Metaphysica (Metaphysics) by Aristotle, Book Α
Filed under: Reader of the Stack Goes Canonical — Ibis at 12:02 pm on Sunday, February 15, 2009

I’m starting out on my next Aristotelian adventure, this time into the wilds of the Metaphysics. I’ve got my notes all lined up and an glossary of terms in Greek, English, and Latin. I’m going to try to make a little summary of each chapter as I read it, but I might not manage to do them all. I think this is the first book of Aristotle’s that has so much support material available. I guess people actually still read and study this one (as opposed to, say, Meteorology…).

Book Alpha
1. The advance from sensation through memory, experience, and art, to theoretical knowledge.


  • the desire for knowledge is part of human nature
  • learning is tied up with the senses and the capacity of memory
  • it is from memory that humans derive experience
  • skill arises from experience
  • experience is the knowledge of particulars and skill that of universals
  • those who have experience are more successful in practical situations than those with just theoretical knowledge
  • however, those with skill or knowledge are considered more wise because they know causes, not just the ‘that’ it happens & they are the ones who can teach
  • sensory input is not considered wisdom because there is no knowledge of causes
  • it is only when societies have leisure time or leisure classes that knowledge can be sought and obtained

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