- The definition of metaphysics is a field of philosophy that is generally focused on how reality and the universe began.
An example of metaphysics is a study of God versus the Big Bang theory.
- the branch of philosophy that deals with first principles and seeks to explain the nature of being or reality (ontology) and of the origin and structure of the universe (cosmology): it is closely associated with the study of the nature of knowledge (epistemology)
- speculative philosophy in general
- esoteric, often mystical or theosophical, lore
- the theory or principles (of some branch of knowledge)
- popularly any very subtle or difficult reasoning
Origin of metaphysics; from Medieval Latin metaphysica, neuter plural ; from Classical Greek (ta) meta (ta) physika, literally , (that) after (the) physics (in reference to location after the Physics in early collections of Aristotle's works)
- (used with a sing. verb) Philosophy The branch of philosophy that examines the nature of reality, including the relationship between mind and matter, substance and attribute, fact and value.
- (used with a pl. verb) The theoretical or first principles of a particular discipline: the metaphysics of law.
- (used with a sing. verb) A priori speculation upon questions that are unanswerable to scientific observation, analysis, or experiment.
- (used with a sing. verb) Excessively subtle or recondite reasoning.
Origin of metaphysicsFrom pl. of Middle English methaphisik, from Medieval Latin metaphysica, from Medieval Greek (ta) metaphusika, from Greek (Ta) meta (ta) phusika, (the works) after the Physics, the title of Aristotle's treatise on first principles (so called because it followed his work on physics) : meta, after; see meta– + phusika, physics; see physics.
(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.
From Latin metaphysica, from Byzantine Greek μεταφυσικά (metaphusika), from the title of the collection by Aristotle μετὰ τὰ φυσικά (meta ta phusika), a collection that comes after (μετά (meta)) Aristotle's collection entitled τὰ φυσικά (ta phusika), from φυσικός (phusikos, “natural”).