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Metaphysics

Renaissance to the PresentThe Renaissance (1433–1617), The Early Modern Period (1561–1753), Final Causes, Kant's "copernican Revolution" In Metaphysics

Metaphysics, in its most basic sense, is an account of what exists. It may include accounts of what sorts of things exist; of what really exists as opposed to what merely appears to exist; of what exists necessarily rather than by accident; of what it is that underlies everything else; or of the most general laws governing existing things. This article will describe some of the most important metaphysical positions that have appeared since the Renaissance and, where space permits, some of the reasons that have motivated the philosophers who hold them. The dates given for different eras are particular to this discussion. They name the year of birth of the earliest philosopher covered in each section and the year of death of the latest.

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