METAPHYS'ICS, n. s as z. [Gr. after, and physics. It is said that this name was given to the science by Aristotle or his followers, who considered the science of natural bodies, physics, as the first in the order of studies, and the science of mind or intelligence to be the second.]

The science of the principles and causes of all things existing; hence,the science of mind or intelligence. This science comprehends ontology, or the science which treats of the nature, essence, and qualities or attributes of being; cosmology, the science of the world, which treats of the nature and laws of matter and of motion; anthroposophy, which treats of the power of man, and the motions by which life is produced; psychology, which treats of the intellectual soul; pneumatology, or the science of spirits or angels, &c. Metaphysical theology, called by Leibnitz and others theodicy, treats of the existence of God, his essence and attributes. These divisions of the science of metaphysics, which prevailed in the ancient schools, are now not much regarded. The natural division of things that exist is into body and mind, things material and immaterial. The former belong to physics, and the latter to the science of metaphysics.