Superphysics Superphysics
Part 2

The Questions of Metaphysics

by Aristotle Icon
3 minutes  • 499 words

Our problems are:

  1. Does the investigation of the causes belongs to one or more sciences?

  2. Should such a science survey only the first principles of substance? Or also the principles on which all men base their proofs.

For example, is it possible to assert and deny one thing at the same time?

  1. If this science deals with substance, does one science deal with all substances? Or more than one?

Are all sciences akin? Or are some of them ‘forms of Wisdom’ and the others something else?

  1. Do sensible substances alone exist? Or do others also exist besides them?

Are these others of one kind? Or are there several classes of substances? This is supposed by those who believe both in Forms and in mathematical objects between these and sensible things.

  1. Are our investigation concerned only with substances? Or also with the essential attributes of substances?

The dialecticians ask about:

  • the same and other
  • like and unlike and contrariety
  • prior and posterior
  • and so on.

They start their investigation from probable premises only. Should we inquire into all these?

Should we discuss the essential attributes of these themselves? Should we ask:

  • what each of these is
  • does one thing always have one contrary?
  1. Are the principles and elements of things the genera? Or are they parts present in each thing, into which it is divided?

  2. If they are the genera, are they the genera that are predicated proximately of the individuals? Or are they the highest genera?

For example, is animal or man the first principle and the more independent of the individual instance?

  1. We must discuss especially whether there is, besides the matter, anything that is a cause in itself or not.

Can this exist apart or not?

Is it one or more in number?

Is there something apart from the concrete thing (by the concrete thing I mean the matter with something already predicated of it)?

Or is there nothing apart?

Or is there something in some cases, though not in others, and what sort of cases these are?

  1. Are the principles limited in number or in kind, both those in the definitions and those in the substratum?

  2. Are the principles of perishable and of imperishable things the same or different?

Are they all imperishable or are those of perishable things perishable?

  1. The Pythagoreans and Plato said that unity and being are not attributes of something else, but the substance of existing things. Is this true?

Empedocles says that this is not the case. The substratum is something else, such as love. Someone else says fire. Another says water or air. Which is true?

That is the most perplexing question.

  1. Are the principles are universal or like individual things?

  2. Do they exist potentially or actually? Are they potential or actual in any other sense than in reference to movement?

  3. Are numbers and lines and figures and points a kind of substance or not, and if they are substances are they separate from sensible things or present in them?

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