From Latin metaphysica, from Byzantine Greek μεταφυσικά (metaphusika), from the title of the collection by Aristotle μετὰ τὰ φυσικά, a collection that comes after (μετά (meta)) Aristotle's collection entitled τὰ φυσικά, from φυσικός (phusikos, “natural”).
- IPA: /mɛtəˈfɪzɪks/
- enPR: mĕ'təfĭziks
metaphysics (countable and uncountable; plural metaphysics)
- (philosophy, uncountable) The branch of philosophy which studies fundamental principles intended to describe or explain all that is, and which are not themselves explained by anything more fundamental; the study of first principles; the study of being insofar as it is being (ens in quantum ens).
- Philosophers sometimes say that metaphysics is the study of the ultimate nature of the universe.
- (philosophy, countable) The view or theory of a particular philosopher or school of thinkers concerning the first principles which describe or explain all that is.
- The metaphysics of Thomas Aquinas holds that all real beings have both essence and existence.
- In Aristotelian metaphysics physical objects have both form and matter.
- In his Pensées, Pascal mentioned some first principles recognized within his metaphysics: space, time, motion, and number.
- (uncountable, by extension from the philosophical sense) Any fundamental principles or rules.
- (uncountable) The study of a supersensual realm or of phenomena which transcend the physical world.
- I have a collection of books on metaphysics, covering astral projection, reincarnation, and communication with spirits.
- (uncountable) Displeasingly abstruse, complex material on any subject.
- This political polemic strikes me as a protracted piece of overwrought, fog shrouded metaphysics!
- (countable) Plural of countable senses of metaphysic.
branch of philosophy that studies first principles