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Mr. Ralph Kam

PHL/215 - Methods and Applications

July 15, 2003


In philosophy, a term known as metaphysics, referred to the writings of Aristotle nearly three centuries after his death. Metaphysics is the area of philosophy that attempts to understand the basic nature of all reality, whether it is seen or indistinguishable we try to relate to our existence. It seeks a description so basic that it applies to everything, whether divine or human. In short, metaphysics attempts to enlighten what anything must be like in order to be at all. To call one a metaphysician in this traditional, philosophical sense indicates nothing more than his or her interest in attempting to discover what underlies everything. Old materialists, who said that there is nothing but matter in motion, and current naturalists, who say that everything is made of lifeless, non-experiencing energy, are just as much to be classified as metaphysicians as are idealists, who maintain that there is nothing but ideas, or mind, or spirit (Metaphysics, par 2).

The major schools of thought in relation with metaphysics are realism, idealism, materialism, determinism, and libertarianism.

Realism is an inclination toward literal truth and pragmatism. The representation of realism in art or literature of objects, as well as actions or social conditions as they actually are. Realism, quite simply is the act of being real. One displays realism when actions are taken without idealization or presentation in abstract form. There are two types of realism: scientific realism and objective realism. Scientific realists embrace that the characteristic product of successful scientific research is knowledge of largely theory-independent phenomena and that such knowledge is possible (indeed actual) even in those cases in

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which the relevant phenomena are not, in any non-question-begging sense, observable (Stanford, par 1). Objective realism is...