What does metaphysics mean?

Definitions for metaphysics
ˌmɛt əˈfɪz ɪksmeta·physics

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word metaphysics.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. metaphysicsnoun

    the philosophical study of being and knowing


  1. metaphysicsnoun

    The branch of philosophy which studies fundamental principles intended to describe or explain all that is, and which are not themselves explained by anything more fundamental; the study of first principles; the study of being insofar as it is being (ens in quantum ens).

    Philosophers sometimes say that metaphysics is the study of the ultimate nature of the universe.

  2. metaphysicsnoun

    The view or theory of a particular philosopher or school of thinkers concerning the first principles which describe or explain all that is.

  3. metaphysicsnoun

    Any fundamental principles or rules.

  4. metaphysicsnoun

    The study of a supersensual realm or of phenomena which transcend the physical world.

    I have a collection of books on metaphysics, covering astral projection, reincarnation, and communication with spirits.

  5. metaphysicsnoun

    Displeasingly abstruse, complex material on any subject.

    This political polemic strikes me as a protracted piece of overwrought, fog shrouded metaphysics!

  6. metaphysicsnoun

    Plural of countable senses of metaphysic.

  7. metaphysicsnoun

    Plural form of metaphysic.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Metaphysicsnoun

    the science of real as distinguished from phenomenal being; ontology; also, the science of being, with reference to its abstract and universal conditions, as distinguished from the science of determined or concrete being; the science of the conceptions and relations which are necessarily implied as true of every kind of being; phylosophy in general; first principles, or the science of first principles

    Etymology: [Gr. after those things which relate to external nature, after physics, fr. beyond, after + relating to external nature, natural, physical, fr. nature: cf. F. mtaphysique. See Physics. The term was first used by the followers of Aristotle as a name for that part of his writings which came after, or followed, the part which treated of physics.]

  2. Metaphysicsnoun

    hence: The scientific knowledge of mental phenomena; mental philosophy; psychology

    Etymology: [Gr. after those things which relate to external nature, after physics, fr. beyond, after + relating to external nature, natural, physical, fr. nature: cf. F. mtaphysique. See Physics. The term was first used by the followers of Aristotle as a name for that part of his writings which came after, or followed, the part which treated of physics.]


  1. Metaphysics

    Metaphysics is a traditional branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world, although the term is not easily defined. Traditionally, metaphysics attempts to answer two basic questions in the broadest possible terms: ⁕What is there? ⁕What is it like? A person who studies metaphysics is called a metaphysicist or a metaphysician. The metaphysician attempts to clarify the fundamental notions by which people understand the world, e.g., existence, objects and their properties, space and time, cause and effect, and possibility. A central branch of metaphysics is ontology, the investigation into the basic categories of being and how they relate to each other. Another central branch of metaphysics is cosmology, the study of the totality of all phenomena within the universe. Prior to the modern history of science, scientific questions were addressed as a part of metaphysics known as natural philosophy. Originally, the term "science" simply meant "knowledge". The scientific method, however, transformed natural philosophy into an empirical activity deriving from experiment unlike the rest of philosophy. By the end of the 18th century, it had begun to be called "science" to distinguish it from philosophy. Thereafter, metaphysics denoted philosophical enquiry of a non-empirical character into the nature of existence. Some philosophers of science, such as the neo-positivists, say that natural science rejects the study of metaphysics, while other philosophers of science strongly disagree.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Metaphysics

    met-a-fiz′iks, n.sing. the science which investigates the first principles of nature and thought: ontology or the science of being.—adj. Metaphys′ical, pertaining to metaphysics; abstract.—adv. Metaphys′ically.—n. Metaphysic′ian, one versed in metaphysics. [From certain works of Aristotle to be studied after his physics—Gr. meta, after, physika, physics—physis, nature.]

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Metaphysics

    the science of being as being in contradistinction from a science of a particular species of being, the science of sciences, or the science of the ultimate grounds of all these, and presupposed by them, called by Plato dialectics, or the logic of being.

The Roycroft Dictionary

  1. metaphysics

    1. An attempt to define a thing and by so doing escape the bother of understanding it. 2. The explanation of a thing by a person who does not understand it.

U.S. National Library of Medicine

  1. Metaphysics

    The branch of philosophy that treats of first principles, including ontology (the nature of existence or being) and cosmology (the origin and structure of the universe). (From Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 2d ed)

Editors Contribution

  1. metaphysics

    The science and study of the planet earth, universe and multiverse and the nature of being, existence, reason for living, purpose and the evolution of humanity.

    Metaphysics is a very interesting subject for those with a passion to know and learn why we are all here.

    Submitted by MaryC on March 15, 2020  

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of metaphysics in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of metaphysics in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Examples of metaphysics in a Sentence

  1. Woody Allen, Annie Hall:

    I was thrown out of college for cheating on the metaphysics exam; I looked into the soul of the boy next to me.

  2. Antonin Artaud:

    The race of prophets is extinct. Europe is becoming set in its ways, slowly embalming itself beneath the wrappings of its borders, its factories, its law-courts and its universities. The frozen Mind cracks between the mineral staves which close upon it. The fault lies with your moldy systems, your logic of 2 + 2 = 4. The fault lies with you, Chancellors, caught in the net of syllogisms. You manufacture engineers, magistrates, doctors, who know nothing of the true mysteries of the body or the cosmic laws of existence. False scholars blind outside this world, philosophers who pretend to reconstruct the mind. The least act of spontaneous creation is a more complex and revealing world than any metaphysics.

  3. John Adams:

    Liberty, according to my metaphysics, is an intellectual quality, an attribute that belongs not to fate nor chance. Neither possesses it, neither is capable of it. There is nothing moral or immoral in the idea of it. The definition of it is a self-determining power in an intellectual agent. It implies thought and choice and power; it can elect between objects, indifferent in point of morality, neither morally good nor morally evil.

  4. David Hume:

    If we take in our hand any volume; of divinity or school metaphysics, for instance; let us ask, "Does it contain any abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number?" No. "Does it contain any experimental reasoning concerning matter of fact and existence?" No. Commit it then to the flames: for it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion.

  5. W. Somerset Maugham:

    To regard the imagination as metaphysics is to think of it as part of life, and to think of it as part of life is to realize the extent of artifice. We live in the mind.

Images & Illustrations of metaphysics

  1. metaphysicsmetaphysicsmetaphysicsmetaphysicsmetaphysics

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    an exhilarating psychological state of pride and optimism; an absence of depression
    • A. elation
    • B. pluck
    • C. leaven
    • D. evangelist

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