Metaphysics as the First Philosophy

In Edward Feser (ed.), Aristotle on Method and Metaphysics. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 49-67 (2013)
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Abstract

Aristotle talks about 'the first philosophy' throughout the Metaphysics – and it is metaphysics that Aristotle considers to be the first philosophy – but he never makes it entirely clear what first philosophy consists of. What he does make clear is that the first philosophy is not to be understood as a collection of topics that should be studied in advance of any other topics. In fact, Aristotle seems to have thought that the topics of Metaphysics are to be studied after those in Physics. In what sense could metaphysics be the first philosophy in the context of contemporary metaphysics? This is the question examined in this essay. Contemporary topics such as fundamentality, grounding, and ontological dependence are considered as possible ways to understand the idea of first philosophy, but I will argue that the best way to understand it is in terms of essence.

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Author's Profile

Tuomas E. Tahko
University of Bristol

References found in this work

Writing the Book of the World.Theodore Sider - 2011 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
On What Grounds What.Jonathan Schaffer - 2009 - In David Manley, David J. Chalmers & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press. pp. 347-383.
Essence and Modality.Kit Fine - 1994 - Philosophical Perspectives 8 (Logic and Language):1-16.
Real Essentialism.David S. Oderberg - 2007 - New York: Routledge.

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