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First published Sun Oct 8, 2000; substantive revision Mon Jun 11, 2012 The first major work in the history of philosophy to bear the title “Metaphysics” was the treatise by Aristotle that we have come to know by that name. But Aristotle himself did not use that title or even describe his field of study as ‘metaphysics’; the name was evidently coined by the first century C.E. editor who assembled the treatise we know as Aristotle's Metaphysics out of various smaller selections of Aristotle's works. The title ‘metaphysics’—literally, ‘after the Physics ’—very likely indicated the place the topics discussed therein were intended to occupy in the philosophical curriculum. They were to be studied after the treatises dealing with nature ( ta phusika ). In this entry, we discuss the ideas that are developed in Aristotle's treatise.