AQUINAS SCHOOL OF PHILOSOPHY


METAPHYSICS
(Philosophy of Being as Being)
Course Plan

Dr. Raphael Waters February, 2008

Chapter I. PREAMBLES ;

       a. Philosophy and Metaphysics : Definition of Philosophy. Division
                  of Philosophy.
       b. The philosophical Method.
       c. The problem of Metaphysics : Does this problem have any relevance today?

Chapter II. THE CONCEPT OF BEING AND HOW IT RELATES TO REALITY

         a. Brief historical survey of some replies to this question

        a1. The earliest Greeks: Myths a7. Thomas Aquinas
        a2. Parmenides and Heraclitus a8. Descartes
 
       a3. Plato a9. English Empiricists
        a4. Aristotle a10. Kant
        a5. Plotinus a11. Hegel and Marx
        a6. Pseudo-Denys & St. Augustine a12. Contemporary Philosophers

.Foundation of those replies: exaggeration of the passivity or exaggeration of the
       activity of the intellect or acceptance of the passivity and the proper
               activity of the human intellect.

        c. Reply to the this question which safeguards the integrity
              of the concept of being: founded upon the passivity
              and
proper activity of the human intellect.

Chapter III. THE NATURE OF METAPHYSICS

       a. Subject of metaphysics: being in common
       b. The object of metaphysics: the beingness of beings (beings as being)
       c. Existential character of metaphysics.

Chapter IV. THE CONCEPT OF BEING IN COMMON, WHICH IS THE OBJECT OF
     METAPHYSICS, IS ANALOGICAL

      a. The ONE (concept of being) and the many (beings)
      b. Is being a genus?
      c. Being is an analogical concept which is transcendental (not univocal nor equivocal)
         

Chapter V. DIVISION OF BEING

        a. Real being (being simply speaking) and mental being
                       (being taken in a qualified sense)
        b. Actual and possible being.

Chapter VI. CONSTITUTIVE PRINCIPLES OF BEING WHICH ACCOUNT FOR THE ONE AND THE MANY

       a. The fact of multiplicity and change amongst actual, real beings.
              Parmenides and Heraclitus; Aquinas; Hegel; Marx; Bergson; Fabro;
              Existentialists.
       b. The perfection of beings (act) is limited by potency.
       c. Potency and act as principles of being: Their
NATURE AND
               DIVISION:
                          c1. Notion of a principle of being:
                          c2. Principles of being:
                                    c2a. Act, the principle of perfection or determination
                                                 or specification.
                                    c2b. Potency, the principle of limitation.
       d. Real distinction between potency and act.
       e. Limitation and participation: Plato, Neo-Platonists; Aquinas; Geiger;
               Fabro; Henle; Regis.
       f. Potency and act encompass the whole universe of beings.
      g. Potency and act
AND pantheism.

Chapter VII. THE PRINCIPAL APPLICATION OF POTENCY AND ACT WHICH
                       CONCERNS THE QUESTION OF EXISTENCE, NAMELY THE DIVISION OF
                       BEING INTO ESSENCE AND EXISTENCE

      a. The principles of being: Essence and be (existence).
      b. Real distinction of essence and be: Aristotle; Neo-Platonists; Augustine;
            Avicenna; St. Albert the Great; St. Thomas Aquinas.
      c. Participation and be: Aquinas; Fabro.
      d. Essentialism and existentialism.
      e. Diverse modes of be:
                              e1. substantial be (limited and participated; composition)
                              e2. accidental be (limited and participated; composition).

Chapter VIII. MODES OF BEING

      a. GENERAL OR TRANSCENDENTAL MODES OF BEING: Properties which
            flow from the nature of being as being; can be predicated of each being as it is
            being:

            a1. distinction of being and thing;
            a2. every being is
one: Plato; Plotinus; Aquinas
            a3. every being is
something:
            a4. every being is
true;
            a5. every being is
good;
                      a5a. good: Plato; PLotinus; Aquinas; Fabro
                      a5b. evil: Plotinus; Augustine; Pseudo-Denys; Aquinas; Kant; Existentialists
           a6. a mediate transcendental property: by reason of the true and the good, being is
                     
beautiful: Plato, Aristotle; Aquinas; Kant

    b. SPECIAL MODES OF BEING: THE PREDICAMENTS, OR CATEGORIES OF
           LIMITED BEING. Denotes a division of limited beings into 10 categories
                                        (differentiated from within)

           b1. Each of these exercises some mode of existence (be); Aristotle
           b2. Real distinction of accidental be from substantial be:
                      Aquinas: Descartes. Locke: Marx
           b3. The division and its foundation
           b4. Substance and person
           b5. Accidents
            
Chapter IX. BEING CONSIDERED DYNAMICALLY OR OPERATIVELY: THE CAUSES

         a. Final cause
         b. Efficient cause:
                                   a1. Principal cause;
                                   a2. Instrumental cause
         c. Material and formal causes
         d. Exemplary cause

Chapter X. THE ULTIMATE CAUSE OF ALL THINGS

       A.. Whether it can be proved that there is a first cause;
       B. Proofs in general that a first cause
IS;
       C. Proofs in special that a first cause
IS;
                  c1. The Five Ways
                  c1. immediate term of each of the five ways
                  c2. mediate term of each of the five ways: GOD IS
        D. Nature of God;
        E Our knowledge of God;
        F The names of God

Chapter XI. METAPHYSICS AND THE PRINCIPLES OF REASON

        a. Nature of a principle of reason;
        b. The first principle of reason: Heraclitus; Parmenides;
               Hegel; Marx; Aristotle
        c. Subordinate principles of reason

Chapter XII. THE PRINCIPLES OF REASON AND CERTITUDE
 
        a. Truth
        b. Certitude
        c. Principles of reason and science, the consequence of certitude in reasoning.

Chapter XIII. The analogy of being.

© 2008/Raphael T. Waters