mbd_map 19: A Dedication homepage homepage forum lectures 1: A Word of Encouragement 2: Dar al-Hikma 3: Proclus' Elements 4: Reversion in the Corporeal 5: Mathematical Recursion 6: Episodic Memory 7: Mortality 7 Supplement: Classical Mortality Arguments 8: Personal Identity 9: Existential Passage 10: Precedent at Dar al-Hikma 10 Supplement: Images of Dar al-Hikma 11: Passage Types 12: A Metaphysical Grammar 13: Merger Probability 14: Ex Nihilo Probability 15: Noetic Reduction 16: Summary of Mathematical Results 17: Application to Other Species 18: Potential Benefits 19: A Dedication appendices works cited

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A Word of Encouragement


Dar al-Hikma


Proclus' Elements


Reversion in the Corporeal


Mathematical Recursion


Episodic Memory




Classical Mortality Arguments


Personal Identity
1   2   3   4  


Existential Passage
1   2   3  


Precedent at Dar al-Hikma


Images of Dar al-Hikma


Passage Types


A Metaphysical Grammar


Merger Probability


Ex Nihilo Probability


Noetic Reduction


Summary of Mathematical Results


Application to Other Species
1   2   3   4  


Potential Benefits


A Dedication


Works Cited

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Welcome to the internet publication of Metaphysics by Default.  This web site is maintained by the author as an academic resource for the general public.

In these pages I draw upon the works of naturalists — and upon those of metaphysical philosophers.  This must seem an odd juxtaposition of materials, given that naturalists and metaphysical philosophers lock horns at every crossing.  We, being audience to many a deadlocked battle, can readily believe that the disciplines of earth and ether are incompatible — or what is worse, we may believe that each discipline prospers only at the expense of the other.
       These common notions are not sound.  There is no compromise, but reconciliation is possible.  Natural science and metaphysical philosophy can coexist peacefully in the modern mind.  This document is proof.
       The essay itself comprises nineteen chapters.  The chapters are best read in sequential order, starting with a timeless word of encouragement that is Chapter 1.
       Readers who desire to judge the philosophy's practical value may prefer to skip ahead to Chapter 18.  Metaphysics by Default offers ready aid to the beleaguered ethicist or ecologist, and Chapter 18 explores this potential utility.
       Readers who wonder at the inclusion of so much history in a modern work should hazard first the dedication of Chapter 19.  The dedication invokes divine qualities of Hellenic spirit which are lost to us, and which this modern essay perforce recovers.

Supporting documents are available through site navigation:
  • (new)  A public forum is open, and all are welcome to contribute posts.
  • A schedule lists the dates of upcoming public lectures, along with transcripts and abstracts from previous lectures in Vancouver, Saint Petersburg and Rome.
  • Appendices organize the essay's ancillary software programs and mathematical derivations.
  • Works cited within the essay are listed after the appendices.
  • All chapters have been bound into a single Adobe PDF file for easier printing and transfer.  (Click icon to download.) 

It is this author's hope that the knowledge marshalled herein will be of value to every reader — even if some material serves only as a spur towards better knowledge elsewhere.  Please feel free to e-mail frank and private comments.
Thank you for visiting this site.

Philosophy Research Base - Philosophy Awards    This work is recipient of the Original Contribution Award, as judged by faculty editors of the Philosophy Research Base.

Britannica.com - iGuide Site - The Web's Best Sites 2008    Editors of the Encyclopaedia Britannica have recognized this work as one of The Web's Best Sites on the subject of metaphysics.  Britannica editors have designated this work as an official Internet Guide Selection, or "iGuide site."  Their iGuide imprint marks this work as a supplement to Britannica content, and as a recommended resource for online readers.

MITECS - The MIT Encyclopedia of the Cognitive Sciences    Editors of The MIT Encyclopedia of the Cognitive Sciences have recognized this work as an authoritative reference on current philosophical issues in the cognitive sciences.

WorldRevolution.org - Philosophy    This work is featured in the January 2001 edition of World Revolution.

Copernic Report on Metaphysics    The Copernic Report on Metaphysics has ranked this work among the twenty major metaphysical web sites.  As of October 2002, public interest has lifted this work to a global copernic ranking of fourth place.

next    Chapter 1:  A Word of Encouragement

Copyright © 1999

Wayne Stewart
Last update 4/19/11