There was a German philosopher called Hegel.
I am trying to make some study of Marx at the moment, but I have become sidetracked by Hegel. You see, Marx began his career as an Hegelian - a student of Hegel. How critical or uncritical a student, I have yet to find out. And Hegel, in my view, was a metaphysician. Perhaps the last great practitioner of metaphysics in western philosophy. And I think that makes him important. Since Hegel, the advance of science has effectively discredited Metaphysics as a branch of philosophical speculation. So that today, I should imagine, it is practically banned from academic courses in philosophy. I don't know this - as I have only once taken an academic course in philosophy myself - but I can well imagine it to be the case. My point?
There are a couple of metaphysical questions, which I have drawn from Hegel, which I think are worth considering. I will state them bluntly:
What if we are the means by which a metaphysical entity learns about the world? What if a metaphysical entity learns about material reality through our experience of it? What if we are the means by which it comes to know...?
These questions have been drawn from Hegel's idea that there exists a sort of universal consciousness of which we are the individual aspects, or facets.
Hegel is a fascinating philosopher. And thinking about his work leaves me with the feeling that what western philosophy most needs....is A New Metaphysics.