Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy concerned with the fundamental nature of reality. It draws its name from from the Greek meta ta phusika, meaning literally 'beyond physics', because the book comes after the Physics in the order assigned by an editor of Aristotle's works, Andronicus of Rhodes, about the year A.D. 70. The term metaphysics was unknown to Aristotle, and he variously called this branch of philosophy "first science", "wisdom" theological science" (theologikê) and "first philosophy" (prôtê philosophia) Metaphysics includes topics such as philosophy of mind, identity, philosophy of space and time (including cosmogeny), free will, and the difference between necessity and possibility.
In common usage, Metaphysics can also refer to philosophical speculation of any kind, even when not strictly philosophical, such as mysticism or New Age. T.G. Masaryk maintained that metaphysics is "just a small competing enterprise established by philosophy against theology".
"Schools of Metaphysics" are independent schools of New Age doctrine representing themselves as teaching ancient esoteric doctrines such as syncretism, reincarnation, yoga, symbolism, meditation, astrology, Gnosticism, magic, spiritual alchemy and Kabbalah.
- Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy
- Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
- Bohumil Sláma (2010). Zapomenutý prorok Tomáš G. Masaryk (in Czech). Atelier Sláma. ISBN 978-8025-484333. “Metafyzika - nemám ten pojem rád, patrně že jsem takový nepoddajný empirik a praktik. V metafyzice lidé hledají bůhvíjaké hluboké a tajemné vědomosti, a zatím právě metafyzika, aspoň jak byla pěstována posud, je na obsah chudá, chudičká; je to jen malý konkurenční podnik, který si zřídila filozofie proti teologii.”