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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Metaphysics: A Philosophical Exploration of Ultimate Questions

Weekend All-Day Lecture/Seminar

Saturday, July 24, 2021 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET
Code: 1K0111
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Aristoteles by Francesco Hayez, 1811

Metaphysics is not a relic of past thought, but a lively intellectual discipline that is still being practiced today. It is the branch of philosophy that concerns itself with what is fundamental or basic to reality. Greek thinkers such as Plato and Aristotle proposed sophisticated theories that underwent transformations as they encountered Jewish, Muslim, and Christian thinking in subsequent centuries—and skeptical challenges and surprising renewals in the modern era.

Michael Gorman, a professor of philosophy at The Catholic University of America, leads a whirlwind tour of historical and contemporary controversies in search of the nature of the ultimate reality.

9:30 to 10:45 a.m. An Overview of Metaphysics

A look at its nature, problems, and history.

11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. The Problem of Universals

The search for universal entities in everyday realities.

12:15 to 1:15 p.m. Break

1:15 to 2:30 p.m. The Problem of Possibility

If there are other possible worlds, what does that really mean, and what explains it?

2:45 to 4 p.m. Beyond Metaphysics

Some philosophers have attempted—by using reason alone— to explore the possible existence and nature of God. Is this possible? What kind of God could be proven by philosophy?

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This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.