Philosophy of Being: A Reconstructive Essay in Metaphysics

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CUA Press, 2003 - Philosophy - 563 pages
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Ever since Kant, attempts to close down metaphysical inquiry in philosophy have proliferated. Yet the interest in metaphysics persists and is showing signs of resurgence among students concerned with raising the most basic questions about life and being as a whole. This book is an attempt to reopen the fundamental question of being and to pursue that question in a way that is critical and systematic. Oliva Blanchette begins by establishing the necessity of raising the question of being as being after the natural sciences and phenomenology have run their course and pursuing it according to a method that is properly metaphysical as well as critical. He then proceeds to examine how we think of being according to a logic that is at once universal and concrete leading to a transcendental conception of being as analogous. After elaborating on the properties of being as one, active, true, and good, the author inquires into the structure of being and its constitutive principles as becoming and as finite. This brings him to a consideration of how being is communicated among a plurality and a diversity of beings according to a universal order of nature and history. Blanchette concludes by showing the necessity of raising the question of a totally transcendent Being at the end of metaphysics and of answering the question in the affirmative, even though the essence of what we are affirming escapes the grasp of our understanding. The discourse is thus shown to have a beginning, a middle, and an end of interest to anyone concerned with the defense of metaphysics not only as having a standing in philosophy but also as arriving at such a standing only through a critical reflection on being as given in experience. It requires a special interest in raising the universal question of being, but it is accessible to anyone who has arrived at the point of exercising critical judgment about what there is in reality in the course of any investigation that is scientific or phenomenological.

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Raising the Question
The Subject of Metaphysics
The Method of Metaphysics
Our Initial Concept of Being
The Analogy of Being
Transcendental Modes of Being
Being as One
Being as Active
Substance as BeinginItself in Becoming
Matter as Indeterminate Being in Potency
Substantial Form as Principle of Determination
Be as the Act of Determinate Being
Intercommunication among Beings
From the Formal to the Final Cause
From the Material to the Efficient Cause
The Universe as Order of Nature and History

Being as True
Being as Good
Being as Universe
Facing the Differences of Being
The Principles of Becoming in Being
Raising the Ultimate Question
The Necessity of Total Transcendence
Transcendence and Immanence
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About the author (2003)

Oliva Blanchette is Professor of Philosophy at Boston College. He is the author of numerous works, including The Perfection of the Universe According to Aquinas.

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