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Material Beings

3.91  ·  Rating Details  ·  47 Ratings  ·  3 Reviews
According to Peter van Inwagen, visible inanimate objects do not, strictly speaking, exist. In defending this controversial thesis, he offers fresh insights on such topics as personal identity, commonsense belief, existence over time, the phenomenon of vagueness, and the relation between metaphysics and ordinary language.
Paperback, Revised, Second Edition, 288 pages
Published November 16th 1995 by Cornell University Press (first published 1990)
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Ben Holloway
Jan 27, 2016 Ben Holloway rated it it was amazing
If you have heard the expression, "there is no table; there is just simples arranged table-wise" then it behooves you to hear it from the horse's mouth. The horse, by the way, is an organism, but that saddle you put on it does not strictly exist. That, by the way, is a fairly good summary of the thesis. Van Inwagen's talent lies in being able to carry a metaphysical story all the way without any sense of embarrassment (even when the story confronts issues of vagueness) and also in bringing one t ...more
Richard Newton
May 05, 2013 Richard Newton rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy
Now one probably has to have some interest in philosophy and metaphysics to share my view that this is an enjoyable read! But assuming that if you are looking at reviews of this book you do, then this is a truly excellent book. It is well argued and well written. In many ways, although it describes what may be considered as a radical view, I think it is an argument with its feet firmly on the ground. You do not have to agree with what Van Inwagen says to learn a lot from this book - both in term ...more
Matt
Nov 21, 2008 Matt rated it really liked it
Nov. 21, 2008: A very interesting and refined metaphysical theory. PvI is very thorough and honest. He leaves no stone unturned.
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Peter van Inwagen is an American analytic philosopher and the John Cardinal O'Hara Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. earned his PhD from the University of Rochester under the direction of Richard Taylor and Keith Lehrer.

Today, Van Inwagen is one of the leading figures in contemporary metaphysics, philosophy of religion, and philosophy of action. He has taught previously at S
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