Summary: 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)

Top Publications

  1. Mauron A. Genomic metaphysics. J Mol Biol. 2002;319:957-62 pubmed
  2. Ashburner M, Ball C, Blake J, Botstein D, Butler H, Cherry J, et al. Gene ontology: tool for the unification of biology. The Gene Ontology Consortium. Nat Genet. 2000;25:25-9 pubmed
  3. Davis D. Dementia: sociological and philosophical constructions. Soc Sci Med. 2004;58:369-78 pubmed
    ..It is suggested that this critique of sociological and philosophical foundations of dementia might offer a way of approaching the dismantling of the self and revise current conceptions of dementia care for the better. ..
  4. Farrell M. Space perception and William James's metaphysical presuppositions. Hist Psychol. 2011;14:158-73 pubmed
  5. Eberl J, Ballard R. Metaphysical and ethical perspectives on creating animal-human chimeras. J Med Philos. 2009;34:470-86 pubmed publisher
    ..We then examine when the creation of, and experimentation upon, certain types of a-h chimeras may be morally permissible. ..
  6. Delkeskamp Hayes C. Bioethics for thresholders: a brief introduction. Christ Bioeth. 2002;8:275-82 pubmed
  7. Schroeder C. It happens when the stage sets collapse. Nurs Philos. 2003;4:155-60 pubmed
  8. Stolorow R, Atwood G. The tragic and the metaphysical in philosophy and psychoanalysis. Psychoanal Rev. 2013;100:405-21 pubmed publisher
    This article elaborates a claim, first introduced by Wilhelm Dilthey, that metaphysics represents an illusory flight from the tragedy of human finitude...
  9. Tresan D. Thinking individuation forward. J Anal Psychol. 2007;52:17-40 pubmed
    ..In so doing, the paper addresses both Jung's and Henderson's refusal to explore the relevance of metaphysics for psychology and offers both a theoretical corrective for this shortcoming and a clinical illustration in ..

More Information


  1. Bennett M. Development of the concept of mind. Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2007;41:943-56 pubmed
    ..It is the role of neuropsychiatry to identify the changes in the corporeal that need to be put aright when these psychological capacities go awry. ..
  2. Birch J. The negative view of natural selection. Stud Hist Philos Biol Biomed Sci. 2012;43:569-73 pubmed publisher
    ..I further show that a more defensible criterion for explanatory relevance recently proposed by Michael Strevens lends support to the view that natural selection can be relevant to the explanation of individual traits. ..
  3. Eberl J. Aquinas's account of human embryogenesis and recent interpretations. J Med Philos. 2005;30:379-94 pubmed
    ..In this article, I discuss two recent interpretations in which it is argued that a human person does not begin to exist until a fetus has developed a functioning cerebral cortex. ..
  4. Gracia D. The many faces of autonomy. Theor Med Bioeth. 2012;33:57-64 pubmed publisher
    ..The goal of ethics is to promote postconventional and mature human beings. This was what Socrates tried to do with the young people of Athens. And it is also the objective of every course of ethics and of any process of training. ..
  5. Wolf C. Endowed molecules and emergent organization: the Maupertuis-Diderot debate. Early Sci Med. 2010;15:38-65 pubmed
    ..Where Maupertuis attributes higher-level properties to his living minima, Diderot argues that these can only be 'organizational', i.e., properties of the whole. At issue here is the degree of commitment to a form of materialism. ..
  6. Gray M. Philosophical inquiry in nursing: an argument for radical empiricism as a philosophical framework for the phenomenology of addiction. Qual Health Res. 2004;14:1151-64 pubmed
    ..Argumentation is the method. In this study, the author argues that the metaphysics of radical empiricism enhances the understanding of the immediate subjective experience or phenomenology of ..
  7. Hwang W, Salvendy G. Effects of an ontology display with history representation on organizational memory information systems. Ergonomics. 2005;48:838-58 pubmed
  8. Riddle C. Defining disability: metaphysical not political. Med Health Care Philos. 2013;16:377-84 pubmed publisher
  9. Bakan D. On the reality of the incorporeal intelligibles: a reflection on the metaphysics of psychology. Percept Mot Skills. 2001;93:531-40 pubmed
    ..The tradition of Aristotle, Brentano and his two students, Freud and Husserl, and Wertheimer is identified favorably in this connection. ..
  10. Tofan I, Crumpei I. [The body as source of significance. Interdisciplinary perspectives]. Rev Med Chir Soc Med Nat Iasi. 2010;114:943-52 pubmed
  11. Fry I. Is science metaphysically neutral?. Stud Hist Philos Biol Biomed Sci. 2012;43:665-73 pubmed publisher
  12. Haufe C. Darwin's laws. Stud Hist Philos Biol Biomed Sci. 2012;43:269-80 pubmed publisher
    ..natural for Darwin to believe in designed laws that had exceptions, and to highlight the continuity between the metaphysics of pre-Darwinian, Darwinian, and contemporary biological science...
