Difference in Metaphysics Between Aristotle and Kant

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Topics: Metaphysics
What is the central difference between metaphysics as Kant conceives it, and metaphysics as Aristotle conceives it? Argue in support of one or the other view.

Metaphysics is usually taken to involve both questions of what is existence and what types of things exist; in order to answer either questions, one will find itself using and investigating the concepts of being. Aristotle proposed the first of these investigations which he called ‘first philosophy’, also known as ‘the science of being’ however overtime his writings came to be best known as ‘Metaphysics’ in which he studied being qua being with a central theme of how substance may be defined as a category of being. Kant who is a nominalist criticized both Aristotelian and therefore realists’ ideas of metaphysics by suggesting that they seek to go beyond the limits of human knowledge. Furthermore Kant argued that the structure of the world as it is in itself is unreachable to us; metaphysicians must be content to explain the structure of our thinking about that world. In this essay I will examine the two main exponents of such a doctrine in favor of realists by looking at the main differences of Metaphysics as Aristotle and Kant conceive it, which is centered on the all important question of whether metaphysics is a science of mind or of being.
There have been disagreements between philosophers about the nature of metaphysics; Aristotle sometimes characterizes the discipline as the attempt to identify the first cause or better referred to as the unmoved mover and other times as the very universal science of being qua being. It is however important to remember that both of these characterizations identify one and the same discipline. On the other hand the empiricists and Kant were critical of both Aristotelian and rationalist ideas of metaphysics, by arguing that both disciplines seek to exceed the limits of human knowledge. Kant argued that the structure of the world as it is in itself is inaccessible to us



Bibliography: Ackrill, J.L. 1995. Aristotle. London: Routledge. 161 Allison, H.E Barnes, J. 1995. The Cambridge companion to Aristotle. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press Buroker, J.V.2006 Collingwood, R.G, 1966. An essay on Metaphysics. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Hanna, R. 2006. Kant, Science and Human Nature. Oxford University Press: Oxford. Loux, J. 2006. Metaphysics a contemporary introduction. London: Routledge Ross, D Shields, C. 2007. Aristotle. London: Routledge Gardner, S Smith, N.K. 2007. Critique of Pure Reason. London: Palgrave Macmillan Warrington, J

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