The Author’s Contribution
Aristotle claims in Metaphysics that he seeks the knowledge of "causes and principles". Scholars typically explain this theory as a response to Plato. But its importance mainly lies in Aristotle's substantial and well-argued account of substance, which scholars have recognized for centuries as a key contribution to metaphysics. As professor of ancient philosophy, Theodore Scaltsas explains, "Aristotle insists that the substantial form is not a further component part in a substance, but is of a different ontological type from the component parts. In doing so Aristotle is presenting us with his own theory, but at the same time he is offering a criticism of the Platonic metaphysics". Although the underlying idea is similar to Plato's, Aristotle presents his investigation in a very different manner. Aristotle's account of substance is best understood in the context of his critique of Plato's Theory of Forms. Plato famously theorized about the existence of incorporeal universal entities—forms—as perfect examples of every existing object.