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PDF Drive is your search engine for PDF files. As of today we Metaphysics. Book. Translated with an Introduction and Commentary by. In a way it is easy. philosophy courses as well as for those interested in metaphysics and the philosophy of Philosophical metaphysics, the subject of this book, is at the far end. This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country.

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Metaphysics is the science of being and asks the question “What really exists?” The .. book Metaphysics by Aristotle [6] written in the fourth century BC. Metaphysics is one of the principal works of Aristotle and the first major work of the I run this site alone and spend an awful lot of time creating these books. For some metaphysics is the ultimate science of reality, surpassing all other branches . This short book gives a brief and elementary overview of a selection of.

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And if it is kinds, which ones: the most generic or the most specific? Is there a cause apart from matter? Is there anything apart from material compounds? Are the principles limited, either in number or in kind? Are the principles of perishable things themselves perishable?

Are the principles universal or particular, and do they exist potentially or actually? Are mathematical objects numbers, lines, figures, points substances? If they are, are they separate from or do they always belong to sensible things?

But it is not always clear precisely how he resolves them, and it is possible that Aristotle did not think that the Metaphysics contains definitive solutions to all of these perplexities.

According to this account, beings can be divided into ten distinct categories. Although Aristotle never says so, it is tempting to suppose that these categories are mutually exclusive and jointly exhaustive of the things there are.

They include substance, quality, quantity, and relation, among others.

Of these categories of beings, it is the first, substance ousia , to which Aristotle gives a privileged position. Substances are unique in being independent things; the items in the other categories all depend somehow on substances.

That is, qualities are the qualities of substances; quantities are the amounts and sizes that substances come in; relations are the way substances stand to one another. Each member of a non-substance category thus stands in this inherence relation as it is frequently called to some substance or other—color is always found in bodies, knowledge in the soul. Neither whiteness nor a piece of grammatical knowledge, for example, is capable of existing on its own.

Metaphysics Books

Each requires for its existence that there be some substance in which it inheres. In addition to this fundamental inherence relation across categories, Aristotle also points out another fundamental relation that obtains between items within a single category. So the genus e. The same holds in non-substance categories. There has been considerable scholarly dispute about these particulars in nonsubstance categories.

Each category thus has the structure of an upside-down tree. The individuals in the category of substance play a special role in this scheme. Indeed, Aristotle offers an argument 2a35—2b7 to establish the primary substances as the fundamental entities in this ontology. For these secondary substances are just the ways in which the primary substances are fundamentally classified within the category of substance. As for the members of non-substance categories, they too depend for their existence on primary substances.

A universal in a non-substance category, e. Similarly, particulars in non-substance categories although there is not general agreement among scholars about what such particulars might be cannot exist on their own. The Role of Substance in the Study of Being Qua Being The Categories leads us to expect that the study of being in general being qua being will crucially involve the study of substance, and when we turn to the Metaphysics we are not disappointed.

As we noted above, metaphysics or, first philosophy is the science which studies being qua being. In this respect it is unlike the specialized or departmental sciences, which study only part of being only some of the things that exist or study beings only in a specialized way e.

Consider an analogy. There are dining tables, and there are tide tables.

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A dining table is a table in the sense of a smooth flat slab fixed on legs; a tide table is a table in the sense of a systematic arrangement of data in rows and columns. Hence it would be foolish to expect that there is a single science of tables, in general, that would include among its objects both dining tables and tide tables. Not all of these are healthy in the same sense. Exercise is healthy in the sense of being productive of health; a clear complexion is healthy in the sense of being symptomatic of health; a person is healthy in the sense of having good health.

Other things are considered healthy only in so far as they are appropriately related to things that are healthy in this primary sense. The beings in the primary sense are substances; the beings in other senses are the qualities, quantities, etc.

An animal, e. But a horse is a being in the primary sense—it is a substance—whereas the color white a quality is a being only because it qualifies some substance. An account of the being of anything that is, therefore, will ultimately have to make some reference to substance.

Hence, the science of being qua being will involve an account of the central case of beings—substances. This, Aristotle says, is the most certain of all principles, and it is not just a hypothesis. It cannot, however, be proved, since it is employed, implicitly, in all proofs, no matter what the subject matter. It is a first principle, and hence is not derived from anything more basic.

Metaphysics books pdf

What, then, can the science of first philosophy say about the PNC? Those who would claim to deny the PNC cannot, if they have any beliefs at all, believe that it is false.

