Always passionately interested in natural phenomena, Aristotle eventually dissented from Plato's idealist premise that what we perceive is just a pale reflection of the true reality. The Metaphysics is Aristotle's first mature statement of his own philosophical understanding of reality. An extraordinary synthesis; integrating the natural and rational aspens of the world, Aristotle's Metaphysics probes some of the deepest questions of philosophy: What is existence? How is change possible? What makes something the same thing at different times? Are there things that must exist for anything else to exist at all? Furthermore, with his notion of "substance" and his associated concepts of matter and form, essence and accident, and potentiality and actuality, Aristotle laid the foundations for Western speculative thought on the nature of reality. Hugh Lawson-Tancred's translation achieves a readability absent from earlier versions, and in a stimulating introductory essay he highlights the central themes of one of philosophy's supreme masterpieces.
ARISTOTLE (384-322 BC) studied at the Academy of Plato for 20 years and then established his own school and research institute 'The Lyceum'. His writings, which were of extraordinary range, profoundly affected the whole course of ancient and medieval philosophy and are still eagerly studied and debated by philosophers today. HUGH LAWSON-TANCRED was born in 1955, and went to Balliol College, Oxford. He is now a departmental Fellow of Philosophy at Birkbeck College, London.