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Metaphysics and the Paranormal
Metaphysics
Feb 4, 2022 13:31:25   #
manning5 Loc: Richmond, VA
 
Metaphysics

Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that studies the fundamental nature of reality, the first principles of being, identity and change, space and time, causality, necessity, and possibility. It includes questions about the nature of consciousness and the relationship between mind and matter.Wikipedia

Principals of Metaphysics stored in Toshiba. By Taylor 1905

· Metaphysics acknowledges and respects the beauty in ALL of God’s Creation.

· Metaphysics is religion without dogma.

· Metaphysics does not explore religious beliefs and laws created by man, but rather, it explores the immutable laws of nature, set by The Creator, God/Universal Presence, in the creation of the Universe.

· Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy that studies the ultimate nature of existence, reality, and experience without being bound to any one theological doctrine or dogma.

· Metaphysics includes all religions but transcends them all.

· Metaphysics is the study of ultimate cause in the Universe.

· Metaphysics is the only science capable of inquiring beyond physical and human science.

Traditionally, the word Metaphysics comes to us from Ancient Greece, where it was a combination of two words – Meta, meaning over and beyond – and physics. Thus, the combination means over and beyond physics. In the definition found in most dictionaries, metaphysics is referred to as a branch of philosophy that deals with first cause and the nature of being. It is taught as a branch of philosophy in most academic universities under the label of “Speculative Philosophy.”

In today’s world, however, the word metaphysics has become a description of many fields of interest. When one expresses an interest in metaphysics, that interest may be in any one or a combination of the following subjects:

Philosophy, Religion, Parapsychology, Mysticism, Yoga, ESP, Dreams, Jungian Psychology, Transpersonal and Theocentric Psychology, Astrology, Meditation, Self-Help

Studies, Positive Thinking, Life After Death, Transcendentalism, Mysticism, Reincarnation

The common denominator of these and all similar subjects, of course, deals with an exploration of reality, and in the idealistic sense, how such knowledge may benefit human life on this earth, both individually and collectively. If, then, this is the aim of such interests, it is why most professional metaphysical practitioners regard metaphysics as a spiritual philosophy or way of life. All but a very few practitioners in metaphysics today have a pivotal point of some sort of spiritual philosophy in whatever system or teaching of metaphysics they are engaged. It is important to understand this, especially when reviewing the legal technicalities of being in metaphysics professionally.

If we were to travel from one metaphysical teacher or organization to another, we would find people engaging in different things, all under the label of metaphysics. This could be a wide range, such as yogis, mystics, astrologers, positive thinking teachers, meditation teachers, spiritual healers, graphoanalysts, self-help teachers, counselors, coaches, and so on. The range is wide, but again the basic denominator is the search for truth, purpose and meaning in life, which cannot be

isolated from basic spiritual questions. All of these fields, therefore, are regarded as part of metaphysics by the University of Metaphysics and the University of Sedona, in regard to its doctoral degree and to its other programs and affiliations with its students and graduates.

It is not the position of the universities or its parent body, the International Metaphysical Ministry, to take one phase of study over another, as it is the belief of the universities that there are many paths humans may travel on the way to finding truth. There is an old proverb which states, “No matter what path a human may travel, it is My Path; no matter where they walk, it leads to Me.”

In a more absolute sense, we like to think of metaphysics as dealing with the basic questions of life, such as the relationship of man, mind, and the Universe, which leads to answers to the age-old questions of anyone who has truly paused to reflect on life by asking the most fundamental questions of all – “who am I; what am I; where have I been, and where am I going?”

Reply
Feb 4, 2022 13:40:50   #
manning5 Loc: Richmond, VA
 
manning5 wrote:
Metaphysics

Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that studies the fundamental nature of reality, the first principles of being, identity and change, space and time, causality, necessity, and possibility. It includes questions about the nature of consciousness and the relationship between mind and matter.Wikipedia

Principals of Metaphysics stored in Toshiba. By Taylor 1905

· Metaphysics acknowledges and respects the beauty in ALL of God’s Creation.

· Metaphysics is religion without dogma.

· Metaphysics does not explore religious beliefs and laws created by man, but rather, it explores the immutable laws of nature, set by The Creator, God/Universal Presence, in the creation of the Universe.

· Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy that studies the ultimate nature of existence, reality, and experience without being bound to any one theological doctrine or dogma.