For one who has a belief must, if he is to express this belief to himself or to others, say something—he must make an assertion. He must, as Aristotle says, signify something. But the very act of signifying something is possible only if the PNC is accepted. Without accepting the PNC, one would have no reason to think that his words have any signification at all—they could not mean one thing rather than another.

So anyone who makes any assertion has already committed himself to the PNC. What is Substance?


One might have thought that this question had already been answered in the Categories. This would seem to provide us with both examples of, and criteria for being, primary substances.

He does not seem to doubt that the clearest examples of substances are perceptible ones, but leaves open the question whether there are others as well.

But even if we know that something is a substance, we must still say what makes it a substance—what the cause is of its being a substance. This is the question to which Aristotle next turns. To answer it is to identify, as Aristotle puts it, the substance of that thing. Presumably, this means that if x is a substance, then the substance of x might be either i the essence of x, or ii some universal predicated of x, or iii a genus that x belongs to, or iv a subject of which x is predicated.

This characterization of a subject is reminiscent of the language of the Categories, which tells us that a primary substance is not predicated of anything else, whereas other things are predicated of it. Candidate iv thus seems to reiterate the Categories criterion for being a substance. But there are two reasons to be wary of drawing this conclusion. First, whereas the subject criterion of the Categories told us that substances were the ultimate subjects of predication, the subject criterion envisaged here is supposed to tell us what the substance of something is.

So what it would tell us is that if x is a substance, then the substance of x—that which makes x a substance—is a subject that x is predicated of. Second, as his next comment makes clear, Aristotle has in mind something other than this Categories idea.

For the subject that he here envisages, he says, is either matter or form or the compound of matter and form.

To appreciate the issues Aristotle is raising here, we must briefly compare his treatment of the notion of a subject in the Physics with that in the Categories. In the Categories, Aristotle was concerned with subjects of predication: what are the things we talk about, and ascribe properties to? In the Physics, his concern is with subjects of change: what is it that bears at different times contrary predicates and persists through a process of change?

But there is an obvious connection between these conceptions of a subject, since a subject of change must have one predicate belonging to it at one time that does not belong to it at another time. Subjects of change, that is, are also subjects of predication.

The converse is not true: numbers are subjects of predication—six is even, seven is prime—but not of change.

In the Categories, individual substances a man, a horse were treated as fundamental subjects of predication. They were also understood, indirectly, as subjects of change. These are changes in which substances move, or alter, or grow. What the Categories did not explore, however, are changes in which substances are generated or destroyed.

But the theory of change Aristotle develops in the Physics requires some other subject for changes such as these—a subject of which substance is predicated—and it identifies matter as the fundamental subject of change a31— Change is seen in the Physics as a process in which matter either takes on or loses form. The concepts of matter and form, as we noted, are absent from the Categories. Individual substances—this man or that horse—apart from their accidental characteristics—the qualities, etc.

Although there is metaphysical structure to the fact that, e. This horse is a primary substance, and horse, the species to which it belongs, is a secondary substance. But there is no predicative complex corresponding to the fact that this is a horse in the way that there is such a complex corresponding to the fact that this horse is white.The concepts of matter and form, as we noted, are absent from the Categories.

For these secondary substances are just the ways in which the primary substances are fundamentally classified within the category of substance. However, they had a considerable difficulty with categorizing a group of particularly abstract and hard to comprehend writings dealing with such issues as the notion of being and substance, the first causes or principles of things, the notions of one and many, the problem of change, the existence of mathematical objects and of one God.

Under the proposed interpretation all true subject- predicate statements about the table become logically equivalent, due to the obvious fact that the relation of compresence is symmetric. Hence we think also that the masterworkers in each craft are more honourable and know in a truer sense and are wiser than the manual workers, because they know the causes of the things that are done we think the manual workers are like certain lifeless things which act indeed, but act without knowing what they do, as fire burns,-but while the lifeless things perform each of their functions by a natural tendency, the labourers perform them through habit ; thus we view them as being wiser not in virtue of being able to act, but of having the theory for themselves and knowing the causes.

For to have a judgement that when Callias was ill of this disease this did him good, and similarly in the case of Socrates and in many individual cases, is a matter of experience; but to judge that it has done good to all persons of a certain constitution, marked off in one class, when they were ill of this disease, e.

Of course we need also add the requirement that resemblance classes should be maximal i.