  13. Hershenov D, Delaney J. The metaphysical basis of a liberal organ procurement policy. Theor Med Bioeth. 2010;31:303-15 pubmed publisher
    ..Our contention is that if one correctly understands the metaphysics of both the human body and material property, then it will turn out that while organ sales are illiberal, ..
  14. Breitenbach A. Kant goes fishing: Kant and the right to property in environmental resources. Stud Hist Philos Biol Biomed Sci. 2005;36:488-512 pubmed
    ..By way of illustration, in Section , I focus on an example of Kantian property rights in one type of environmental resource: the marine fisheries. ..
  15. Lederberg J. Metaphysical games: an imaginary lecture on crafting earth's biological future. JAMA. 2005;294:1415-7 pubmed
  16. Ventegodt S, Hermansen T, Rald E, Flensborg Madsen T, Nielsen M, Clausen B, et al. Human development III: bridging brain-mind and body-mind. introduction to "deep" (fractal, poly-ray) cosmology. ScientificWorldJournal. 2006;6:767-76 pubmed
    ..Energy and information are actually the same from a scientific point of view; when the world is seen through the body-mind, it looks more like energy; when seen though the brain-mind, it looks more like information. ..
  17. Zukrowska A. [Explosion of the subjective world]. Ann Acad Med Stetin. 2006;52:119-24 pubmed
    ..In such cases, individualized psychotherapeutic intervention proves to be irreplaceable. ..
  18. Nobis N. Abortion, metaphysics and morality: a review of Francis Beckwith's defending life: a moral and legal case against abortion choice. J Med Philos. 2011;36:261-73 pubmed publisher
    ..His arguments are based on what he calls a "metaphysics of the human person" known as "The Substance View...
  19. Guimberteau J. [Towards a structuring fibrillar ontology]. Ann Chir Plast Esthet. 2012;57:527-9 pubmed publisher
  20. Thornton T. Judgement and the role of the metaphysics of values in medical ethics. J Med Ethics. 2006;32:365-70 pubmed
    ..In the third section, I consider how much the resultant picture diverges from Beauchamp and Childress's actual position. ..
  21. Copland P, Gillett G. The bioethical structure of a human being. J Appl Philos. 2003;20:123-31 pubmed
    ..We then briefly explore the ethical significance of accepting a form or structure based conception of biology for the status of the early embryo. ..
  22. Acharya S, Shukla S, Mahajan S, Diwan S. Localizationism to neuroplasticity---the evolution of metaphysical neuroscience. J Assoc Physicians India. 2012;60:38-46 pubmed
    ..This article is a brief attempt to fathom the mysterious and scientific ways of neuroplasticity. ..
  23. Perez Bustamante de Monasterio J. Historical aspects on mystics and metaphysics of metals. Llull. 2002;25:29-54 pubmed
  24. Ashcroft R. Making sense of dignity. J Med Ethics. 2005;31:679-82 pubmed
  25. Black S. Effect of retroactive intercessory prayer. Outcome of this experiment offers little comfort. BMJ. 2002;324:1038; author reply 1038-9 pubmed
  26. Johansson I. Bioinformatics and biological reality. J Biomed Inform. 2006;39:274-87 pubmed
    ..Part III, finally, contains some brief concluding words about realism, both in general and in relation to bioinformatics. ..
  27. Cosans C. Was Darwin a creationist?. Perspect Biol Med. 2005;48:362-71 pubmed
  28. Gaudemard L. [The mark of envy: metaphysics and embryology according to Descartes]. Early Sci Med. 2012;17:309-38 pubmed
    This paper explores the interaction between medicine and metaphysics in modern natural philosophy and especially in Descartes' philosophy...
  29. Corbey R. Homo habilis's humanness: Phillip Tobias as a philosopher. Hist Philos Life Sci. 2012;34:103-16 pubmed
    ..The role of this notion in his research and its backgrounds in philosophy, disciplinary history, and a widespread mid-20th-century climate of opinion are analyzed and discussed. ..
  30. Simon J. Advertisement for the ontology for medicine. Theor Med Bioeth. 2010;31:333-46 pubmed publisher
    ..e., distinct, from the ontological problems raised by other sciences and therefore requires its own analysis. ..
  31. Talvitie V, Ihanus J. On neuropsychoanalytic metaphysics. Int J Psychoanal. 2011;92:1583-601 pubmed publisher
    ..The authors state arguments in favour of the interfield conception of neuropsychoanalysis that takes seriously the metaphysical tensions between neuroscience and psychoanalysis. ..
  32. Podoll K, Nicola U. The illness of Giorgio de Chirico--migraine or epilepsy?. Eur Neurol. 2004;51:186; author reply 186-7 pubmed
  33. Okon T. Spiritual, religious, and existential aspects of palliative care. J Palliat Med. 2005;8:392-414 pubmed
  34. Frierson P. Kant on mental disorder. Part 2: philosophical implications of Kant's account. Hist Psychiatry. 2009;20:290-310 pubmed
    ..considered his theory of mental disorder important, I then turn to the implications of this theory of Kant's metaphysics, epistemology and ethics. Given Kant's account of insanity as 'a totally different standpoint.....
