Existential Metaphysics

EXISTENTIAL METAPHYSICS

by Alvin Thalheimer

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Chapter 1: The Existential Method

Chapter 2: Towards Determining the Meaning of "Existence"

Chapter 3: How We Shall Use the Terms: Existence and Reality

Chapter 4: Towards Determining the Meaning of "Truth"

Chapter 5: More About True and False Propositions

Chapter 6: Does Thinking Exist?

Chapter 7: Minds and Bodies

Chapter 8: Thinking, Object and Idea

Chapter 9: Percept, Memory and Concept

Chapter 10: Feeling, Believing and Knowing

Chapter 11: Spatial Relations among Contemporaneous Entities

Chapter 12: Date, Duration and Interval

Chapter 13: Spatial Relations Among Non- Contemporaneous Entities; Motion

Chapter 14: Unity and Substance

Chapter 15: The Qualities and Relations of an Individual Substance

Chapter 16: Universal Substance and Universal Quality

Chapter 17: Meaning, Explanation, Definition

Chapter 18: Mathematical Concepts: To What Extent Are They Real?

Chapter 19: Mass, Force and Energy

Chapter 20: The Efficient Cause

Chapter 21: Possibility and Potentiality

Chapter 22: Inference and Implication

Chapter 23: Purpose

Chapter 24:Chance and Probability

Chapter 25: The Content of Reality

Notes , Index of Terms Explained, Index of Authors

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PREFACE

Probably every book reaches the reader before it is completely
satisfactory to its author. For, despite the changes that suggest
themselves at each reading of the manuscript, the point is reached
at which it seems probable that further emendations and additions
will not warrant the delay in publication which, they would in-
,volve.

The book before you is, however, in a less finished state than
most. Eight of the projected twenty-five chapters appear only as
titles in the table of contents. Nevertheless, the guiding principle
the methodhas been rather fully developed. And it has been
applied to a sufficient number of problems to indicate to the
reader what my attitude would in general be with respect to
those subjects which I have not had an opportunity to* discuss. The
listing by titles of the unwritten chapters serves the purpose of
pointing to those subjects which in my opinion should have been
discussed to make this treatise a well-rounded system of meta-
physics.

A second mark of the incompleteness of this treatise is the place
left open at the end of Chapter Three, for an enumeration of
certain existent and certain non-existent entities. It will be obvious
that lists of this sort could only have been developed as the treatise
developed. Whereas for purposes of exposition, to give the treatise
a deductive form, such lists belong in the place left open for them,
I have not intended the reader to believe that these lists were fully
developed in my thought before I had considered specific meta-
physical problems. Deduction is after all a method of exposition
rather than a complete account of the processes of cogitation. And
the omission of die lists, no matter how essential they are for
deductive purposes, emphasizes their ad hoc character.

Further study of the manuscript, I may also point out, may well
have resulted in a more consistent use of such terms as "same/'
"many," ''cause" and the like. In the course of this treatise various

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of rushing confidently into the midst of things, it seems that W6
should first devote painstaking consideration to the selection of
a fruitful plan of attack. Instead of beginning with a discussion
of specific problems of metaphysics, it seems that we should first
select with great care a method which may perchance furnish the
correct approach to these problems and for want of which so
many eminent minds may have failed. "He who enters the
labyrinth/' says Descartes, 3 "must follow the thread which guided
Theseus." And he who hopes successfully to penetrate the maze
of metaphysical problems must come prepared with a method
which will enable him to cope with the perplexities he is to en-
counter.

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