Selected Problems of Metaphysics and Ontology
2. Clarification of Terms
92. Clarifi cation of Terms 2.1. Metaphysics It is not easy to deﬁ ne metaphysics. Its importance, method, and subject have been changed quite often in history. It was delimited to science, theology, and later within philosophy, to non-metaphysical philosophical conceptions. The term metaphysics is of Greek origin (ta meta, ta fysika, that which is beyond physics) This term was ﬁ rst documented in the works of the Peripatetic Nicholas of Damascus (born probably in 64 AD), who was probably inspired by another Peripatetic – Androni- cus of Rhodes (also born around approximately 60 AD). Andronicus put Aristotle’s works in order according to subject where works about “the ﬁ rst philosophy” were put “meta” i.e. “behind” the works about nature (Gr. phy- sis). Aristotle did not know the term metaphysics and he 10 classiﬁ ed the problems, which were later categorised by western philosophy as metaphysics, as “the ﬁ rst philoso- phy,” “wisdom,” or “theological science” (Schmidinger, Metaphysic: Ein Grundkurs, 2010). For Aristotle, metaphysics is a science, which deals with the knowledge of: 1. being as a being 2. principles and causes 3. the highest existence (The First Mover) and his rela- tionship to the world According to Aristotle’s deﬁ nition, metaphysics is: “There is a science which investigates being as being and the attributes which belong to this in virtue of its own nature. Now this is not the same as any of the so-called special sci- ences; for none of these others treats universally of being as being. They cut off a...
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