Selected Problems of Metaphysics and Ontology
2. Clarification of Terms
It is not easy to define 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 first documented in the works of the Peripatetic Nicholas of Damascus (born probably in 64 AD), who was probably inspired by another Peripatetic – Andronicus of Rhodes (also born around approximately 60 AD). Andronicus put Aristotle’s works in order according to subject where works about “the first philosophy” were put “meta” i.e. “behind” the works about nature (Gr. physis). Aristotle did not know the term metaphysics and he ← 9 | 10 → classified the problems, which were later categorised by western philosophy as metaphysics, as “the first philosophy,” “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
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