"...what is essential is invisible to the
eye." 'The Little Prince', Antoine de
Physics deals with the observable world and its
laws whereas Metaphysics (‘after physics’) deals with the unobservable world and attempts to explain the
fundamental nature of being.
Typical questions that confront the
• What are Space & Time?
• What is a Thing & how does it differ from an idea?
• Are human free to decide their fate?
• Is there a 1st cause, or God, that has made everything?
The metaphysician knows that answers to the
above cannot be arrived by observation or experiment (the Scientific Method). In the Asian mindset,
metaphysical answers are put into a religions framework, whereas in the Western mindset, answers are
A central branch of metaphysics is ontology,
the investigation into the basic categories of being and how they relate to each other.
Prior to modern science, scientific questions
were addressed as a part of metaphysics known as natural philosophy. The term science itself meant "knowledge of”.
The scientific method transformed natural philosophy into an empirical activity deriving from experiment unlike the
rest of philosophy. By the end of the 18th century, it had begun to be called "science" to distinguish it from
philosophy. Thereafter, metaphysics denoted philosophical enquiry of a non-empirical character into the nature of