OXFORD TUTORIALS

GBT 2 Study Questions Pt. 9b
The Metaphysics

28. Metaphysics, I.1; IV.1-4; VI.4 (pp. 1-9/internet file)
    1. Why, according to Aristotle, is the sense of sight so important to man?
    2. How does Aristotle distinguish between art and experience?
    3. Compare Aristotle's understanding of the nature of wisdom to a Biblical understanding.
    4. Why does Aristotle think there should be a separate science devoted to the study of "being"?  Why is "being" such an important, fundamental attribute?
    5. Aristotle says that "the most certain principle"of truth is that contrary attributes cannot apply to the same subject at the same time and in the same respect."  Known as the Law of Noncontradiction, this law of logic states that "a statement cannot be both true and false."    According to Aristotle, why is the philosopher best qualified to understand and to use this kind of principle? 
    6. How does Aristotle respond to Heraclitus about the possibility that someone may "believe the same thing to be and not to be"?
    7. According to Aristotle, why is it that not every truth can be proven or demonstrated?
    8. Why shouldn't one argue with those who are not willing to accept the principle of non-contradiction?
    9. Why can't words have an infinite number of meanings?
    10. Why must those who deny the principle of non-contradiction also deny essence and substance?
    11. Why are some attributes accidental?
    12. In what way(s) does our daily life reveal the law of non-contradiction?
   
29. Metaphysics, VII.1-4,16-17; VIII.1-2,6; IX.6,8 (pp. 10-20/internet file)
    1. Summarize the "several senses in which a thing may be said to be."
    2. What questions about "substance" does Aristotle seek to answer?
    3. How does Aristotle distinguish between "substance" and "matter"?
    4. In what sense does Aristotle propose that "qualities exist"?
    5. How does Aristotle disagree with Plato's theory of Forms?
    6. How/Why does Aristotle think that Platonists talk nonsense?  Give an example.
    7. How would Aristotle answer differently than a Platonist: "Why are these materials a house?"
    8. In what sense does Aristotle conclude that matter is also a substance?
    9. What kind of definition does Aristotle think best describes what a house actually is?
    10. What does the definition of man as "animal + biped" reveal to Aristotle?
    Challenge Question: Philosophers have always tried to explain how we can look at two separate objects and identify them as the same thing.  Plato explained this phenomena with his doctrine of the Forms.  Do you think that Aristotle has provided a satisfactory alternative to Plato's theory?


30. Metaphysics, I.2-7; II.1; XII.6-10 (pp. 21-35/internet file)
    1. What, according to Aristotle, are the characteristics of a wise man?
    2. Why were the primal elements not a sufficient explanation for the nature of things?
    3. How is the investigation of truth "in one way hard, [and] in another easy"? 
    4. How/Why does an object's being affect the nature of its truth?
    5. How does Aristotle understand the nature of divine thought?   What does he mean by "thought thinking on thinking"?
    6. According to Aristotle, how can one find the good in nature?
    7. How do you think Aristotle understands the idea that: "The rule of many is not good; one rule let there be."  Why do you think he ends with this particular quotation?