Accepting the traditional definition of metaphysics as the study of ultimate reality, Peter van Inwagen builds this textbook around three crucial questions: What are the most general features of the world? Why does the world exist? And what is the nature and place of rational beings in the world?In the informal but precise style for which he is known, van Inwagen surveys the classical answers to these questions and provides examples of how to think about them more clearly and deeply. He introduces readers to most of the perennial topics of metaphysics, including appearance and reality, identity and individuation, objectivity, necessary existence, mind and body, teleology, and freedom of the will. Metaphysics is engaging and provocative, and through it van Inwagen provides a lucid guide to the study of First Questions and a paradigm of philosophical exposition.