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Metaphysics is one of the principal works of Aristotle and the first major work of the branch of philosophy with the same name. The principal subject is "being qua being", or being understood as being. It examines what can be asserted about anything that exists just because of its existence and not because of any special qualities it has. Also covered are different kinds of causation, form and matter, the existence of mathematical objects, and a prime-mover God.
Book I Chapter 12015-06-18
ALL men by nature desire to know. An indication of this is the delight we take in our senses; for even apart from their usefulness they are loved for themselves; and above all others the sense of sight. For not only with a view to action, but even when we are not going to do anything, we prefer seei
Book I Chapter 22015-06-18
Since we are seeking this knowledge, we must inquire of what kind are the causes and the principles, the knowledge of which is Wisdom. If one were to take the notions we have about the wise man, this might perhaps make the answer more evident. We suppose first, then, that the wise man knows all thin
Book I Chapter 32015-06-17
Evidently we have to acquire knowledge of the original causes (for we say we know each thing only when we think we recognize its first cause), and causes are spoken of in four senses. In one of these we mean the substance, i. e. the essence (for the why is reducible finally to the defin
Book I Chapter 42015-06-17
One might suspect that Hesiod was the first to look for such a thing-or some one else who put love or desire among existing things as a principle, as Parmenides, too, does; for he, in constructing the genesis of the universe, says:-Love first of all the Gods she planned. And Hesiod says:-
Book I Chapter 52015-06-16
Contemporaneously with these philosophers and before them, the so-called Pythagoreans, who were the first to take up mathematics, not only advanced this study, but also having been brought up in it they thought its principles were the principles of all things. Since of these principles numbers are b
Book I Chapter 62015-06-16
After the systems we have named came the philosophy of Plato, which in most respects followed these thinkers, but had pecullarities that distinguished it from the philosophy of the Italians. For, having in his youth first become familiar with Cratylus and with the Heraclitean doctrines (that all sen
Book I Chapter 72015-06-15
Our review of those who have spoken about first principles and reality and of the way in which they have spoken, has been concise and summary; but yet we have learnt this much from them, that of those who speak about principle and cause no one has mentioned any principle
Book I Chapter 82015-06-15
Those, then, who say the universe is one and posit one kind of thing as matter, and as corporeal matter which has spatial magnitude, evidently go astray in many ways. For they posit the elements of bodies only, not of incorporeal things, though there are also incorporeal things. And in trying to sta
Book I Chapter 92015-06-14
Let us leave the Pythagoreans for the present; for it is enough to have touched on them as much as we have done. But as for those who posit the Ideas as causes, firstly, in seeking to grasp the causes of the things around us, they introduced others equal in number to these, as if a man who wanted to
Book I Chapter 102015-06-14
It is evident, then, even from what we have said before, that all men seem to seek the causes named in the Physics, and that we cannot name any beyond these; but they seek these vaguely; and though in a sense they have all been described before, in a sense they have not been described at all. For th
Book II Chapter 12015-06-13
THE investigation of the truth is in one way hard, in another easy. An indication of this is found in the fact that no one is able to attain the truth adequately, while, on the other hand, we do not collectively fail, but every one says something true about the nature of things, and while individual
Book II Chapter 22015-06-13
But evidently there is a first principle, and the causes of things are neither an infinite series nor infinitely various in kind. For neither can one thing proceed from another, as from matter, ad infinitum (e. g. flesh from earth, earth from air, air from fire, and so on without stopping), nor can t
Book II Chapter 32015-06-12
The effect which lectures produce on a hearer depends on his habits; for we demand the language we are accustomed to, and that which is different from this seems not in keeping but somewhat unintelligible and foreign because of its unwontedness. For it is the customary that is intelligible. The forc
Book III Chapter 12015-06-12
WE must, with a view to the science which we are seeking, first recount the subjects that should be first discussed. These include both the other opinions that some have held on the first principles, and any point besides these that happens to have been overlooked. For those who wish to get clear of
Book III Chapter 22015-06-11
(1) First then with regard to what we mentioned first, does it belong to one or to more sciences to investigate all the kinds of causes? How could it belong to one science to recognize the principles if these are not contrary? Further, there are many things to which not all the principles pertain. Fo
Book III Chapter 32015-06-11
(6) Apart from the great difficulty of stating the case truly with regard to these matters, it is very hard to say, with regard to the first principles, whether it is the genera that should be taken as elements and principles, or rather the primary constituents of a thing; e. g. It is the primary par
Book III Chapter 42015-06-10
(8) There is a difficulty connected with these, the hardest of all and the most necessary to examine, and of this the discussion now awaits us. If, on the one hand, there is nothing apart from individual things, and the individuals are infinite in number, how then is it possible to get knowledge of
Book III Chapter 52015-06-10
(14) A question connected with these is whether numbers and bodies and planes and points are substances of a kind, or not. If they are not, it baffles us to say what being is and what the substances of things are. For modifications and movements and relations and dispositions and ratios do not seem
Book III Chapter 62015-06-09
In general one might raise the question why after all, besides perceptible things and the intermediates, we have to look for another class of things, i. e. the Forms which we posit. If it is for this reason, because the objects of mathematics, while they differ from the things in this world in some o
Book IV Chapter 12015-06-09
THERE is a science which investigates being as being and the attributes which belong to this in virtue of its own nature. Now this is not the same as any of the so-called special sciences; for none of these others treats universally of being as being. They cut off a part of being and investigate the
Book IV Chapter 22015-06-08
There are many senses in which a thing may be said to be, but all that is is related to one central point, one definite kind of thing, and is not said to be by a mere ambiguity. Everything which is healthy is related to health, one thing in the sense that it
Book IV Chapter 32015-06-08
We must state whether it belongs to one or to different sciences to inquire into the truths which are in mathematics called axioms, and into substance. Evidently, the inquiry into these also belongs to one science, and that the science of the philosopher; for these truths hold good for everything th
Book IV Chapter 42015-06-07
There are some who, as we said, both themselves assert that it is possible for the same thing to be and not to be, and say that people can judge this to be the case. And among others many writers about nature use this language. But we have now posited that it is impossible for anything at the same t
Book IV Chapter 52015-06-07
From the same opinion proceeds the doctrine of Protagoras, and both doctrines must be alike true or alike untrue. For on the one hand, if all opinions and appearances are true, all statements must be at the same time true and false. For many men hold beliefs in which they conflict with one another,
Book IV Chapter 62015-06-06
There are, both among those who have these convictions and among those who merely profess these views, some who raise a difficulty by asking, who is to be the judge of the healthy man, and in general who is likely to judge rightly on each class of questions. But such inquiries are like puzzling over
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