The Science Sought for … Aristotle and the Problem of Metaphysics (pt. 2 – Science of Being)

Part one

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In this, second, part of series of podcasts on Aristotle’s metaphysics we proceed to explore book gamma of Metaphysics. It is a crucial treatise for understanding, not only Aristotle’s philosophy, but also it serves as a window in the world quite different than ours and notion of science diametrically opposed to what we today denote by this word.

Namely, book gamma is an analysis of what Aristotle calls Being insofar as it is Being (Greek: on he on) – the one, definite instance on grounds of which we name everything else ‘a being’.

While the question of Being in the sense of “that by which is everything that is” still attracts some attention of philosophers, as a subject of philosophical discipline named ontology (a science of being in general), Aristotle’s approach is looked upon as a relic of the ancient world, worthy only of antiquarian consideration.

As I hold diametrically opposed view, namely, that Aristotle’s methodical investigation in the both foundation of the world and human thought trying to figure it out is downright brilliant and as actual as it was when he walked the Earth, the first portion of podcasts deals with peculiarities of Aristotle’s method.

Nowadays, interpreting ancient philosophers almost exclusively consists into reading into them something of modern and postmodern prejudices so, in order to really figure out what Aristotle is saying, I’ll argue that this approach is obsolete, useless and obfuscating.

This is exemplified by wording Aristotle uses and which discloses that he in fact puts in the question things we take for granted, while takes for granted things contemporary philosophers deem unreal.

One of those things, a crucial one for that matter, is an ultimate object of knowledge: Being qua Being.

I’ll demonstrate why I think Aristotle’s confidence in affirming the real existence of this ultimate Being is quite natural and in fact consistent with the way most people think, as opposed to the modern standpoint which deems it ultimately an illusion of human mind (Kant) or even a malady of language (Wittgenstein at al).

This ultimate reality on grounds of which the word ‘reality’ applies to everything else is a precondition of all knowledge.

 

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