Portal:Metaphysics

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Template:/box-header Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the ultimate nature of reality, being, and the world.[1] Its name derives from the Greek words μετά (metá) (meaning "above" or "beyond") and φυσικά (physiká) (meaning "above or beyond physics"), "physics" referring to those works on matter by Aristotle in antiquity.[2] Metaphysics addresses questions that have existed for as long as the human race - many still with no definitive answer. Examples are:

  • What is the meaning of life?
  • What is the nature of reality?
  • What is humanity's place in the universe?
  • Does the world exist outside the mind?
  • What is the nature of objects, events, places?
  • Is there any existence of spirit, and can the spirit manifest itself without body?
  • What is consciousness?
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Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?One of Post-Impressionist Paul Gauguin's most famous paintings.
The meaning of life constitutes a philosophical question concerning the purpose and significance of human existence. This concept can be expressed through a variety of related questions, such as Why are we here?, What's life all about? and What is the meaning of it all? It has been the subject of much philosophical, scientific, and theological speculation throughout history. There have been a large number of answers to these questions from many different cultural and ideological backgrounds. Albert Camus observed, we humans are creatures who spend our lives trying to convince ourselves

that our existence is not absurd. [3]

The meaning of life is deeply mixed with the philosophical and religious conceptions of existence, consciousness, and happiness, and touches on many other issues, such as symbolic meaning, ontology, value, purpose, ethics, good and evil, free will, conceptions of God, the existence of God, the soul and the afterlife. Scientific contributions are more indirect; by describing the empirical facts about the universe, science provides some context and sets parameters for conversations on related topics. An alternative, human-centric, and not a cosmic/religious approach is the question "What is the meaning of my life?" The value of the question pertaining to the purpose of life may be considered to be coincidal with the achievement of ultimate reality, if that is believed by one to exist.

Selected biography

Jean-Paul Sartre FP.JPG
Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre (21 June 1905 – 15 April 1980), commonly known simply as Jean-Paul Sartre, was a French existentialist philosopher, playwright, novelist, screenwriter, political activist, biographer, and literary critic. He was one of the leading figures in 20th century French philosophy.

Jean-Paul Sartre was born and raised in Paris to Jean-Baptiste Sartre, an officer of the French Navy, and Anne-Marie Schweitzer. His mother was of Alsatian origin, and was the grand niece of German Nobel prize laureate Albert Schweitzer.[4] When Sartre was 15 months old, his father died of a fever. Anne-Marie raised him with help from her father, Charles Schweitzer, a high school professor of German, who taught Sartre mathematics and introduced him to classical literature at a very early age.[5]

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  1. Geisler, Norman L. "Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics" page 446. Baker Books, 1999.
  2. More specifically, the writings concerning what Aristotle called the "first philosophy" – and what is now called "metaphysics" – appeared after his articles on matter (on "physics"). Hence meta- ("above/beyond") physics ("matter").
  3. Mistakes Were made (but not by me) Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts by Carol Tarvis and Elliot Aronson, Harcourt, Inc, 2007, pages 13 and 14
  4. Hayman, Ronald (1987). Sartre: A Life. Simon and Schuster. p. 31. ISBN 0-6714-5442-0.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Brabazon, James (1975). Albert Schweitzer: A Biography. Putnam. p. 28.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>