Metaphysics as the ‘Science of the Possible’

Authored by: J.T.M. Miller

The Routledge Handbook of Metametaphysics

Print publication date:  July  2020
Online publication date:  July  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138082250
eBook ISBN: 9781315112596
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter considers the view that a central concern of metaphysics is what is possible. That is, the idea is that, unlike science, metaphysics studies not only what is actual, but the ways that reality could be. This view, if right, provides metaphysics with a distinct subject matter from that of science, and, depending on what modal epistemology we adopt, a distinct methodology too. In this chapter, I first provide an overview of the view, before highlighting some of the most prominent objections, and possible routes of response.

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