When Did Aristotle Write the Metaphysics?


Jane Flores

Aristotle’s Metaphysics is one of the most influential philosophical works ever written, laying the foundation for our understanding of reality and existence. But when exactly did Aristotle write this masterpiece?

The Timeline

There is some debate among scholars about the exact date when Aristotle wrote the Metaphysics. However, most agree that it was likely composed in the last decade of his life, between 335-322 BCE.


To understand why Aristotle wrote the Metaphysics, it’s important to consider the context in which he lived. At that time, Athens was a hub of intellectual activity and philosophical debate. Plato had just passed away, and Aristotle had recently left his position as a student at Plato’s Academy to start his own school, the Lyceum.

Aristotle was interested in understanding how things worked, from natural phenomena to human behavior. He believed that by studying these phenomena systematically and logically, one could arrive at a deeper understanding of reality.

What is Metaphysics?

The term “metaphysics” itself was coined by later scholars who compiled Aristotle’s works after his death. It refers to the branch of philosophy concerned with questions about existence and reality that go beyond what can be explained by empirical observation alone.

The Metaphysics itself is a collection of 14 books that cover a wide range of topics related to metaphysical inquiry. These include substance and essence, causality and change, God and religion, and much more.


Despite being written over two thousand years ago, Aristotle’s Metaphysics remains an incredibly influential work in philosophy today. Its ideas have been debated by generations of thinkers from all over the world.

In fact, many modern philosophical debates can be traced back to Aristotle’s original arguments in the Metaphysics. For example, discussions about free will versus determinism or the nature of causality can be traced back to his work.


In conclusion, while there is some debate about the exact date when Aristotle wrote the Metaphysics, most scholars agree that it was likely composed in the last decade of his life. This work has had an enormous influence on philosophy and continues to be studied and debated to this day. By exploring topics related to existence and reality, Aristotle’s Metaphysics remains a foundational text in Western philosophy.