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The term was introduced by the scholarch of the school of peripatetics in Rome, Andronikos of Rhodes, when systematizing the works of Aristotle. Treatises on the foundations and causes of being (14 books) he placed after Aristotle’s “Physics” (8 books), and called, respectively, “Metaphysics”. For the literal understanding of the term, already in late antiquity, a figurative meaning was fixed — that which is outside of physical phenomena, the primary nature of existence, being. For Aristotle, the doctrine of the “first kinds of being”, immaterial “principles” and the causes of all existence was not only not something secondary, but on the contrary, formed the basis of philosophizing. Not knowing the concept of “metaphysics”, Aristotle called its problems “the first philosophy” or “the first science”. This primacy of all other philosophical problems, in his opinion, is determined by the fact that metaphysics ponders the initial and fundamental principles of being.

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The ideas of metaphysics are actively covered on the pages of peer-reviewed scientific and philosophical journals and religious press published on all five continents. The idealistic picture of the world is considered in the framework of TV shows, documentaries and videos shown on scientific and educational channels.

In classical philosophy, metaphysics is the doctrine of supersensible transcendental foundations and principles of being, which was an alternative to natural philosophy as a philosophy of nature. In this context, in classical philosophy to the first gender. In the nineteenth century, metaphysics was practically identified with ontology as the doctrine of being.

In non–classical philosophy, metaphysics is a speculative-philosophical method that is an alternative to direct empiricism (in positivism) and dialectical method (in Marxism), as well as an inalienable way of being a person in the world and its comprehension (in the philosophy of M. Heidegger), subjective modelling of reality (in the phenomenology of E. Husserl).

In the post–non-classical interpretation, metaphysics is classical philosophy as such, that is, a philosophy that has two fundamental assumptions: 1) the presumption of the unity of being, which is objectified into the logos; 2) the presumption of the unity of being and thinking.

If we trace the development of philosophical thought in ancient Greece, we can see that the pre-Socratics were not very interested in man as such. They were much more concerned about the universe as a whole and the foundations upon which it is arranged. Therefore, when Socrates showed up in Athens and focused his intellectual efforts on cognition and moral issues, it became a revolution in the discourse of the time, marking the transition to the same classical era. Plato, in general, continued the trend of Socrates, the concept of good, both individual and collective, is one of the centrepieces for his philosophy. Aristotle, on the other hand, combined these two tendencies of the previous philosophical thought.

In his “Metaphysics”, which, by the way, he called “the first philosophy”, thereby indicating its fundamental nature, he formulated four general foundations of being, as he understood them:

Matter (substance) as something from which everything is formed and which, thereby, makes it possible for something to exist.

Form (idea, eidos) that, which being embodied in matter, constitutes it into the world of phenomena, that is, phenomena of which we all are a part. It is the form as a certain principle of the organization of matter that makes this or that phenomenon what it is, and not something else.

The root cause (the immovable engine) is the most fundamental basis of all. That on which the chain of causality closes and that which, remaining unchanged, initiates the whole movement or life, which, according to Aristotle, is the same. It is the closest to the concept of God.

The goal or what everything is going to. In the terminology of Aristotle, as well as his teacher Plato, this is what was called Good. In the abstract-philosophical sense, regardless of the concrete benefits.

What is his metaphysics?

In the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle moves from the general (the universe) to the individual (man), in particular, deals with what a person is, what is peculiar to him and how he can live better. He belongs to the classical definitions of man as an “animal of social (later political) virtue”, as a “golden mean” between extremes, which are disadvantages. For example, courage is the golden mean between cowardice and recklessness, and generosity is between avarice and extravagance.

What is  the «good»  according to Aristotle?

According to Aristotle, the good (happiness) for a person is living according to the virtues, to which those who see eudaemonism in this concept vehemently object, because right and honest actions do not always lead to joy and pleasure.

Moreover, not unlike Plato, Aristotle saw the importance of educating people for a happy life, as well as the presence in society of people who are not capable of being happy. For such views, both were often criticized by modern liberal communist ideologists, such as Karl Popper.

Aristotle (384 – 322 BC) was an ancient Greek scientist-encyclopedist, philosopher and logician, the founder of classical (formal) logic.

Michael Lacks is a professor at the University of Notre Dame.

K. Popper notes that logical terms are incorrectly used in dialectics, and the concepts of “negation” and “contradiction” have a certain logical meaning different from dialectical.


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