August 16, 2009

OED on Metaphysical

Oxford English Dictionary: Metaphysical 1. Of or belonging to, or of the nature of, metaphysics; such as is recognized by metaphysics [which describes certain fields of academics] b. Applied with more or less of reproach to reasoning, ideas, etc. which are considered oversubtle, or too abstract 2. Based on abstract general reasoning determined on theoretic or a priori principles. 3. [Partly in a pseudo-etymological sense = 'beyond what is physical'] a. Applied, esp. in contrast to physical, to what is immaterial, incorporeal, or supersensible. b. That is above or goes beyond the laws of nature; belonging to an operation or agency which is more than physical or natural; supernatural. c. Surpassing what is natural or ordinary; extraordinary, transcendent. 4. Of persons, their minds, etc.: Addicted to or fitted for the study of metaphysics. 5. Adopted by Johnson as the designation of certain 17th cent. poets (chief of whom were Donne and Cowley) addicted to 'witty conceits' and far-fetched imagery.

In case anyone was uncertain, my recent use of the term has alligned (and will definitely continue to allign) with definition number three.

Many thanks to my friend Lou for reminding me to clarify that. :-)

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