· Metaphysics includes all religions but transcends them all.

· Metaphysics is the study of ultimate cause in the Universe.

· Metaphysics is the only science capable of inquiring beyond physical and human science.

Traditionally, the word Metaphysics comes to us from Ancient Greece, where it was a combination of two words – Meta, meaning over and beyond – and physics. Thus, the combination means over and beyond physics. In the definition found in most dictionaries, metaphysics is referred to as a branch of philosophy that deals with first cause and the nature of being. It is taught as a branch of philosophy in most academic universities under the label of “Speculative Philosophy.”

In today’s world, however, the word metaphysics has become a description of many fields of interest. When one expresses an interest in metaphysics, that interest may be in any one or a combination of the following subjects:

Philosophy, Religion, Parapsychology, Mysticism, Yoga, ESP, Dreams, Jungian Psychology, Transpersonal and Theocentric Psychology, Astrology, Meditation, Self-Help

Studies, Positive Thinking, Life After Death, Transcendentalism, Mysticism, Reincarnation

The common denominator of these and all similar subjects, of course, deals with an exploration of reality, and in the idealistic sense, how such knowledge may benefit human life on this earth, both individually and collectively. If, then, this is the aim of such interests, it is why most professional metaphysical practitioners regard metaphysics as a spiritual philosophy or way of life. All but a very few practitioners in metaphysics today have a pivotal point of some sort of spiritual philosophy in whatever system or teaching of metaphysics they are engaged. It is important to understand this, especially when reviewing the legal technicalities of being in metaphysics professionally.

If we were to travel from one metaphysical teacher or organization to another, we would find people engaging in different things, all under the label of metaphysics. This could be a wide range, such as yogis, mystics, astrologers, positive thinking teachers, meditation teachers, spiritual healers, graphoanalysts, self-help teachers, counselors, coaches, and so on. The range is wide, but again the basic denominator is the search for truth, purpose and meaning in life, which cannot be

isolated from basic spiritual questions. All of these fields, therefore, are regarded as part of metaphysics by the University of Metaphysics and the University of Sedona, in regard to its doctoral degree and to its other programs and affiliations with its students and graduates.

It is not the position of the universities or its parent body, the International Metaphysical Ministry, to take one phase of study over another, as it is the belief of the universities that there are many paths humans may travel on the way to finding truth. There is an old proverb which states, “No matter what path a human may travel, it is My Path; no matter where they walk, it leads to Me.”

In a more absolute sense, we like to think of metaphysics as dealing with the basic questions of life, such as the relationship of man, mind, and the Universe, which leads to answers to the age-old questions of anyone who has truly paused to reflect on life by asking the most fundamental questions of all – “who am I; what am I; where have I been, and where am I going?”
Metaphysics br br Metaphysics is the branch of ph... (show quote)

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The full text of "Aristotle's Metaphysics" can be reached by searching on that title.

Reply
Feb 4, 2022 15:58:43   #
manning5 Loc: Richmond, VA
 
The whole text is super long. Here is the table of contents.

METAPHYSICS
BOOK I
ARISTOTLE’S INTRODUCTION
HISTORY OF METAPHYSICAL INQUIRY
CONTENTS

LESSON 1: The Dignity and Object of This Science
LESSON 2: Wisdom Considers Universal First Causes and First Principles
LESSON 3: The Nature and Goal of Metaphysics
LESSON 4: Opinions about the Material Cause
LESSON 5: Opinions about the Efficient Cause
LESSON 6: Love and Hate as Efficient Causes of Good and Evil
LESSON 7: The Views of the Atomists and the Pythagoreans
LESSON 8: The Pythagorean Doctrine about Contraries
LESSON 9: The Opinions of the Eleatics and Pythagoreans about the Causes of Things
LESSON 10: The Platonic Theory of Ideas
LESSON 11: A Summary of the Early Opinions about the Causes
LESSON 12: Criticism of the Views about the Number of Material Principles
LESSON 13: Criticism of the Pythagoreans' Opinions
LESSON 14: Arguments against the Platonic Ideas
LESSON 15: The Destruction of the Platonists' Arguments for Ideas
LESSON 16: Arguments against the View that Ideas Are Numbers
LESSON 17: Arguments against the View that the Ideas Are Principles of Being and Knowledge

Reply
 
 
Feb 4, 2022 16:10:50   #
manning5 Loc: Richmond, VA
 
manning5 wrote:
The whole text is super long. Here is the table of contents.

