Metaphysics, or the parts still in existence, spans fourteen books. The early books give background information and survey the field before Aristotle's time. He also describes the nature of wisdom: it begins with sense perceptions, which must be translated into scientific expertise. Such knowledge requires the understanding of both facts and causes, and wisdom comes only with an understanding of the universal principles and primary causes built on this science. Aristotle's work in metaphysics is therefore motivated by this desire for wisdom, which requires the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake. By the fourth book he begins to attack some of the sophistry that has contaminated the field. One point that he dwells on is the law of contradictions, which essentially asserts that something cannot both be and not be at the same time. In particular, he is
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