Metaphysics -The Most Interesting Section Of The Library

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Aristotle’s Metaphysics

First published Sun Oct 8, 2000; substantive revision Wed Jun 15, 2016
The first major work in the history of philosophy to bear the title “Metaphysics” was the treatise by Aristotle that we have come to know by that name. But Aristotle himself did not use that title or even describe his field of study as ‘metaphysics’; the name was evidently coined by the first century C.E. editor who assembled the treatise we know as Aristotle’s Metaphysics out of various smaller selections of Aristotle’s works. The title ‘metaphysics’—literally, ‘after the Physics’—very likely indicated the place the topics discussed therein were intended to occupy in the philosophical curriculum. They were to be studied after the treatises dealing with nature (ta phusika). In this entry, we discuss the ideas that are developed in Aristotle’s treatise.

1. The Subject Matter of Aristotle’s Metaphysics
2. The Categories
3. The Role of Substance in the Study of Being Qua Being
4. The Fundamental Principles: Axioms
5. What is Substance?
6. Substance, Matter, and Subject
7. Substance and Essence
8. Substances as Hylomorphic Compounds
9. Substance and Definition
10. Substances and Universals
11. Substance as Cause of Being
12. Actuality and Potentiality
13. Unity Reconsidered
14. Glossary of Aristotelian Terminology
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