An analysis of the desire for knowledge in book alpha of the metaphysics by aristotle

Hence when all such inventions were already established, the sciences which do not aim at giving pleasure or at the necessities of life were discovered, and first in the places where men first began to have leisure.

Aristotle’s Metaphysics (Summary)

And Speusippus made still more kinds of substance, beginning with the One, and assuming principles for each kind of substance, one for numbers, another for spatial magnitudes, and then another for the soul; and by going on in this way he multiplies the kinds of substance.

According to this argument, then, no one would be right who either says the first principle is any of the elements other than fire, or supposes it to be denser than air but rarer than water.

Metaphysics Summary

For people say all things are earth Hesiod says earth was produced first of corporeal things; so primitive and popular has the opinion been. In principle there cannot be, because we cannot abolish all the world to observe an undisturbed moving thing.

If, then, this--the matter--is some definite thing, evidently the numbers themselves too will be ratios of something to something else. For the seed is productive in the same way as the things that work by art; for it has the form potentially, and that from which the seed comes has in a sense the same name as the offspring only in a sense, for we must not expect parent and offspring always to have exactly the same name, as in the production of 'human being' from 'human' for a 'woman' also can be produced by a 'man'-unless the offspring be an imperfect form; which is the reason why the parent of a mule is not a mule.

We suppose first, then, that the wise man knows all things, as far as possible, although he has not knowledge of each of them in detail; secondly, that he who can learn things that are difficult, and not easy for man to know, is wise sense-perception is common to all, and therefore easy and no mark of Wisdom ; again, that he who is more exact and more capable of teaching the causes is wiser, in every branch of knowledge; and that of the sciences, also, that which is desirable on its own account and for the sake of knowing it is more of the nature of Wisdom than that which is desirable on account of its results, and the superior science is more of the nature of Wisdom than the ancillary; for the wise man must not be ordered but must order, and he must not obey another, but the less wise must obey him.

But these are evidences of persistence of motion, not at all the same thing as inertia of motion. Why then are the one set of numbers causes of the other set. What has being but is not a thing must depend on some thing for its being. What does this imply. Can the rock be doing nothing.

Before Aristotle sets out his own views, he offers a critical examination of his predecessors' views, ending up with a lengthy discussion of Plato's doctrine of the Forms. But the science which investigates causes is also instructive, in a higher degree, for the people who instruct us are those who tell the causes of each thing.

Warmth in the body, then, is either a part of health or is followed either directly or through several intermediate steps by something similar which is a part of health; and this, viz. He threw out indefinite suggestions about the other contrarieties, but the Pythagoreans declared both how many and which their contraricties are.

Aristotle's Metaphysics Alpha: Symposium Aristotelicum

It is a composite of material and form, yet it is the material in it that is constantly being used up and replaced, while the form remains intact. At least, in many cases he makes love segregate things, and strife aggregate them. And so the formula of the circle does not include that of the segments, but the formula of the syllable includes that of the letters; for the letters are parts of the formula of the form, and not matter, but the segments are parts in the sense of matter on which the form supervenes; yet they are nearer the form than the bronze is when roundness is produced in bronze.

Aristotle presents here his philosophical project as a search for wisdom, which is found in the knowledge of the first principles allowing us to explain whatever exists. Of the other three elements each has found some judge on its side; for some maintain that fire, others that water, others that air is the element.


But when any one asks whether the right angle and the circle and the animal are prior, or the things into which they are divided and of which they consist, i. For instance, in book Alpha, Aristotle proclaims a famous sentence that reads “All men by nature desire to know.

” He claims that we are all constantly in the pursuit of gaining intricate knowledge. Metaphysics By Aristotle.

Commentary: Many comments have been posted about Metaphysics. Download: as we pointed out previously in our book on the various senses of words; in definition, (2) in order of knowledge, (3) in time. Aristotle's work in metaphysics is therefore motivated by this desire for wisdom, which requires the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake.

By the fourth book he begins to attack some of the sophistry that has contaminated the field. Book I or Alpha outlines "first philosophy", Because of their knowledge of first causes and principles, they are better fitted to command, rather than to obey.

Book Alpha also surveys previous philosophies from Thales to Plato, especially their treatment of causes.

Aristotle's Metaphysics translated with an introduction by H. Lawson. Aristotle. Metaphysics. translated by W. D. Ross.

Aristotle's Metaphysics

Book Α. 1. All men by nature desire to know. An indication of this is the delight we take in our senses; for even knowledge to be more of the nature of Wisdom than the productive. Clearly then Wisdom is. BRUCE-ROBERTSON: A COMMENTARY ON BOOK ALPHA ELATTON OF ARISTOTLE'S METAPHYSICS 3 theoria; chapter two is concerned with the condition of its possibility, understood as the ground of all thinking and being; and chapter three is concerned with the question of.

An analysis of the desire for knowledge in book alpha of the metaphysics by aristotle
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