Top positive review
Deeply complicated, and profound, The Metaphysics is amazing.
on 26 September 2017
Aristotle's Metaphysics is a deeply complicated and truly amazing treatise. Despite reading the book, I still ask the question what is metaphysics? It seems the early philosopers, including Aristotle, believed it was a serious science, comparable to physics or mathematics, but I think time has told that metaphysics is simply a branch of philosophy. In the 4th century BC context, however, the book is truly remarkable. Aristotle investigates being qua being, or being in so far as it is being, as well as the principles and causes of things that exist, also species and genus, substance (which turns to be the form of species), in fact the central doctrine of the Metaphysics, is that the foundation of the world is natural substance and not some separate and ideal entity, whether mathematical or other. A recurring phrase in the inquiry is what-it-was-to-be-that-thing? This also turns out to be substance. Essence is also discussed, as well as accident, potentiality and actuality, form and matter, the existence of mathematical objects, and a prime-mover God. There's a lot more to metaphysics than simply listing the main subjects, but for a layman that's about all I can explain. As the book is very complicated I would only recommend it to very advanced readers, for example, Ibn Sina (Avicenna), one of the greatest Medieval Islamic philosophers, said that he had read the Metaphysics of Aristotle forty times, but still did not understand it.