Chapter 1 - What is metaphysics?  pp. 8-25

What is metaphysics?

By Kit Fine

Chapter Abstract

There are five main features that serve to distinguish traditional metaphysics from other forms of enquiry. They are: the aprioricity of its methods; the generality of its subject-matter; the transparency or 'non-opacity' of its concepts; its eidicity or concern with the nature of things; and its role as a foundation for what there is. In metaphysics these features come together in a single package and it is the package as a whole rather than any of the individual features that serves to distinguish metaphysics from other forms of enquiry. This chapter provides an account of these individual features and explains how they might come together to form a single reasonably unified form of enquiry. Metaphysics is not merely one form of enquiry among others, but one that is capable of providing some kind of basis or underpinning for other forms of enquiry.


forms of enquiry; nature of things; subject-matter; metaphysics; epistemic transparency; aprioricity; eidicity;

Chapter 1

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