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Online Class: Metaphysics 101

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Course Description

When the word "metaphysics" is mentioned, a wide variety of possible meanings springs to mind. For some, it is often considered part of the science of physics; to others, it might mean something mystical; to others still, it might represent a branch of philosophy or merely an incomprehensible mass of theoretical musings that could only be understood by professors with patches on their elbows living in an ivory tower somewhere. While all of these notions may have some merit to them, they only touch upon the true scope and purpose of the field of metaphysics.

Since the beginning of philosophy--indeed, perhaps since the beginning of man's quest to learn about himself and the universe that surrounds him--there has been the discipline of metaphysics. While it may not have always been called such, it is nevertheless an important aspect of being human that everyone has dabbled with to one degree or another. Metaphysics, while sounding very complex or obtuse, is really nothing more than thinking about what exists and what the ultimate reality of the universe is (Geirsson & Losonsky, 1998).

Questions within the field of metaphysics involve many of the "big" issues in life: Is there an absolute right and wrong? Does God (or a creator) exist? What is the universe made of? Does free will exist or are we traveling on a predetermined path? All of these concepts and more, as well as their implications for human thought and life, are part and parcel of the philosophical discipline of metaphysics. While most people may not think in terms of "doing metaphysical thought"--at least not in the strict philosophical sense--the fact remains that all thinking human beings have some sort of metaphysics that guide their lives everyday--a "worldview" in essence.

This course will look at what metaphysics is; what the key concepts and terms within the topic are; the practical ramifications of metaphysics; and very briefly discuss the history, development, and major schools of thought from the ancient Greeks to modern times.   Modern "New Age" metaphysics will also be discussed.    By the conclusion of the course, it is hoped that the student will have a better understanding of metaphysics and perhaps a increased desire to study further.
  • Completely Online
  • Self-Paced
  • Instructor Feedback
  • 6 Months to Complete
  • 24/7 Availability
  • Start Anytime
  • PC & Mac Compatible
  • Android & iOS Friendly
  • Accredited CEUs
Universal Class is an IACET Accredited Provider

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Define metaphysics.
  • Know classical metaphysics.
  • Describe cosmology and cosmogony.
  • Know determinism and free will.
  • Describe the philosophical notions of mind and matter, objects and their properties, religion and spirituality, and space and time.
  • Describe philosophical notions of identity and change.
  • Describe the religious, philosophical, and science perspective of God, and
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

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Course Lessons

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Lesson 1: What Is Metaphysics?

This lesson provides a definition of metaphysics, the different types of metaphysics that exist, and a rationale for why the field is not as esoteric as many people think. 40 Total Points
  • Lesson 1 Video
  • Review Article: Metaphysics Introduction
  • Complete Assignment: An Introduction
  • Complete: Lesson 1 Assignment
  • Complete: Quiz for Lesson 1: What Is Metaphysics?

Lesson 2: Coming to Terms: A Philosophical Glossary

This lesson presents many of the more important words, phrases, and concepts that will be important to learn before proceeding to the following lessons of the course. 35 Total Points
  • Lesson 2 Video
  • Review 2 Articles: Metaphysics Glossary; Philosophy Pages
  • Complete: Lesson 2 Assignment
  • Complete: Quiz for Lesson 2: Coming to Terms: A Philosophical Glossary

Lesson 3: Classical Metaphysics: The Greeks

No formal records of when metaphysics "began" exist, but the discipline is attributed to ancient Greece, when the first formal mentions of it were first recorded in writing. 35 Total Points
  • Lesson 3 Video
  • Review 2 Articles: Ancient Greek Philosophy; Ancient Metaphysics
  • Take Poll: Ancient Greeks
  • Complete: Lesson 3 Assignment
  • Complete: Quiz for Lesson 3: Classical Metaphysics: The Greeks

Lesson 4: Cosmology & Cosmogony

This lesson examines many of the major cosmologies in turn, noting their core tenets and philosophical implications. 33 Total Points
  • Lesson 4 Video
  • Review 2 Articles: Basic Metaphysics; Evolution and Metaphysics
  • Complete: Lesson 4 Assignment
  • Complete: Quiz for Lesson 4: Cosmology & Cosmogony

