Aristotle considered the most fundamental features of reality in the twelve books of the Μεταφυσικη(Metaphysics). Although experience of what happens is a key to all demonstrative knowledge, Aristotle supposed that the abstract study of "being qua being" must delve more deeply, in order to understand why things happen the way they do. A quick review of past attempts at achieving this goal reveals that earlier philosophers had created more difficult questions than they had answered: the Milesians over-emphasized material causes; Anaxagoras over-emphasized mind; and Plato got bogged down in the theory of forms. Aristotle intended to do better. Although any disciplined study is promising because there is an ultimate truth to be discovered, the abstractness of metaphysical reasoning requires that we think about the processes we are employing even as we use them in search of that truth. As always, Aristotle assumed that the structure of language and logic naturally mirrors the way things really are. Thus, the major points of each book are made by carefully analyzing our linguistic practices as a guide to the ultimate nature of what is. Fundamental Truths
It is reasonable to begin, therefore, with the simplest rules of logic, which embody the most fundamental principles applying to absolutely everything that is: The Law of Non-Contradiction in logic merely notes that no assertion is both true and false, but applied to reality this simple rule entails that nothing can both "be . . . " and "not be . . . " at the same time, although we will of course want to find room to allow for things to change. Thus, neither strict Protagorean relativism nor Parmenidean immutability offer a correct account of the nature of reality. (Metaphysics IV 3-6) The Law of Excluded Middle in logic states the necessity that either an assertion or its negation must be true, and this entails that there is no profound indeterminacy in the realm of reality. Although our knowledge of an...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document