The Elements and Patterns of Being: Essays in Metaphysics

ISBN : 9780198810384

Donald C. Williams; A. R. J. Fisher
272 ページ
156 x 234 mm

The Harvard philosopher Donald C. Williams (1899-1983) was key figure in twentieth-century philosophy, but underappreciated. He played a crucial role in reviving metaphysics at a time when other philosophers would ridicule, criticise, and commit it to the flames. Today, as metaphysics thrives, his work is highly relevant and widely studied. But his publications have been scattered through journals and out-of-print books and some of his most important ideas were left unpublished. A. R. J. Fisher brings together for the first time six of his influential articles and six previously unpublished papers on such metaphysical topics as universals, essence, necessity, time, and time travel.


Introduction; 1 The Duty of Philosophy (c.1965); 2 The Elements of Being (1953); 3 Universals and Existents (1960); 4 Universal Concepts and Particular Processes (1962); 5 How Reality is Reasonable (1974); 6 Necessary Facts (1963); 7 Dispensing with Existence (1962); 8 The Sea Fight Tomorrow (1951); 9 The Myth of Passage (1951); 10 The Nature of Time (1966); 11 The Shape of Time (1968); 12 The Bugbear of Fate (1974)


Donald Cary Williams (1899-1983) was professor of philosophy at UCLA from 1930 to 1939 and then at Harvard until his retirement in 1967. He was the author of The Grounds of Induction (Harvard 1947) and many essays, some of which were collected in Principles of Empirical Realism (C. C. Thomas 1966).; A.R.J. Fisher is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Manchester. He was the Bader Postdoctoral Fellow in Philosophy at Queen's University (2015-16) and a Newton International Fellow of the British Academy (2014-15). Before that he was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Dalhousie University (2012-13) and received his PhD from Syracuse University in 2012. He specialises in Metaphysics and the History of Analytic Philosophy. He has published numerous articles in such journals as the British Journal for the History of Philosophy, Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Journal of the American Philosophical Association, Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, Philosophical Studies, Synthese, and The Monist.