The Author and the Historical Context
One of the most important works of ancient philosophy, Aristotle's Metaphysics consists of 14 treatises, named after letters of the Greek alphabet, which address various metaphysical topics. Aristotle most prominently addresses the question of substance in book Zeta of Metaphysics. Aristotle would have been able to develop his political thoughts by watching politics firsthand. Despite being a well-known member of the philosophical community, Aristotle had limited social status, because he was not a full citizen of Athens. Scholar Jonathan Barnes describes one possible scenario: "In 347 the northern town of Olynthus has just fallen to the Macedonian army, and the anti-Macedonian party in Athens, led by the orator Demosthenes, was in the ascendant. Aristotle was not—then or ever—an Athenian citizen, and this situation may have been delicate". Aristotle spent 20 years in Plato's Academy and Plato was himself a pupil of Socrates.