Lesson 5: Determinism & Free Will

This lesson examines some of the more prevalent metaphysical ideas and issues involving the concepts of free will and determinism. 35 Total Points
  • Lesson 5 Video
  • Review 2 Articles: Fatalism; Moses Maimonides
  • Take Poll: Determinism vs. Free Will
  • Complete: Lesson 5 Assignment
  • Complete: Quiz for Lesson 5: Determinism & Free Will

Lesson 6: Mind & Matter

This lesson will present the more prevalent formulations of the mind and matter issue in metaphysics, beginning with the Greeks and culminating with a survey of modern dualism. 34 Total Points
  • Lesson 6 Video
  • Review Article: Descartes and Dualism
  • Complete: Lesson 6 Assignment
  • Complete: Quiz for Lesson 6: Mind & Matter

Lesson 7: Objects & Their Properties

This lesson will examine the age-old "problem of universals" and the various attempts to solve it over the millennia. 34 Total Points
  • Lesson 7 Video
  • Review 2 Articles: Problem of Universals; Realism
  • Complete: Lesson 7 Assignment
  • Complete: Quiz for Lesson 7: Objects & Their Properties

Lesson 8: Religion & Spirituality

This lesson will examine the major religious philosophies in the light of philosophical inquiry. 33 Total Points
  • Lesson 8 Video
  • Review 2 Articles: Deism; Pantheism
  • Complete: Lesson 8 Assignment
  • Complete: Quiz for Lesson 8: Religion & Spirituality

Lesson 9: Space & Time

This lesson presents several of the more influential and interesting historical views related to the philosophy of time and space. 34 Total Points
  • Lesson 9 Video A
  • Lesson 9 Video B
  • Review 2 Articles: Heraclitus; Newton and Space
  • Complete: Lesson 9 Assignment
  • Complete: Quiz for Lesson 9: Space & Time

Lesson 10: New Age Metaphysics

This lesson will examine the issue of New Age Metaphysics and it's effect on modern life. 33 Total Points
  • Review 3 Articles: New Age movement, origin and definition; About.com description of the new age movement; Hayhouse radio
  • Complete: Lesson 10 Assignment
  • Complete: Quiz for Lesson 10: The New Age Movement

Lesson 11: Does God Exist?

Like with many of the other issues presented in previous lessons, metaphysics has been used for years on both sides of this argument to either prove or disprove the existence of God.In this lesson, some of the more prominent arguments for and against God 76 Total Points
  • Lesson 11 Video
  • Review Article: God
  • Take Poll: God
  • Take Poll: video presentations
  • Take Survey: Course Comments
  • Take Survey: Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course)
  • Complete: Lesson 11 Assignment
  • Complete: Quiz for Lesson 11: Does God Exist?
  • Complete: The Final Exam
Total Course Points

Additional Course Information

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Course Title: Metaphysics 101
Course Number: 7550378
Languages: English - United States, Canada and other English speaking countries
Course Type: General Education
CEU Value: 1.0 IACET CEUs (Continuing Education Units)
CE Accreditation: Universal Class, Inc. has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).
Grading Policy: Earn a final grade of 70% or higher to receive an online/downloadable CEU Certification documenting CEUs earned.
Assessment Method: Lesson assignments and review exams
Instructor: Dave Scarbrough
Syllabus: View Syllabus
Duration: Continuous: Enroll anytime!
Course Fee: $70.00 (no CEU Certification) || with CEU Certification: $95.00

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Student Testimonials

  • "Overall, the entire course was helpful in establishing a general knowledge of Metaphysical ideas and perspectives." -- Larry S.
  • "This course was awesome and the instructor was wonderful. What I found most helpful was the order in which the lessons were arranged, to gradually build understanding. I loved it! Thanks so much." -- Ziana D.
  • "I found that the layout of each lesson was done perfectly. The content flowed in a such a way that made learning the information a simple task. I found this course to be very interesting, presenting a mountain full of knowledge. What I have learned from this course has only added to my perspective of the world, and will stay with me for the rest of my life. Thank you for such a well organized experience." -- David L.

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