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All men by nature desire to know. An indication of this is the delight we take in our senses; for even apart from their usefulness they are loved for themselves; and above all others the sense of sight. For not only with a view to action, but even when we are not going to do anything, we prefer seeing (one might say) to everything else. The reason is that this, most of all the senses, makes us know and brings to light many differences between things…

That is the opening to Aristotle's fourteen-book study, Metaphysics, which defines its topic as "the first philosophy"—the study of being. Aristotle meant for this subject to be studied after studying nature in Physics. Aristotle's metaphysical work is mostly within the branch of ontology.

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