METAPHYSICS
BOOK I
ARISTOTLE’S INTRODUCTION
HISTORY OF METAPHYSICAL INQUIRY
CONTENTS

LESSON 1: The Dignity and Object of This Science
LESSON 2: Wisdom Considers Universal First Causes and First Principles
LESSON 3: The Nature and Goal of Metaphysics
LESSON 4: Opinions about the Material Cause
LESSON 5: Opinions about the Efficient Cause
LESSON 6: Love and Hate as Efficient Causes of Good and Evil
LESSON 7: The Views of the Atomists and the Pythagoreans
LESSON 8: The Pythagorean Doctrine about Contraries
LESSON 9: The Opinions of the Eleatics and Pythagoreans about the Causes of Things
LESSON 10: The Platonic Theory of Ideas
LESSON 11: A Summary of the Early Opinions about the Causes
LESSON 12: Criticism of the Views about the Number of Material Principles
LESSON 13: Criticism of the Pythagoreans' Opinions
LESSON 14: Arguments against the Platonic Ideas
LESSON 15: The Destruction of the Platonists' Arguments for Ideas
LESSON 16: Arguments against the View that Ideas Are Numbers
LESSON 17: Arguments against the View that the Ideas Are Principles of Being and Knowledge
The whole text is super long. Here is the table of... (show quote)


F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Aquinas: Metaphysics

Metaphysics is taken by Thomas Aquinas to be the study of being qua being, that is, a study of the most fundamental aspects of being that constitute a being and without which it could not be. Aquinas’s metaphysical thought follows a modified but general Aristotelian view. Primarily, for Aquinas, a thing cannot be unless it possesses an act of being, and the thing that possesses an act of being is thereby rendered an essence/existence composite. If an essence has an act of being, the act of being is limited by that essence whose act it is. The essence in itself is the definition of a thing; and the paradigm instances of essence/existence composites are material substances (though not all substances are material for Aquinas; for example, God is not). A material substance (say, a cat or a tree) is a composite of matter and form, and it is this composite of matter and form that is primarily said to exist. In other words, the matter/form composite is predicated neither of, nor in, anything else and is the primary referent of being; all other things are said of it. The details of this very rich metaphysical landscape are described below.

Table of Contents
The Nature of Metaphysics
Essence and Existence
Participation
Substance and Accident
Matter and Form
References and Further Reading
Primary Sources
General Studies
1. The Nature of Metaphysics
Saint Thomas, that is, Aquinas, clarifies the nature of metaphysics through ascertaining its particular subject-matter, its field of investigation. In order to ascertain the subject-matter of any particular science, Thomas distinguishes between the different intellectual operations that we use when engaged in some particular scientific endeavor. Broadly speaking, these fall into two categories: the speculative and the practical. Concerning some sciences, the intellect is merely speculative by contemplating the truth of some particular subject-matter; while concerning other sciences, the intellect is practical, by ascertaining the truth and seeking to apply. There are thus correspondingly two distinct classes of science: speculative science and practical science. Speculative sciences are those that contemplate truth whereas practical sciences are those that apply truth for some practical purpose. The sciences are then further distinguished through differentiating their various subject-matters.

Insofar as the speculative sciences merely contemplate truth but do not apply it for some practical purpose, the subject-matter of the speculative sciences is that which can be understood to some extent. Working within the Aristotelian tradition, Thomas holds that something is understood when it is separated from matter and is necessary to thing in some respect. For instance, when we understand the nature of a tree, what we understand is not primarily the matter that goes to constitute the tree in question, but what it is to be a tree, or the structuring principle of the matter that so organizes it and specifies it as a tree rather than a plant. Furthermore, assuming our understanding is correct, when we understand a thing to be a tree, we do not understand it to be a dog, or a horse, or a cat. Thus, in our understanding of a tree, we understand that which is necessary for the tree to be a tree, and not of anything that is not a tree. Hence, our understanding of a thing is separated from its matter and is necessary to it in some respect. Now, what is in motion is not necessary, since what is in motion can change. Thus, the degree to which we have understood something is conditional upon the degree to which it is separated from matter and motion. It follows then that speculative objects, the subject-matter of the speculative-sciences, insofar as they are what are understood, will be separated from matter and motion to some degree. Any distinctions that obtain amongst speculative objects will in turn signify distinctions amongst the sciences that consider those objects; and we can find distinctions amongst speculative objects based upon their disposition towards matter and motion.

