In order to properly understand the writing of any author it is advisable to outline his work. Once you have seen how the work divides up into its individual parts, you can then understand how it fits together. Also, certain subjects are often treated in different parts of one work, therefore, outlining the work will help to discover each of these parts and to understand them in their context. Below is my outline for the parts of Aristotle's Metaphysics that are relative to his answer to the question of Being. If you see any place for improvement, please feel free to let me know. If this can be of help to anyone in their research, I am glad to be of service (just make sure to include appropriate citation notes). For those who are unfamiliar with Aristotle, the Capital Greek letters represent the traditional divisions of the different main sections of Aristotle's work.

D (chs. 7-8)
1.      Ways in which things are said to be (1017a7-1017b9)
a.       Accidental Being (1017a8-23)
b.      Essential Being – the categories (1017a24-31)
c.       True Being (1017a32-24)
d.      Potential Being & Accidental Being (1017a35-1017b9)
2.      Substance (1017b10-26)
a.       Substance is said of (1017b10-23)
                                                              i.      Bodies (1017b10-14)
                                                            ii.      The formal cause (1017b14-16)
                                                          iii.      The Parts of Things (1017b17-21)
                                                          iv.      The Essence (1017b22-23)
b.      Two senses of Substance (1017b24-26)
                                                              i.      Ultimate substratum (1017b24-25)
                                                            ii.      Form (1017b25-26)

1.      The Necessity of Metaphysics (1025b1-1026a33)
a.       ‘Being’ presupposed by all sciences (1025b1-1026a13)
                                                              i.      No science studies Being as Being (1025b1-1025b18)
1.      The Natural Sciences (1025b19-1026a7)
2.      Mathematics (1026a8-10)
3.      \ Being as Being not studied (1026a10-13)
4.      \ First Science is necessary (1026a13-17)
5.      \ Three theoretical science (1026a17-21)
b.      Priority of First Philosophy (1026a21-33)
2.      Several Ways of Saying ‘Being’ (1026a33-1028a5)
a.       Introduction (1026a33-1026b1)
b.      Accidental Being (1026b1-1027b17)
                                                              i.      No Scientific Treatment of accidental Being (1026b1-1027a27)
1.      Accidental Being and Sophistry (1026b1-26)
2.      Nature of Accidental Being (1026b27-1027a17)
3.      Nature of Science & Accidental Being (1027a17-27)
                                                            ii.      More than accidental causes must exist (1027a28-1027b17)
c.       Being-True (1027b18-1028a5)
                                                              i.      Truth & Falsity depend on judgments of the Intellect, \ in thought (1027b18-29)
                                                            ii.      Being-True & Accidental Being are qualifications of Being (1027b29-1028a5)

