Metaphysics as an inquiry into the nature of reality study the extent to which we can discover the appearance world as difference from reality world.
Metaphysics is the study of the “first principle” or ultimate reality. It is also known as the theory of being. The prefix meta means “beyond”, that is beyond or after physics. “ta meta ta physikabiblia” is the Greek word for metaphysics given by an ancient editor Andronicus of Rhodes to a collection of Aristotle’s essay, which Aristotle had called first philosophy. Hence, metaphysics refers to the subject matter beyond physical nature or beyond things we can see. It is the only science that deals with the study of the basic and fundamental issues of universe. Metaphysics inquire into issues of life which people usually take for granted, for instance the existence of God, existence of the soul, and the question of what reality is composed of and what there is in the world. Metaphysics therefore, studies the totality of things in the universe, both the possible and the real, the visible and the invisible. It is a general study of existence and reality. It is important to note that even though Aristotle is regarded as the founding father of metaphysics as science of reality, he however, was not the first to raise metaphysical problems. As an intellectual enterprise, metaphysics originated in the ideas of the pre- Socratic philosophers like Thales of Miletus, Anaximander and Anaximenes, as well as Parmenides, Pythagoras and Heraclitus. All these philosophers concerned themselves with finding the ultimate constitutive elements and grounds for the unity of things.
Metaphysics raises questions like “why is there something rather than nothing”, “what is reality”, “Is reality one or many”, “Is my will free or determined” “What is the problem of evil”, “is the universe self-caused or does it involve the concept of a creator?” What is mind” “Do persons have mind distinct from their bodies”. A deeper examination of all these questions will reveal that their answers goes beyond the boundaries of our experience, this is what makes them metaphysical. Metaphysics is further divided into two categories:
- Ontology: This deals with the ultimate problems of Being and Reality. What is Reality? What is the nature of being? This is further subdivided into various theories of being like Monism, Pluralism, theism deism, pantheism and so
- Cosmology: This is the study of the physical world or the universe.