On Wisdom and Philosophy: The First Two Chapters of Aristotle’s Metaphysics A

"On Wisdom and Philosophy: The First Two Chapters of Aristotle's Metaphysics A," Review of Metaphysics, 32, No. 2 (Dec 1978): 205-215. Reprinted in The Argument of the Action, 2000.


“Each of Aristotle’s three most theoretical writings begins with a critique of his predecessors but whereas the second books of his Physics and On Soul present his own definitions of nature and soul respectively, the second book of the Metaphysics seems to be nothing but a series of questions. Nature and soul are there regardless of what anyone might say about them; but without perplexity there is nothing to metaphysics. Metaphysics seems to be the only science that in asking questions discovers all of its own field, and so, in completing philosophy, somehow returns philosophy to its origin in wonder. Perhaps, t hen, being is not just in speech a question (ti esti), and that which was sought long ago, is sought now, and forever will be sought precisely what being is.”