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St. John's University
PHI 3000C
David Becker

Metaphysics Read Journey of metaphysics (5 thedition) pages 3-33 and 57- 68 and Timaeus and Criteus Timaeus dialogue 9/9/13 Intro • Means “after physical science” • Standard compilation of Aristotle’s works. • Tries to get to the ultimate principles of reality: what is the universe all about? • Origins in ancient Greece o Greeks were able to look at the world in a different way than the rest of the world o Tremendously prolific in every area of western thought. • Western culture origins: Ancient Greece and Judeo-Christian Islamic foundations (Jerusalem and Athens)religious backgrounds • Aristotle definition: Being qua being: study of being in its most fundamental nature o Being: the sum total of everything that exists. • Science: based on empiricability. History of Metaphysics • Based in the Ancient Greek Island Ionia o Early philosophers sometimes referred to as Ionians • Beginning of Ionian philosophy: 600 BCE • Ionians speculated about the nature of reality o Usually speculations were tinged with religious influence o Ionians made break from mythos to logos (mythology to reason) • Focused on two questions about nature of the world o Substance: What is the world made of? What is everything around us formed out of? o Change/Motion: Universe is always moving and changing but somehow stays the same. How?  Examples: leaves changing color, water changing to ice and steam  Things always stay at rest in their natural state, and yet the universe is always moving. What makes the universe move? o Answers: Thales – semi-quasi mythical founder of philosophy  Everything is composed of water  Soul drives the universe. o Anaximander – There is no single primordial substance, but rather pairs of opposites (qualities) that came together to form the physi
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