A Survey of Metaphysics by E. J. Lowe (Professor of Philosophy, University of Durham)
A Survey of Metaphysics provides a systematic overview of modern metaphysics, covering all of the most important topics likely to be encountered on a metaphysics course. The conception of metaphysics underlying the book is the fairly traditional and widely-shared one that metaphysics deals with the deepest questions that can be raised concerning the fundamental structure of reality as a whole. The book is divided into six main parts, each relatively self-contained, focusing in turn on the following major themes: identity and change, necessity and essence, causation, agency and events, space and time, and universals and particulars. In an introductory chapter, the conception of metaphysics underlying the book is explained and defended against the many and varied opponents of metaphysics those students are likely to encounter. While the book makes reference when necessary to the history of metaphysics, its emphasis is on contemporary views and issues. The author's approach is not narrowly partisan, but avoids bland neutrality in matters of controversy.