An introduction to the philosophy of aristotle in metaphysics

Table of Contents Metaphysics What is known to us as metaphysics is what Aristotle called "first philosophy. Perhaps the starting point of Aristotle's metaphysics is his rejection of Plato's Theory of Forms. In Plato's theory, material objects are changeable and not real in themselves; rather, they correspond to an ideal, eternal, and immutable Form by a common name, and this Form can be perceived only by the intellect. Thus a thing perceived to be beautiful in this world is in fact an imperfect manifestation of the Form of Beauty.

An introduction to the philosophy of aristotle in metaphysics

The questions Plato had raised and attempted to answer were worth pursuing and the concept of form was a valuable contribution. There were many criticisms that Aristotle put forward but for our purposes we will discuss the three most important. The third man problem 2. The problem of separation 3.

The problem of accounting for change 1. The Form explains our ability to see that different human beings for example are really examples of the same idea the Form Human Being. Does the Form really do this?

Suppose I pointed to James and Jennifer and asked whether you think they are similar. You may say yes or you may say no but you will probably want me to clarify what makes them similar. To do this, suppose I point to Paul and say that he explains what is similar about James and Jennifer.

Have I really answered the question of similarity? In other words, all I have done is offer a third man to explain the original similarity.

The Subject Matter of Aristotle’s Metaphysics

This could go on forever! This is the third man problem. They are the cause of objects and our knowledge of them. OK, how does causality usually work? One thing causes another to happen but in order for this to occur the first thing must be in contact with the second.

For example, if I say I am going to cause the lights to go out in the room, I need to turn off the light switch or cut the power or something. In any case, I have to make contact with something to generate the effect of the lights going out. If I just stand there and say that I am going to cause the lights to go out, nothing happens.

There must be contact between cause and effect. Remember, the Forms are transcendent, so they are separate from the world of objects. So how could they be the cause of objects?

In fact, he agrees with Plato that forms are a cause of objects. But Aristotle maintains that forms cannot be the cause if they are separate from the objects. Forms are not separate from the objects. Instead of postulating that the forms are transcendent Aristotle says that they are immanent; that is that are in the objects themselves.

Just as well, we have a hard enough time explaining things in this world without having to worry about a transcendent world of Forms!

This insight, that Forms are in the object, has some important implications that we will come to in a moment. But these objects the Forms are at the same time the cause of objects which do change. That must mean that the change in the world of becoming can be explained by the world of being.

To explain this we need to understand the nature of causality in greater detail. While it is true that forms are a cause of physical objects, they are not the cause. In fact, says Aristotle there are four distinct causes of objects which can be understood as answers to questions we may have about the nature of any object.

What is the object? This question can be answered by the formal cause the form. How was the object made?He covers metaphysics, epistemology and philosophy of language, and draws insightful connections between these subjects.

While he admits that this book is not elementary, he also insists that it does not presuppose any previous acquaintance with philosophy/5(3).

Metaphysics; Philosophy of Nature; The Soul and Psychology; Ethics; Politics; Art and Poetics; 1. Life.

From the SparkNotes Blog

Aristotle was born in BCE at Stagirus, a now extinct Greek colony and seaport on the coast of Thrace. Aristotle was born of a well-to-do family in the Macedonian town of Stagira in BCE.

His father, Nicomachus, was a physician who died when Aristotle was young. In , when Aristotle was seventeen, his uncle, Proxenus, sent him . Metaphysics; Philosophy of Nature; The Soul and Psychology; Ethics; Politics; Art and Poetics; 1.

Life. Aristotle was born in BCE at Stagirus, a now extinct Greek colony and . 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 insofar as it is being.

An introduction to the philosophy of aristotle in metaphysics

It examines what can be asserted about any being insofar as it is and not because of any special qualities it has. Also covered are different kinds of . Metaphysics Essay Examples. 37 total results.

An Introduction to Aristotle Life Mark Daniels on his life, ideas and place in the history of Western thought. Aristotle (BCE) lived during the time when Philip of Macedon was conquering the various small Greek city states such as Athens and welding them into the Macedonian Empire. Revisionary Metaphysics based on the assumption that the categories in use, expressed by ordinary languages, are too flawed to salvage, and should be replaced by new and better categories developed by philosophers themselves. Metaphysics; Philosophy of Nature; The Soul and Psychology; Ethics; Politics; Art and Poetics; 1. Life. Aristotle was born in BCE at Stagirus, a now extinct Greek colony and .

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Aristotle's Metaphysics (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)