Metaphysics or Ontology?


Metaphysics or Ontology? treats the evolution of the object of metaphysics from being, to the concept of being, to, finally, the object (thought). Possible being must be non-contradictory, but an object of thought includes anything a human being can think, including contradictions and nothingness. When the concept of being, or object of thought, replaces existence as the object of metaphysics, it becomes something other than metaphysics—ontology, or something beyond ontology. However, ontology cannot examine existence because it only investigates concepts and possibility. Only classical metaphysics investigates reality qua reality. This book masterfully treats the history of this controversy and many other important metaphysical questions raised over the centuries
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Biographical Note

Piotr Jaroszyński is professor of The Philosophy of Culture and Art at the Catholic University of Lublin. He has published six books and over one hundred articles in various languages.

Review Quote

" Metaphysics or Ontology? masterfully treats not only the history of the controversy, but also many important metaphysical questions that have been raised over the centuries. What is at stake are the most fundamental and important questions philosophers can ask such as (1) How should we understand being—as real or possible?, (2) How should we understand existence—as actuality or as a mode of essence?, and (3) What has priority, essence or existence? This is a book that will reward the reader with new insights each time it is read; it deserves the special attention of scholars and philosophers for decades to come."
Robert Anthony Delfino, St. John’s University, New York

Table of contents

Robert Delfino Preface Introduction

Part 1: On the Origin of Metaphysics

1 From Sophía to Philosophía 2 From Philosophy (φιλοσοφία) to Meta-physics (τὰ μeτà τὰ φυσικά) 3 From ta metá ta physiká to Metaphysics   Commentaries: The Assimilation and Continuity of Culture
4 The Autonomy of Metaphysics
5 Ontology in the Middle Ages?
Part 1 Summary

Part 2: The Rise of Ontology

6 Descartes and Malebranche—The Return of Augustinianism 7 British Philosophy: The Marginalization of Metaphysics 8 The Founders of Ontology: From Lorhard to Clauberg
9 Ontology before Metaphysics: From Wolff to Kant
10 Logic as Ontology: Hegel
11 The Apotheosis of Mathematics: Bolzano, Frege, and Meinong
12 Phenomenology apart from Metaphysics: Husserl, Ingarden, Heidegger
13 Metaphysics as Ontology: Nicolai Hartmann
14 Analytic Philosophy: A Metaphysics of Conceptual Schemata
15 Metaphysics or Ontology of Process?
16 Negative Ontology: Adorno
17 Postmoderism: The End of Metaphysics, or the End of Ontology? Part 2 Summary

Part 3: Metaphysics or Ontology: Disputed Questions

18 Being or the Concept of Being?/b>
  The Term ‘Being’ and Its Meaning
  Being and the Apprehension of Being

19 Real Being or Possible Being?
  On the Principle of Identity and Non-Contradiction
  Possibility, Potency, and Real Essence: Aristotle
  Toward Possible Essence
  The Concept of Being and Possible Being: From Duns Scotus to Suárez
  Possible Being and Theology

20 Existence: Act or Modus?
  Existence: Etymology of the Term
  Did Aristotle Know the Difference between Essence and Existence?
  What Did Al-Farabi Discover?
  Existence as the Act of Being—Thomas Aquinas
  Existence is a Mode of Essence—Duns Scotus
  Suárez, the Heir of Scotus
  The Logical Transformation of Existence: Wolff

21 Essence Instead of Being
  The Etymology of the Word ‘Essence’
  Essence in Itself—Al Farabi and Avicenna
  Essence Reinstated to Reality—Thomas Aquinas
  Essence apart from Reality—Duns Scotus
  Essence according to Suárez: The Return to Duns Scotus
  Essence that is Real because It is Possible: Clauberg and Wolff
  Kant: Separation from Essence
  Hegel: The Absolutization of Essence
  Essence in Phenomenology
  Heidegger—Illusory Critique of Essence

22 Ontology: Unreal Reality

23 Ontology and the Object
  Object: Etymology and Terminology
  The Object and the Knowledge of Being in Metaphysics
  The Object Instead of Being: Ontology
  Kant—The Creation of the Object
  Hegel—Objectivism without Realism
  Meinong: The Theory of the Object Instead of Ontology

24 Intentionality: Outside of Reality
  Intentionality: The Etymology of the Word
  The Theological Context
  The Philosophical Context

25 Ontology and the Subject
  Subject: Etymology of the Word
  The Subject in Metaphysics
  From Descartes to Leibniz
  Kant—Creator of the Philosophy of the Subject

26 Ontology and System
  System: Etymology and Pre-Philosophical Meaning
  System in Ancient Philosophy
  System as Organized Knowledge
  A System that Makes Reality: Hegel and Schelling
  Whether Suárez was the Author of the First System of Metaphysics, and if so, in What Sense
  What Sort of Realistic Metaphysics?
  Critique of Philosophy as a System—But What Sort of System?
  Ontology and Logical Systems

27 Univocity or Analogy?

28 Metaphysics, Ontology, Onto-Theology?

Part 3 Summary


Index of Names
Index of Subjects


All scholars or philosophers in metaphysics or ontology, as well as Thomism, Platonism, Neoplatonism, or theology.


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