Metaphysics: What Is It? Why Is It Important Today?

Saga Foss

May 30, 2023


Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy that deals with the nature of reality and existence. It asks questions about the fundamental nature of being, the relationship between mind and matter, and space and time. In many ways, metaphysics is concerned with the big picture: it seeks to provide a comprehensive understanding of the universe and our place in it.

What Is Metaphysics?

The word “metaphysics” comes from the Greek words meta (meaning beyond) and physical (meaning physics or nature). So, at its core, concerned with exploring the nature of reality beyond what can be observed through empirical means.

Metaphysics covers a wide range of topics, including ontology (the study of being), cosmology (the study of the universe), epistemology (the study of knowledge), and ethics (the study of moral values and principles).

One of the central questions in physics is the nature of existence itself. Metaphysicians ask whether a fundamental substance or essence underlies all things or if everything is just a collection of individual parts. They also explore questions related to causality, free will, and determinism.

Why Is Metaphysics Important Today?

While metaphysics may seem like an esoteric and abstract field of study, it has important implications for various practice areas. Here are just a few reasons why  is essential today:

It helps us understand our place in the universe

As we continue to explore the cosmos and discover the nature of reality, provides a framework for understanding how we fit into the grand scheme. By exploring questions related to the nature of existence, consciousness, and causation, can help us better understand our place in the universe.

It informs other fields of study

Metaphysics has important implications for other fields of study, including physics, biology, psychology and philosophy. By exploring the nature of being,  can help inform our understanding of how physical systems operate, how living organisms function, and how our minds process information.

It helps us explore big questions about life

At its core, metaphysics concerns some of the biggest questions we can ask about life: What is the nature of reality? Is there a purpose to existence? Do we have free will, or do external factors determine our actions? By probing these questions, physics can provide insights into the human experience and help us better understand our place in the world.

It can help us make sense of seemingly contradictory ideas

One of the hallmarks of metaphysics is its ability to explore seemingly conflicting statements and find common ground between them. For example, physics can help reconcile the apparent conflict between determinism (the argument that everything is predetermined) and free will (the statement that we have control over our choices).

It can provide insights into ethical dilemmas

Finally, metaphysics can be a valuable tool for exploring ethical dilemmas and moral principles. By asking questions about the nature of right and wrong, good and evil, and justice and fairness, metaphysics can help us make more informed decisions and lead more ethical lives.


Metaphysics may seem like an abstract and obscure field of study, but it has important implications for various practice areas. By exploring questions related to the nature of reality, existence, and consciousness, metaphysics can help us better understand our place in the universe and inform our understanding of other fields of study. Whether interested in exploring big questions about life or grappling with ethical dilemmas, metaphysics provides a powerful tool for thinking deeply about the world.