Impact and Influence Today
Widely recognized as one of the most important works in the history of philosophy—especially the discipline that took its name from the book—Aristotle's Metaphysics remains important, almost two thousand years after he wrote it. Contemporary philosophers still find some of Aristotle's arguments substantial enough to use as inspiration. In some cases, Aristotle's ideas even serve as a platform for developing new ideas. Ideas found in Aristotle's Metaphysics still challenge and influence contemporary philosophical debates. Aristotle's notion of the difference between substantial and accidental properties inspired the modern theory of essentialism, which holds that every entity has certain core attributes that constitute its identity and function. They start by analyzing Aristotle's concept of substance and ultimately reject it for being insufficiently detailed for contemporary metaphysics; but Aristotle's ideas clearly inspired their own account. The advocates of essentialism remain a minority, yet philosophers recognize they have made important contributions to metaphysical debates about the nature and identity of properties.