There are three divisions that can apply to speculative objects, thereby permitting us to differentiate the sciences that consider such objects: (i) there is a class of speculative objects that are dependent on matter and motion both for their being and for their being understood, for instance, human beings cannot be without matter, and they cannot be understood without their constituent matter (flesh and bones); (ii) there is a class of speculative objects that depend on matter and motion for their being, but not for their being understood, for instance, we can understand lines, numbers, and points without thereby understanding the matter in which they are found, yet such things cannot be without matter; (iii) there is a class of speculative objects that depend on matter and motion neither for their being nor for their being understood.

Given these three classes of speculative objects, the speculative sciences that consider them can be enumerated accordingly: (i) physical science considers those things that depend on matter and motion both for their being and for their being understood; (ii) mathematics considers those things that depend on matter and motion for their being but not for their being understood; [rcolor=red](iii) metaphysics or theology deals with those things that depend on matter and motion neither for their being nor for their being understood.[/color] Before going on to consider the subject-matter of metaphysics in a little more detail, it is important to point out that Thomas takes this division of the speculative sciences as exhaustive. For Thomas, there could be no fourth speculative science; the reason for this is that the subject-matter of such a science would have to be those things that depend on matter and motion for their being understood but not for their being, for all other combinations have been exhausted. Now, if a thing depends on matter and motion for its being understood but not for its being, then matter and motion would be put into its definition, which defines a thing as it exists. But if a thing’s existence is so defined as to include matter and motion, then it follows that it depends on matter and motion for its being; for it cannot be understood to be without matter and motion. Hence, all things that include matter and motion in their definitions are dependent on matter and motion for their being, but not all things that depend on matter and motion for their being depend on matter and motion for their being understood. There could be no fourth speculative science since there is no fourth class of speculative objects depending on matter and motion for their being understood but not for their being. Thomas thus sees this threefold division of the speculative sciences as an exhaustive one.

The third class of speculative objects comprises the objects of metaphysics or theology. Now Thomas does not equate these two disciplines, but goes on to distinguish between the proper subject-matter of metaphysics and the proper subject-matter of theology. Recall that this third class of speculative objects comprises those things depending on matter and motion neither for their being nor for their being understood. Such things are thus immaterial things; however, Thomas here draws a distinction. There are things that are immaterial insofar as they are in themselves complete immaterial substances; God and the angels would be examples of such things. To give the latter a title, let them be called positively immaterial. On the other hand there are things that are immaterial insofar as they simply do not depend on matter and motion but can nevertheless be sometimes said to be found therein. In other words, things of the latter category are neutral with respect to being found in matter and motion, and hence they are neutrally immaterial. St Thomas’s examples of the latter are being, substance, potency, form, act, one and many; such things can apply equally to material things (such as humans, dogs, cats, mice) and, to some extent, to positively immaterial things. Thus, the neutrally immaterial seem to signify certain aspects or modes of being that can apply equally to material and to immaterial things. The question then arises: what is the proper subject-matter of metaphysics: the positively immaterial or the neutrally immaterial?

According to Thomas, unaided human reason cannot have direct knowledge of the positively immaterial; this is because such things (God and angels) outstrip the human intellect’s capacity to know. Nevertheless, direct knowledge of the positively immaterial is possible, but this will not be on the basis of unaided human reason; it will require that the positively immaterial reveal themselves to us in some way, in which case direct knowledge of the positively immaterial will be dependent on some sort of revelation. As it is a purely rational science, not dependent on or presupposing the truths of revelation, metaphysics will be a study of the neutrally immaterial aspects of things, that is, a study of those modes of being that apply to all beings, whether they are material or immaterial. Such a study will be in accord with the Aristotelian conception of metaphysics as a study of being qua being, insofar as the neutrally immaterial apply to all beings and are not restricted to a certain class of beings. However, Thomas does not adopt the Aristotelian phrase (being qua being) as the subject-matter of metaphysics, he offers his own term. According to Thomas, ens commune (common being) is the proper subject-matter of metaphysics. Through an investigation of ens commune, an investigation into the aspects of being common to all beings, the metaphysician may indeed come to a knowledge of the causes of being and might thereby be led to the affirmation of divine being, but this is only at the end of the metaphysical inquiry, not at the beginning. Thus, metaphysics for Aquinas is a study of ens commune where this is understood as the common aspects of being without which a thing could not be; it does not presuppose the existence of divine being, and may not even be led to an affirmation of divine being (though Thomas of course offers several highly complex metaphysical arguments for the existence of divine being, but this should not be taken to be essential to the starting point of Thomistic metaphysics).

