What Is Reality?: An Introduction to Metaphysics, By Ross Inman

What Is Reality?

An Introduction to Metaphysics

Questions in Christian Philosophy

by Ross Inman

What Is Reality?
  • Length: 296 pages
  • Dimensions: 6 × 9 in
  • Published: October 08, 2024
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: A0680
  • ISBN: 9781514006801

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What is real? How do we determine what the fundamental structures of reality are?

In this Questions in Christian Philosophy volume, philosopher Ross Inman offers an introduction to metaphysics. He introduces us to the tradition of metaphysics in Western philosophy, what it means to do metaphysics as a Christian, and considers timeless and universal inquiries into the central topics of metaphysics: identity, necessity and possibility, properties, universals, substances, and parts and wholes.

With this academic but accessible primer, readers will be introduced to the key topics explored in contemporary metaphysics.

The Questions in Christian Philosophy Series features introductory textbooks that offer students a Christian perspective on the various branches of philosophy, enabling them as they seek to understand all facets of life including existence, knowledge, ethics, art, and more.

"This book is overflowing with fresh, powerful insights into metaphysics that are both accessible and crucial for developing a Christian worldview. The topics discussed in the book are precisely the ones that should be discussed, but Inman provides his own unique take on many of them. As a result, What Is Reality? should be required reading in classes in philosophy, philosophy of religion, apologetics, theology, and worldview. And it is just what thoughtful lay folk need to study to deepen their ability in apologetics. I very highly recommend this book. Read and tell others about it."

J. P. Moreland, distinguished professor of philosophy at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University

"The close relationship between metaphysics and theology has been recognized from the very beginnings of both Greek philosophy and Christian theology, yet it came to be neglected in the contemporary discussion until recently. Ross Inman's What Is Reality? is an important and lucid contribution to the revival of rigorous, metaphysically informed theology."

Edward Feser, professor of philosophy at Pasadena City College

"People often ask me for a solid but gentle introduction to contemporary metaphysics that is written from a Christian perspective. Up until now, I have been unable to recommend anything, but Ross Inman's new book fits the bill perfectly. The opening chapters do a great job of defining metaphysics and disposing of the standard scientistic objections to it, and the succeeding chapters introduce the readers to the very best metaphysical options available, drawing from both ancient and modern sources."

Rob Koons, professor of philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin

"I love this book. It's clear, accessible, and covers everything an introduction to metaphysics should cover, all with sensitivity to ways metaphysics connects to the Christian worldview. Inman is the perfect person for a project like this, and it shows."

Tim Pickavance, professor of philosophy at the Talbot School of Theology at Biola University and scholar in residence at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Orange County, California

"An inspiring achievement! Ross Inman ably demonstrates the vital role of metaphysics in clear thinking about God and all things in relation to God. Conversant with the best in contemporary analytic metaphysics, rooted in historical Christianity, and surprisingly practical, Inman's What is Reality? offers a rare and delightful blend of philosophical rigor and spiritual nourishment. This book is Christian philosophy at its best."

Paul M. Gould, associate professor of philosophy of religion and director of the master of arts in philosophy of religion program at Palm Beach Atlantic University

"A fantastic work! Professor Inman's book is a brilliant exploration of fundamental concepts that shape our understanding of reality. With exceptional clarity and an engaging style, this work is indispensable for philosophy students who aspire to engage the best work in metaphysics. I highly recommend this guide to anyone interested in developing a robust vision of reality."

Joshua Rasmussen, associate professor of philosophy at Azusa Pacific University and author of Who Are You Really?


List of Figures
List of "Getting Theological" Callouts
Series Introduction: Questions in Christian Philosophy

1. What Is Metaphysics?
2. Are Metaphysical Discoveries Possible?
3. Doing Metaphysics as a Christian
4. Creaturely Existence
5. Classifying Creaturely Reality: Identity and Ontological Categories
6. Creaturely Natures: Essence and Modality
7. Creaturely Characteristics: Properties and Universals
8. Creaturely Objects: Substances
9. Creaturely Objects: Parts and Wholes
Conclusion: On Metaphysics and Mapmaking

Next Steps
General Index
Scripture Index


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Ross Inman

Ross D. Inman (PhD Trinity College Dublin) is associate professor of philosophy at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He also teaches Great Books courses at the College at Southeastern and is the editor of the journal Philosophia Christi. He is a former Research Fellow at the University of Notre Dame’s Center for Philosophy of Religion and at Saint Louis University. He is the author of Christian Philosophy as a Way of Life: An Invitation to Wonder and Substance and the Fundamentality of the Familiar: A Neo-Aristotelian Mereology. He and his wife, Suzanne, have three children and live in Wake Forest, North Carolina.