Substance has been a leading idea in the history of Western philosophy. Joshua Hoffman and Gary S. Rosenkrantz explain the nature and existence of individual substances, including both living things and inanimate objects. Specifically written for students new to this important and often complex subject, Substance provides both the historical and contemporary overview of the debate.Great Philosophers of the past, such as Aristotle, Descartes, Spinoza, Leibnitz, Locke, and Berkeley were profoundly interested in the concept of substance. And, the authors argue, a belief in the existence of substances is an integral part of our everyday world view. But what constitutes substance? Was Aristotle right to suggest that artefacts like tables and ships don't really exist?Substance: Its Nature and Existence is one of the first non-technical, accessible guides to this central problem and will be of great use to students of metaphysics and philosophy.