  35. Giglioni G. What ever happened to Francis Glisson? Albrecht Haller and the fate of eighteenth-century irritability. Sci Context. 2008;21:465-93 pubmed
    ..In doing so, he provided a less bewildering theory of irritability for the rising communities of experimental physiology. ..
  36. Haldane J, Lee P. Rational souls and the beginning of life (a reply to Robert Pasnau). Philosophy. 2003;78:532-40 pubmed
  37. Corcoran T. Second nature. Br J Soc Psychol. 2009;48:375-88 pubmed publisher
  38. Reiss J. Causation in the sciences: an inferentialist account. Stud Hist Philos Biol Biomed Sci. 2012;43:769-77 pubmed publisher
    ..I explain in some detail what it means for a claim to be inferentially related to another and finally derive some implication of the proposed account for the epistemology, semantics and metaphysics of causation.
  39. Calabi L. On Darwin's 'metaphysical notebooks'. I: teleology and the project of a theory. Riv Biol. 2001;94:123-59 pubmed
    ..the tradition of Natural Theology. ..
  40. Swazo N. "Just one animal among many?" Existential phenomenology, ethics, and stem cell research. Theor Med Bioeth. 2010;31:197-224 pubmed publisher
    ..much of the available ethical deliberation remains determined by the conceptual framework of late modern metaphysics and the correlative ethical theories of utilitarianism and deontology...
  41. Niebrój L, Jadamus Niebrój D. Beyond purely ethical understanding of responsibility: a phenomenological approach. Ann Acad Med Stetin. 2009;55:107-10; discussion 110 pubmed
  42. Hibberd F. John Anderson's development of (situational) realism and its bearing on psychology today. Hist Human Sci. 2009;22:63-92 pubmed
    ..It includes a theory of process and a substantial metaphysics, one that opposes positivism, linguistic philosophy and all forms of idealism...
  43. Behrens P. The metaphysical club at the Johns Hopkins University (1879-1885). Hist Psychol. 2005;8:331-46 pubmed
    ..When Peirce departed Hopkins in 1885, Hall was free to develop psychology in his image and disbanded the club. Nevertheless, the Metaphysical Club played an important role in the emergence of American scientific psychology. ..
  44. Rolston H. What is a gene? From molecules to metaphysics. Theor Med Bioeth. 2006;27:471-97 pubmed
    ..Genes are conserved; genes are also dynamic and creative in evolutionary speciation-most remarkably producing humans capable of wondering about what genes are. ..
  45. Roberts M. Time, human being and mental health care: an introduction to Gilles Deleuze. Nurs Philos. 2005;6:161-73 pubmed
    ..As such, this paper also seeks to stimulate further discussion and research into the importance and the relevance of Deleuze's work for the theory and practice of psychiatry, psychotherapy, and mental health nursing. ..
  46. Liu Y. Engineering aesthetics and aesthetic ergonomics: theoretical foundations and a dual-process research methodology. Ergonomics. 2003;46:1273-92 pubmed
    ..Sample applications of this methodology are also described. ..
  47. Hinterhuber H. [The concept of soul in the course of history. Thoughts on psyche, mind and awareness]. Wien Klin Wochenschr. 2002;114:822-32 pubmed
    ..Thus, the search for the "soul", a search that occupies so many people, also always involves the search for the whole person. ..
  48. York G, Steinberg D. The philosophy of Hughlings Jackson. J R Soc Med. 2002;95:314-8 pubmed
  49. Sadler J, Jotterand F, Lee S, Inrig S. Can medicalization be good? Situating medicalization within bioethics. Theor Med Bioeth. 2009;30:411-25 pubmed publisher
    ..A series of brief case sketches illustrate how bioethics can contribute to the analysis and public policy discussion of medicalization. ..
  50. Derry J. Darwin in disguise. Trends Ecol Evol. 2009;24:73-9 pubmed publisher
    ..This article briefly considers seven examples of new disciplines for which Darwinism has been appropriated. In each case, succinct background information precedes quotes provided for this purpose by a leading researcher. ..
  51. Buchanan A. Commentary: freedom and function. J Am Acad Psychiatry Law. 2008;36:25-6 pubmed
    ..This seems to resemble Dr. Felthous' preferred option, that mentally responsible choices are choices made in the presence of a relatively natural ability to have decided otherwise. ..
  52. Saarinen J. The oceanic state: a conceptual elucidation in terms of modal contact. Int J Psychoanal. 2012;93:939-61 pubmed publisher
  53. Ludwig D. Extended cognition in science communication. Public Underst Sci. 2014;23:982-95 pubmed publisher
    ..In a second step, I argue that science communication studies should adopt a methodological externalism and accept that knowledge about science can be partly realized by external information resources such as Wikipedia. ..