What’s in a Name? Metaphysics Introduced

Metaphysics is a difficult branch of philosophy to nail down. It has its own vocabulary, so we will need to define a lot of terms throughout the blogs on this topic. For example, we will explore the topics of ontology (deals with the nature of being, reality, and what a thing is), cosmology (the beginning of all that is), and some subtopics like time, personal identity, and the distinction between the mental and the physical (also can be understood as the distinction between the soul and the body).

Each of the topics mentioned could (and will) be a blog in themselves. Suffice it to say, there are numerous different theories for each of these topics. For example, whether the physical world actually exists is a question which seeks to be answered by this branch of philosophy. There are those who think that the cosmos is a mere illusion, a projection of their own minds (solipsism). Others believe the cosmos is an idea within the mind of God (idealism). These theories need to be explored in further detail and compared against a Biblical worldview. If they don’t conflict, then we’re free to choose the theory we believe to be most persuasive. But, on a Christian point of view, not all theories are equal.

As we further explore these topics, it will become more obvious why it’s essential that the Christian think through them. If you don’t understand what the essence (the nature of a thing that is intrinsic and makes it what it is [ie dogness]) of a thing is, or how to draw distinctions between different essences, then the Trinity can never make sense. Without an understanding of continued personal identity, the Resurrection can’t make sense. Without an understanding of the mental and its implications, the possibility of an afterlife is nonsense. It becomes apparent, then, that metaphysics is a vastly important branch of philosophy. It is ignored to the peril of the one who ignores it.

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