1.      Introduction and Survey of the Issues surrounding “To Be” (1028a10-1028b7)
2.      Overview of Different Answers to the Question of Being (1028b8-33)
3.      The Nature of Ousia (1028b34-1029a7)
a.       4 main ways in which Ousia is said (1028b34-36)
                                                              i.      The Essence
                                                            ii.      The Universal
                                                          iii.      The Genus
                                                          iv.      The Substratum (matter)
b.      Meaning of the fourth way – substratum (1028b36-1029a1)
c.       What is thought to be the substance of a thing (1029a1-1029a5)
d.      Form (1029a5-7)
4.      Is Matter (Substratum) Substance? (1029a8-1029b13)
a.       Why think it is so (1029a8-18)
b.      Definition of Matter (1029a18-23)
c.       Ultimate Substratum (1029a23-26)
d.      That Matter cannot be the substance in (1029a26-28)
e.       That the composite (f/m) is not matter (1029a28-33)
f.       We must, therefore consider form (1029a33-34)
g.      How to proceed with the investigation (1029a34-1029b13)
5.      Is the Essence Substance? (1029b13-1031a14)
a.       Linguistic remarks (1029b13-1030a17)
                                                              i.      The formula of the essence of X (1029b13-23)
                                                            ii.      Ways in which predicates of X may be false (1029b23-1029b35)
                                                          iii.      Is ‘Being-an-X’ an essence (predicate + thing)? (1030a1-17)
b.      Concerning definition (1030a17-28)
c.       Essence belongs to substance (1030a28-1030b13)
d.      Difficulties concerning Definition and Attributes (1030b14-1031a14)
                                                              i.      First difficulty (1030b14-27)
                                                            ii.      Second difficulty (1030b28-37)
                                                          iii.      Conclusion (1031a1-14)
6.      Are a thing & Its Essence the Same? (1031a15-1038a35)
a.       Accidental Unities (1031a15-27)
b.      Self-Subsistent Unities (1031a28-1032a11)
c.       Changing Unities (1032a13-1038a35)
                                                              i.      Principle of Causality (1032a13-14)
                                                            ii.      Concerning Natural Becomings (1032a15-25)
                                                          iii.      Concerning Productions (1032a26-1034b19)
1.      4 Sources for all Productions (1032a26-1032b14)
2.      How Production comes about (1032b15-1033a23)
3.      What is actually made, in any production? (1033a24-1033b18)
4.      Does the Form of the production exist apart from it? (1033b19-1034a7)
5.      Why are some things produced spontaneously and others not? (1034a8-1034b19)
a.       Type of matter (1034a8-17)
b.      Type of thing (1034a17-29)
c.       The Substance (1034a30-1034b19)
                                                          iv.      Concerning Definitions (1034b20-1038a35)
1.      Does the formulas of the parts need to present in the whole? (1034b20-1036a26)
a.       Parts of Substance(1034b34-1035b1)
b.      Precision concerning the preceding (1035b2-1036a26)
2.      What parts belong to the form & what parts to the Concrete? (1036a27-1037b6)
a.       Of material things (1036a31- 1036b31)
b.      Of Mathematical objects (1036b32-1037a4)
c.       Of Living things and primary substance (1037a5-1037b7)
d.      Definitional Unities (1037b8-1038a35)
                                                              i.      Problem: In what does the unity of a definition consist? (1037b8-26)
                                                            ii.      Method of Division (1037b27-1038a35)
1.      Definition = Genus + differentia (1037b28- 1038a8)
2.      Differentia of differentia (1038a9-27)
                                                          iii.      Conclusion (1038a28-35)
7.      The Universal as Substance (1038b1-1041a6)
a.       Introduction (1038b1-8)
b.      The Universal is not properly substance (1038b9-16)
                                                              i.      Based on the common notions of Universal & of Substance (1038b9-16)
1.      Argument 1 (1038b9-14)
2.      Argument 2 (1038b15-16)
c.       Ways in which a Universal can be said to be substance (1038b17-34)
d.      Difficulties with point C (1038b35-1039a23)
e.       Explanation & Defense of Aristotle’s position (1039a24-1041a6)
                                                              i.      Argument 1 (1039a26-1039b19)
                                                            ii.      Argument 2 ( 1039b20-1040b4)
1.      No demonstration, nor definition of sensible individual substances (1039b25-1040a7)
2.      No definition of Ideas (1040a8-26)
3.      No definition of eternal individuals, such as sun, moon, etc. (1040a27-1040b4)
                                                          iii.      Parts of substances are mostly potencies (1040b5-16)
                                                          iv.      Unity & Being (1040b17-1041a4)
                                                            v.      Conclusion (1040a5-6)
8.      What kind of thing Substance should be said to be (1041a7-1041b35)
a.       What it means to look for causes (1041a7-33)
b.      Substance as the Formal Cause (1041a33-1041b35)

9.      Substance as Act (1042a1-1045b25)
a.       Summary of the preceding and Introduction to what follows (1042a1-1042b8)
                                                              i.      Various things postulated as substance (1042a5-17)
                                                            ii.      Summary of Aristotle’s arguments (1042a17-24)
                                                          iii.      Generally recognized substances (1042a25-33)
                                                          iv.      Matter as Substance (1042a34-1042b8)
b.      Substance as Act (1042b9-1043a28)
                                                              i.      Democritus’s position (1042b11-14)
                                                            ii.      Concerning the differences between things (1042b15-1043a2)
                                                          iii.      Seeking substance in the differentiae (1043a3-11)
                                                          iv.      Actuality is to Potentiality as form is to matter (1043a12-26)
                                                            v.      Conclusion (1043a26-28)
10.  To what does the Name refer (in substances composed of f/m)? (1043a29-1044a14)
11.  Seeking the Causes of the material substances (1044a15-1045b25)
a.       Introduction (1044a15-1044a22)
b.      2 ways in which X come from Y (1044a22-1044a32)
c.       On seeking the causes of x (1044a32-1045a6)
                                                              i.      State all possible causes (1044a32-1044b2)
                                                            ii.      X being a natural substance (1044b3-5)
                                                          iii.      X being an eternal substance, i.e. Sun, moon, etc. (1044b5-20)
                                                          iv.      X being a contrary (1044b21-1045a6)
d.      Concerning the cause of the unity of definitions & numbers (1045a7-1045b25)
                                                              i.      Unity of definition (1045a7-1045a14)
                                                            ii.      Unity of definition of natural substances (1045a14-1045a36)
                                                          iii.      Unity of definition of non-material substances  (1045a36-1045b7)
                                                          iv.      Various responses to difficulties  (1045b8-12)
                                                            v.      Critique of the responses (1045b12-1045b25)

