Metaphysics and Mystery
The Why Question East and West
About the Book
Metaphysics and Mystery: The Why Question East and West is a critical analysis, comparison, and evaluation of philosophical answers, Western and Asian, to the question “Why is there something rather than nothing?” The question, first posed by the seventeenth-century philosopher Leibniz, was reintroduced in the twentieth century by Heidegger. Volume 1 begins with an introduction that lays out the issues raised by the why question. It then analyzes contemporary Western philosophers who provide either cosmological-metaphysical or existential-ontological answers to the question. It also considers transitional answers that bridge the two. Volume 2 examines Asian philosophers, classical and contemporary, who, though rejecting the assumptions behind the question, put forward nondualist answers that have a direct bearing on it. It concludes with an argument for a revised understanding of the why question that draws on the strengths and weaknesses of these Western and Asian philosophies and explores implications for ethics and religious thought.
About the Author
Thomas Dean is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy of Religion, Temple University, Philadelphia. He also taught four years at Temple University Japan in Tokyo. He has a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Wisconsin, an M.A. in Theology from Harvard Divinity School, and a Ph.D. in Religion from Columbia University.