Universität Wien
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180069 SE Aristotle: metaphysics (2021S)

5.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 18 - Philosophie
Continuous assessment of course work


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


max. 30 participants
Language: German


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

  • Monday 08.03. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
  • Monday 15.03. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
  • Monday 22.03. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
  • Monday 12.04. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
  • Monday 19.04. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
  • Monday 26.04. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
  • Monday 03.05. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
  • Monday 10.05. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
  • Monday 17.05. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
  • Monday 31.05. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
  • Monday 07.06. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
  • Monday 14.06. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
  • Monday 21.06. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
  • Monday 28.06. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital


Aims, contents and method of the course

Aristotle's Metaphysics is one the most important philosophical texts not only of the classical antiquity but in the history of philosophy as a whole. In this work Aristotle outlines his mature views on being, what counts as such, what are the important distinctions to make, and how being should be studied. In the seminar we will focus primarily on the central books of the Metaphysics, namely Gamma to Theta (IV-IX), and we will discuss what Aristotle calls the science of being (Gamma), what he considers as substance, how he distinguishes form and matter, potentiality and actuality (Zeta-Theta).

Assessment and permitted materials

Regular attendance and active participation in the seminar discussions
Individual or group oral presentation (20 min) on topics, concepts, or text portions of the Metaphysics
Homework, short commentaries
Two Essays (7-8 p.)

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Familiarity with the key topics and concepts of Aristotle's Metaphysics (Substance, Form, Matter, Potentiality, Actuality)
Development of reading and interpretation skills necessary for the study of Aristotle's texts
Improvement of philosophical argumentations and essay writing

Examination topics

Careful close reading of the central books of the Metaphysics (Gamma to Theta)
Individual or group presentations of the students
Discussions in class of topics and concepts of Aristotle's Metaphysics
Homework/short commentaries and two essays

Reading list

Greek Text and German Translation
W. Jaeger, Aristotelis Metaphysica, Oxford 1957
H. Bonizt, Aristoteles Metaphysik, revised by U. Wolf, Rowohlts 1994

a good introduction to the Metaphysics is the book of
Vasilis Politis, Aristotle and the Metaphysics, Routledge 2004

Further recommended literature includes:

D. Bostock, Aristotle: Metaphysics Books Zeta and Theta, Oxford 1994
M. Burnyeat, A Map of Metaphysics Zeta, Pittsburgh 2001
M. Frede and G. Patzig, Aristoteles Metaphysik Zeta, Munich 1988
S. Marc Cohen, Aristotle Metaphysics, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Further and more specialized literature will be given at the beginning of the semester

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Fr 12.05.2023 00:18