Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Professor Constantine Georgiadis
The purpose of this thesis is to determine--against the background of twentieth century development theories regarding the Metaphysics--what Aristotle conceived metaphysics to be. The position which we defend maintains that Aristotle made at a distinction between the "science of being qua being" (what we today call metaphysics) and "primary philosophy" (or theology). The object of the former is universal being; that of the latter, primary substance (or God). This double role assigned to philosophy must not, however, be constructed to represent two different, and inimical, stages in the Philosopher's thinking on the subject, as in done, for example, by the development theories. What the latter theories point to as antithetical in the aforementioned definitions of philosophy, we defend as compatible definitions. The symbiotic relationship of the latter is made possible in the philosopher who, Aristotle tells us, studies both universal being and primary substance (IV 3, 1005a33-bl). Furthermore, given the fact that primary substance acts at the cause and principle of all being, it will be distinct from its effect, as all effects are from their causes. Given the latter and what we have said above, the distinction between metaphysics and theology cannot be eliminated à la Owens and Merlan, who end up identifying metaphysics with theology. In addition to an examination of the above controversy we also include an analysis of those subjects which figure as most fundamental to Aristotelian metaphysics, viz., substance and theology.
Costanzo, Angelo T., "The Object and Meaning of Metaphysics in Aristotle" (1979). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 297.