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Our Place in the Universe: A Metaphysical Discussion

Designer: Brand: Blackwell Pub

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What is our place in the universe? This question, central to metaphysics, has been a perennial source of debate among philosophers. Jack Smart approaches the problem, examining the question according to three of the senses in which it can be taken. First, literally in terms of astronomy. Secondly, quasi-literally in terms of the "great chain of being" and thirdly, metaphorically in terms of the material and the spiritual. His conclusion is that, in all three senses, our place in the universe is a modest one. Based on the author's Gavin David Young Lectures at the University of Adelaide in 1987, this investigation of a crucial metaphysical question is also designed to be a readable introduction to the further philosophical problems of space and time or space-time, free-will, fatalism, predestination, idealism and the theoretical entities of biology, physics and psychology.

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