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Metaphysics

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Metaphysics can be defined as an attempt to comprehend the basic characteristics of reality. It is in fact so basic that it is all inclusive, whether something is observable or not. It answers questions of what things must be like in order to exist and how to differentiate from things that seem real but are not. A common thought is that reality is defined as what we can detect from our five senses. This type of philosophy is called empiricism, which is the idea that all knowledge comes from our senses. An empiricist must therefore believe that what we can see, touch, taste, smell, and hear must be real and that if we can not in fact see, touch, taste, smell, or hear something, it is definitely not real. However, this is a problem because there are things that are real that cannot be detected by our senses. Feelings and thoughts can not be detected, so according to a true empiricist, they must not be real. Another example that is listed in the textbook is the laws of gravity (Stewart 84). This is something that is in fact proven and we can see the effects of it, but we can not see gravity itself. Once again, this would not be considered to be "real." However, there are certain things that some people consider to be real, and others consider them not to be. This typically comes into play when discussing religion. Some people consider God to be real although they can not "sense" Him and others say that He is not real, possibly because of the fact that they can not "sense" Him. Love is another example. Many people believe that love is real, although it's not something they can see. Other people do not believe in it.

Another important aspect of metaphysics is that reality is separate from our minds. We can not affect or change things just by thinking about them. However, some metaphysicians believe that our feelings are more real than what we can sense because our feelings are first-hand and come from our body. They must in fact be real because...

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