his Metaphysics, Immanuel Kant introduced the categorical imperative: "Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law."
5 DM 1974 D silver coin commemorating the 250th birthday of Immanuel Kant in Königsberg
Statue of Immanuel Kant in Kaliningrad (Königsberg), Russia. Replica by of the original by Christian Daniel Rauch lost in 1945.
West German postage stamp, 1974, commemorating the 250th anniversary of Kant's birth

Born in Königsberg, Kant's comprehensive and systematic works in epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, and aesthetics have made him one of the most influential figures in modern Western philosophy.

Roman copy in marble of a Greek bronze bust of Aristotle by Lysippos, c. 330 BC, with modern alabaster mantle

Aristotle

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Greek philosopher and polymath during the Classical period in Ancient Greece.

Greek philosopher and polymath during the Classical period in Ancient Greece.

Roman copy in marble of a Greek bronze bust of Aristotle by Lysippos, c. 330 BC, with modern alabaster mantle
School of Aristotle in Mieza, Macedonia, Greece
Roman copy of 1st or 2nd century from original bronze by Lysippos. Louvre Museum
Plato (left) and Aristotle in Raphael's 1509 fresco, The School of Athens. Aristotle holds his Nicomachean Ethics and gestures to the earth, representing his view in immanent realism, whilst Plato gestures to the heavens, indicating his Theory of Forms, and holds his Timaeus.
Plato's forms exist as universals, like the ideal form of an apple. For Aristotle, both matter and form belong to the individual thing (hylomorphism).
Aristotle argued that a capability like playing the flute could be acquired – the potential made actual – by learning.
The four classical elements (fire, air, water, earth) of Empedocles and Aristotle illustrated with a burning log. The log releases all four elements as it is destroyed.
Aristotle argued by analogy with woodwork that a thing takes its form from four causes: in the case of a table, the wood used (material cause), its design (formal cause), the tools and techniques used (efficient cause), and its decorative or practical purpose (final cause).
Aristotle noted that the ground level of the Aeolian islands changed before a volcanic eruption.
Among many pioneering zoological observations, Aristotle described the reproductive hectocotyl arm of the octopus (bottom left).
Aristotle inferred growth laws from his observations on animals, including that brood size decreases with body mass, whereas gestation period increases. He was correct in these predictions, at least for mammals: data are shown for mouse and elephant.
Aristotle recorded that the embryo of a dogfish was attached by a cord to a kind of placenta (the yolk sac), like a higher animal; this formed an exception to the linear scale from highest to lowest.
Aristotle proposed a three-part structure for souls of plants, animals, and humans, making humans unique in having all three types of soul.
Senses, perception, memory, dreams, action in Aristotle's psychology. Impressions are stored in the sensorium (the heart), linked by his laws of association (similarity, contrast, and contiguity).
Aristotle's classifications of political constitutions
The Blind Oedipus Commending his Children to the Gods (1784) by Bénigne Gagneraux. In his Poetics, Aristotle uses the tragedy Oedipus Tyrannus by Sophocles as an example of how the perfect tragedy should be structured, with a generally good protagonist who starts the play prosperous, but loses everything through some hamartia (fault).
Frontispiece to a 1644 version of Theophrastus's Historia Plantarum, originally written around 300 BC
Islamic portrayal of Aristotle, c. 1220
Woodcut of Aristotle ridden by Phyllis by Hans Baldung, 1515
William Harvey's De Motu Cordis, 1628, showed that the blood circulated, contrary to classical era thinking.
"That most enduring of romantic images, Aristotle tutoring the future conqueror Alexander". Illustration by, 1866
First page of a 1566 edition of the Nicomachean Ethics in Greek and Latin
Nuremberg Chronicle anachronistically shows Aristotle in a medieval scholar's clothing. Ink and watercolour on paper, 1493
Aristotle by Justus van Gent. Oil on panel, c. 1476
Phyllis and Aristotle by Lucas Cranach the Elder. Oil on panel, 1530
Aristotle by Paolo Veronese, Biblioteka Marciana. Oil on canvas, 1560s
Aristotle and Campaspe,{{efn-ua | Compare the medieval tale of Phyllis and Alexander above.}} Alessandro Turchi (attrib.) Oil on canvas, 1713
Aristotle by Jusepe de Ribera. Oil on canvas, 1637
Aristotle with a Bust of Homer by Rembrandt. Oil on canvas, 1653
Aristotle by Johann Jakob Dorner the Elder. Oil on canvas, by 1813
Aristotle by Francesco Hayez. Oil on canvas, 1811
Roman copy of 117-138 AD of Greek original. Palermo Regional Archeology Museum
Relief of Aristotle and Plato by Luca della Robbia, Florence Cathedral, 1437–1439
Stone statue in niche, Gladstone's Library, Hawarden, Wales, 1899
Bronze statue, University of Freiburg, Germany, 1915

His writings cover many subjects including physics, biology, zoology, metaphysics, logic, ethics, aesthetics, poetry, theatre, music, rhetoric, psychology, linguistics, economics, politics, meteorology, geology, and government.

