See also:great departments of philosophy (q.v.) . The
See also:term was first applied to one of the
See also:treatises of Aristotle on the basis of the arrangement of the Aristotelian
See also:canon made„ by Andronicus of Rhodes, in which it was placed " after the
See also:physical treatises" with the description' ra
See also:Agra ra
See also:Oat Ka . The term was used not in the
See also:modern sense of above or transcending nature (a sense which /sera cannot bear), but simply to convey the idea that the
See also:treatise so-called comes " after " the physical treatises.' It is therefore nothing more than a
See also:literary accident that the term has been applied to that department or discipline of philosophy which deals with first principles . Aristotle himself described the subject
See also:matter of the treatise as " First ' On the true
See also:order of the Aristotelian treatises see ARISTOTLE . After C . Claus, Schriften der Gesellsch.
See also:sus Beford. der gesammten Naturwissen. su Marburg . (i) first antenna; (2) compound
See also:eye; (3)
See also:simple eye; (4) biramous appendages . (After J .
See also:Muller.) Philosophy" or "
See also:Theology," which deals with being as being (Metaph. r. i., Eariv brwri n vs it Oewpei r8 ov ;3 Sv Kai rd roirrcq inreiPxovra KaB' afro) . From this phrase is derived the later term "
See also:Ontology " (q.v.) . The misapprehension of the significance of pert& led to various mistaken uses of the term "
See also:metaphysics," e.g. for that which is concerned with the supernatural, not only by the schoolmen but even as
See also:late as 17th-century
See also:English writers, and within narrower limits the term has been dangerously ambiguous even in the hands of modern philosophers (see below) . In the widest sense it may include both the " first philosophy " of Aristotle, and the theory of knowledge (in what sense can there be true knowledge?), i.e. both ontology and
See also:epistemology (q.v.), and this is perhaps the most convenient use of the term;
See also:Kant, on the other
See also:hand, would represent metaphysics as being " nothing more than the inventory of all that is given us by pure reason, systematically arranged " (i.e. epistemology) .
The earliest "metaphysicians " concerned themselves with the nature of being (ontology), seeking for the unity which they postulated behind the multiplicity of phenomena (see IONIAN SCHOOL OF PHILOSOPHY and articles on the
See also:separate thinkers); later thinkers tended to inquire rather into the nature of knowledge as the necessary pre-requisite of ontological investigation . The extent to which these two attitudes have been combined or separated is discussed in the ensuing article which deals with the various
See also:schools of modern metaphysics in relation to the principles of the Aristotelian " first philosophy."' (X) I.—THE SCIENCE OF BEING Side by side with psychology, the science of mind, and with logic, the science of reasoning, metaphysics is tending gradually to reassert its
See also:ancient Aristotelian position as the science of being in general . Not long ago, in England at all events, metaphysics was merged in psychology . But with the decline of dogmatic belief and the spread of religious doubt—as the
See also:special sciences also grow more general, and the natural sciences become more speculative about matter and force,
See also:evolution and teleology—men begin to wonder again about the nature and origin of things; just as it was the decay of polytheism in Greek religion and his own discoveries in natural science which impelled Aristotle to metaphysical questions . There is, however, a certain difference in the way of approaching things . Aristotle emphasized being as being, without always sufficiently asking whether the things whose existence he asserted are really knowable . We, on the contrary, mainly through the influence of
See also:Descartes, rather ask what are the things we know, and there-fore, some more and some less, come to connect ontology with epistemology, and in consequence come to treat metaphysics in relation to psychology and logic, from which epistemology is an offshoot . To this pressing question then—What is the
See also:world as we know it?—three kinds of definite answers are returned: those of materialism,
See also:idealism and
See also:realism, according to the emphasis laid by metaphysicians on
See also:body, on mind, or on both .
See also:Meta-physical materialism is the view that everything known is body or matter; but while according to ancient materialists soul is only another body, according to modern materialists mind with-out soul is only an attribute or
See also:function of body . Metaphysical idealism is the view that everything known is mind, or some
See also:mental state or other, which some idealists suppose to require a substantial soul, others not; while all agree that 'body has no different being apart from mind . Metaphysical realism is the intermediate view that everything known is either body or soul, neither of which alone exhaust's the universe of being . Aristotle, the founder of metaphysics as a distinct science, was also the founder of metaphysical realism, and still remains its
See also:main authority .
His view was that all things are substances, in the sense of distinct individuals, each of which has a being of its I The article is supplemented by e.g . IDEALISM;
See also:PRAGMATISM; RELATIVITY OF KNOWLEDGE, while separate discussions of ancient and
See also:medieval philosophers will be found in
See also:biographical articles and articles on the chief philosophical schools, e.g .
METAPONTUM (Gr. Meraaovrtov, mod. Metaponto)
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