Here is an excerpt of a wonderful article/essay I found on metaphysics. Definitely worth a read….
Presented by AWPNT
This site was selected as one of the “Best 1,001 Web Sites” by PCComputing (December 1996).
The term metaphysics originally referred to the writings of Aristotle that came after his writings on physics, in the arrangement made by Andronicus of Rhodes about three centuries after Aristotle’s death.
Traditionally, metaphysics refers to the branch of philosophy that attempts to understand the fundamental nature of all reality, whether visible or invisible. It seeks a description so basic, so essentially simple, so all-inclusive that it applies to everything, whether divine or human or anything else. It attempts to tell what anything must be like in order to be at all.
To call one a metaphysician in this traditional, philosophical sense indicates nothing more than his or her interest in attempting to discover what underlies everything. Old materialists, who said that there is nothing but matter in motion, and current naturalists, who say that everything is made of lifeless, non-experiencing energy, are just as much to be classified as metaphysicians as are idealists, who maintain that there is nothing but ideas, or mind, or spirit.
Perhaps the best definition of materialism is that of Charles Hartshorne ( Insights and Oversights of Great Thinkers , p. 17): “the denial that the most pervasive processes of nature involve any such psychical functions as sensing, feeling, remembering, desiring, or thinking.” Idealists assert what materialists here deny. Dualists say that mind and matter are equally real, while neutral monists claim that there is a neutral reality that can appear as either mind or matter. Philosophers generally are content to divide reality into two halves, mind and matter (extended and unextended reality) and do not emphasize such distinctions within the mind half as spirit and soul.