12.  Introduction (1045b27-1046a4)
13.  The many senses of Potency (1046a4-36)
14.  Potency in Souls (1046a37-28)
a.       Art (1046b1-7)
b.      Science (1046b7-24)
c.       Doing (1046b25-28)
15.  The Megaric School on Potency (1046b29-1047b2)
a.       Their View (1046b29-33)
b.      Refutation of their View (1046b34-1047b2)
                                                              i.      Argument 1 (1046b33-1047a9)
                                                            ii.      Argument 2 (1047a10-29)
                                                          iii.      Argument 3 (1047a30-1047b2)
16.  Possibility & Impossibility (1047b3-30)
17.  How Potencies are Actualized (1047b31-1048a24)
18.  Actuality (1048a25-1048b34)
a.       Introduction (1048a25-30)
b.      Defining Actuality (1048a31-1048b34)
                                                              i.      Analogies of Actuality (1048a31-1048b8)
                                                            ii.      Actuality of Infinite things (1048b9-17)
                                                          iii.      Distinction between movement & Actuality (1048b18-34)
19.  Distinguishing when X exists potentially & when not (1048b35-1049b3)
a.       Concerning that which, as a result of thought, potentially is (1049a4-12)
b.      Concerning that which, as a result of itself, potentially is (1049a13-18)
c.       Concerning the material element of X (1049a19-1049b3)
20.  The Priority of Actuality to Potency (1049b4-1051a33)
a.       Introduction (1049b4-12)
b.      Prior in definition (formula) (1049b13-17)
c.       Prior in Time (1049b18-1050a2)
d.      Prior in Substantiality (1050a3-1051a3)
                                                              i.      Actuality is the ‘end’, and the ‘end is prior to that which is becoming it (1050a3-1050b6)
                                                            ii.      Eternal being prior to perishable being (1050b7-1051a3)
e.       Prior in Goodness or value (1051a4-1051a33)
21.  Being & Non-Being (1051a34-1052a14)
a.       Said in three ways (1051a34-1051b6)
b.      Truth & Falsity (1051b6-1052a14)
                                                              i.      With Regard to composites (1051b6-17)
                                                            ii.      With regard to in-composites (1051b18-1052a14)
1.      Truth & Falsity (1051b23-33)
2.      Being in relation to Truth & Non-being to Falsity (1051b34-1052a14)