Roman copy of a portrait bust c. 370 BC

Plato

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Greek philosopher born in Athens during the Classical period in Ancient Greece.

Greek philosopher born in Athens during the Classical period in Ancient Greece.

Roman copy of a portrait bust c. 370 BC
Diogenes Laertius is a principal source for the history of ancient Greek philosophy.
Through his mother, Plato was related to Solon.
Speusippus was Plato's nephew.
Plato was a wrestler
Plato in his academy, drawing after a painting by Swedish painter Carl Johan Wahlbom
Bust of Pythagoras in Rome.
A detail of Spinoza monument in Amsterdam.
Bust of Socrates at the Louvre.
The "windmill proof" of the Pythagorean theorem found in Euclid's Elements.
What is justice?
A Venn diagram illustrating the classical theory of knowledge.
Oxyrhynchus Papyri, with fragment of Plato's Republic
Bust excavated at the Villa of the Papyri, possibly of Dionysus, Plato or Poseidon.
The Death of Socrates (1787), by Jacques-Louis David
Plato's Allegory of the Cave by Jan Saenredam, according to Cornelis van Haarlem, 1604, Albertina, Vienna
Painting of a scene from Plato's Symposium (Anselm Feuerbach, 1873)
Volume 3, pp. 32–33, of the 1578 Stephanus edition of Plato, showing a passage of Timaeus with the Latin translation and notes of Jean de Serres
First page of the Euthyphro, from the Clarke Plato (Codex Oxoniensis Clarkianus 39), 895 AD. The text is Greek minuscule.
Plato (left) and Aristotle (right) a detail of The School of Athens, a fresco by Raphael. Aristotle gestures to the earth while holding a copy of his Nicomachean Ethics in his hand. Plato holds his Timaeus and gestures to the heavens.
"The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato." (Alfred North Whitehead, Process and Reality, 1929).

The two philosophers Heraclitus and Parmenides, following the way initiated by pre-Socratic Greek philosophers such as Pythagoras, depart from mythology and begin the metaphysical tradition that strongly influenced Plato and continues today.

Detail of Plato in The School of Athens, by Raphael

Idealism

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Detail of Plato in The School of Athens, by Raphael
The sage Yajnavalkya (possibly 8th century BCE) is one of the earliest exponents of idealism, and is a major figure in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad.
Statue of Vasubandhu (jp. Seshin), Kōfuku-ji, Nara, Japan.
The 20th-century British scientist Sir James Jeans wrote that "the Universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine"

In philosophy, the term idealism identifies and describes metaphysical perspectives which assert that reality is indistinguishable and inseparable from human perception and understanding; that reality is a mental construct closely connected to ideas.

Property dualism: the exemplification of two kinds of property by one kind of substance

Property (philosophy)

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Property dualism: the exemplification of two kinds of property by one kind of substance

In logic and philosophy (especially metaphysics), a property is a characteristic of an object; a red object is said to have the property of redness.

A brain in a vat that believes it is walking

Reality

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Sum or aggregate of all that is real or existent within a system, as opposed to that which is only imaginary.

Sum or aggregate of all that is real or existent within a system, as opposed to that which is only imaginary.

A brain in a vat that believes it is walking
Reality-virtuality continuum.

Philosophical questions about the nature of reality or existence or being are considered under the rubric of ontology, which is a major branch of metaphysics in the Western philosophical tradition.

Bust of Parmenides discovered at Velia, thought to have been partially modeled on a Metrodorus bust.

Parmenides

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Pre-Socratic Greek philosopher from Elea in Magna Graecia.

Pre-Socratic Greek philosopher from Elea in Magna Graecia.

Bust of Parmenides discovered at Velia, thought to have been partially modeled on a Metrodorus bust.
Being according to Parmenides is like a sphere.
Parmenides. Detail from The School of Athens by Raphael.

Parmenides has been considered the founder of ontology or metaphysics and has influenced the whole history of Western philosophy.