1.      Questions about Wisdom & Raised by Wisdom (1059a18-1060b30)
a.       Is Wisdom one science or many? (1059a20-23)
b.      Does one or many sciences deal with first principles? (1059a24-26)
c.       Does Wisdom investigate all substances? (1059a27-28)
d.      Does Wisdom deal with substances only or also with attributes? (1059a29-33)
e.       What causes does wisdom deal with? (1059a34-1059b14)
f.       What science looks at the objects of Mathematics? (1059b15-21)
g.      Does Wisdom deal with elements? (1059b22-1060a1)
h.      Are there separable and eternal substances? (1060a2-1060b19)
i.        Are first principles substances? (1060b20-28)
j.        Are principles the same in kind or number? (1060b29-30)
2.      That Wisdom is one science (1060b31-1061b17)
3.      The Relation between the principles of Wisdom, Mathematics and Physics (1061b18-33)
4.      The Principle of Non-Contradiction (1061b34-1063b35)
a.       Explanation of the principle (1061b34-1062a29)
b.      “Proving” the Principle (1062a30-1062b24)
c.       The Principle of Causality and Non-Contradiction (1062b24-1063b7)
d.      Refuting contradictors (1063b8-35)
5.      The Principles of Sciences (1063b36-1064b14)
a.       Introduction (1063b36-1064a9)
b.      Science of Nature (1064a10-27)
c.       Physics, Mathematics and Metaphysics (1064a28-1064b6)
d.      Is Metaphysics Universal (1064b7-14)
6.      Concerning Being (1064b15-1066a34)
a.       Accidental Being (1064b15-1065b4)
                                                              i.      No other science considers accidental being (1064b15-29)
                                                            ii.      There is no science of accidental being (1064b30-1065a6)
                                                          iii.      No Causes (properly speaking) of accidental being (1065a7-21)
                                                          iv.      Accidental being and True Being (1065a22-26)
                                                            v.      Luck as Accident (1065a27-1065b4)
b.      Being Actually & Being Potentially & Change (1065b5-1066a34)
7.      The Infinite (1066a35-1067a37)
a.       Various ways in which we say infinite (1066a35-1066b11)
b.      An actual infinite, in the 1st sense, cannot exist (1066b11-23)
c.       The Infinite is not a sensible thing (1066b24-1067a37)
                                                              i.      First argument (1066b24-1067a8)
                                                            ii.      Second Argument (1067a9-23)
                                                          iii.      Third argument (1067a23-37)
8.      Of Things which change (1067b1-1069a15)
a.       Accidental change (1067b1-14)
b.      Non-Accidental Change (1067b15-1068a7)
c.       The Categories and Change (1068a8-1069a15)
                                                              i.      Those which do not change (1068a8-17)
                                                            ii.      Movement which changes in a sense, and doesn’t in a sense (1068a17-1068b14)
                                                          iii.      The categories which change (1068b15-1069a15)

1.      Concerning Substance (1069a18-1076a8)
a.       Introduction to study (1069a18-1069b3)
                                                              i.      Why Substance (1069a18-29)
                                                            ii.      3 kinds of Substance (1069a30-1069b3)
b.      Sensible Substance (1069b4-1071b2)
                                                              i.      Is changeable (1069b4-27)
                                                            ii.      From what sort of non-being generation comes (1069b28-34)
                                                          iii.      Necessity of a first mover for generation (1069b35-1070a9)
                                                          iv.      3 kinds of sensible substance (1070a9-30)
                                                            v.      Do all things have the same causing elements? (1070a31-1070b22)
                                                          vi.      Necessity of an external cause (1070b23-1071a4)
                                                        vii.      Change, Potency & Act (1071a5-1071b2)
c.       Unmovable Substance (1071b3-1075a11)
                                                              i.      Such a substance is necessary for anything to exist (1071b3-1071b12)
                                                            ii.      Purely actual being necessary for there to be any movement (1071b13-23)
                                                          iii.      Possible Objections with responses (1071b24-1072a17)
1.      What if Potency is prior to act?
                                                          iv.      Therefore an actual Being, an unmoved mover, exists (1072a18-1072b14)
                                                            v.      Description of unmoved mover (1072b14-1073a13)
                                                          vi.      One or Many Unmoved movers (1073a13-1074b14)
1.      Introduction to the Problem (1073a13-39)
2.      Considering Astronomies claims about the movers (planets & stars) (1073b1-1074a13)
a.       General (1073b1-17)
b.      Eudoxus (1073b18-31)
c.       Callippus (1073b32-37
d.      Summary (1073b37-1074a13)
3.      Argument showing only 1 mover is possible (1074a14-39)
4.      Tradition of Polytheism a myth (1074b1-14)
                                                        vii.      Concerning the Nature of the Divine Thought (1074b15-1075a11)
1.      The Problem (1074b15-25)
2.      The Solution (1075b25-1075a4)
3.      Is the Object of Divine Thought Composite (1075a5-11)
d.      How the Nature of the universe contains the Good (1075a12-1075b16)
                                                              i.      Introduction (1075a12-24)
                                                            ii.      Other thinkers on the question (1075a25-1075b1)
                                                          iii.      Empedocles (1075b1-7)
                                                          iv.      Anaxagoras (1075b8-16)

e.       What is the Cause of Becoming? (1075b17-1076a8)

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