Metaphysics then is a study of the certain aspects common to all beings; and it is the task of the metaphysician to uncover the aspects of being that are indeed common and without which a thing could not be. There are certain aspects of being that are common insofar as they are generally applicable to all beings, and these are essence and existence; all beings exist and have an essence, hence metaphysics will be primarily concerned with the nature of essence and existence and their relationship to each other. Having completed an investigation into essence and existence, the metaphysician must investigate the aspects of being that are common to particular instances of being; and this will be a study of (i) the composition of substance and accident, and (ii) the composition of matter and form. The format of Thomistic metaphysics then takes a somewhat dyadic structure of descending generality: (i) essence and existence, (ii) substance and accident, (iii) matter and form. The format of the remainder of this article will be an investigation into these dyadic structures.

Reply
Feb 4, 2022 16:16:58   #
manning5 Loc: Richmond, VA
 
manning5 wrote:
F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Aquinas: Metaphysics

Metaphysics is taken by Thomas Aquinas to be the study of being qua being, that is, a study of the most fundamental aspects of being that constitute a being and without which it could not be. Aquinas’s metaphysical thought follows a modified but general Aristotelian view. Primarily, for Aquinas, a thing cannot be unless it possesses an act of being, and the thing that possesses an act of being is thereby rendered an essence/existence composite. If an essence has an act of being, the act of being is limited by that essence whose act it is. The essence in itself is the definition of a thing; and the paradigm instances of essence/existence composites are material substances (though not all substances are material for Aquinas; for example, God is not). A material substance (say, a cat or a tree) is a composite of matter and form, and it is this composite of matter and form that is primarily said to exist. In other words, the matter/form composite is predicated neither of, nor in, anything else and is the primary referent of being; all other things are said of it. The details of this very rich metaphysical landscape are described below.

Table of Contents
The Nature of Metaphysics
Essence and Existence
Participation
Substance and Accident
Matter and Form
References and Further Reading
Primary Sources
General Studies
1. The Nature of Metaphysics
Saint Thomas, that is, Aquinas, clarifies the nature of metaphysics through ascertaining its particular subject-matter, its field of investigation. In order to ascertain the subject-matter of any particular science, Thomas distinguishes between the different intellectual operations that we use when engaged in some particular scientific endeavor. Broadly speaking, these fall into two categories: the speculative and the practical. Concerning some sciences, the intellect is merely speculative by contemplating the truth of some particular subject-matter; while concerning other sciences, the intellect is practical, by ascertaining the truth and seeking to apply. There are thus correspondingly two distinct classes of science: speculative science and practical science. Speculative sciences are those that contemplate truth whereas practical sciences are those that apply truth for some practical purpose. The sciences are then further distinguished through differentiating their various subject-matters.

Insofar as the speculative sciences merely contemplate truth but do not apply it for some practical purpose, the subject-matter of the speculative sciences is that which can be understood to some extent. Working within the Aristotelian tradition, Thomas holds that something is understood when it is separated from matter and is necessary to thing in some respect. For instance, when we understand the nature of a tree, what we understand is not primarily the matter that goes to constitute the tree in question, but what it is to be a tree, or the structuring principle of the matter that so organizes it and specifies it as a tree rather than a plant. Furthermore, assuming our understanding is correct, when we understand a thing to be a tree, we do not understand it to be a dog, or a horse, or a cat. Thus, in our understanding of a tree, we understand that which is necessary for the tree to be a tree, and not of anything that is not a tree. Hence, our understanding of a thing is separated from its matter and is necessary to it in some respect. Now, what is in motion is not necessary, since what is in motion can change. Thus, the degree to which we have understood something is conditional upon the degree to which it is separated from matter and motion. It follows then that speculative objects, the subject-matter of the speculative-sciences, insofar as they are what are understood, will be separated from matter and motion to some degree. Any distinctions that obtain amongst speculative objects will in turn signify distinctions amongst the sciences that consider those objects; and we can find distinctions amongst speculative objects based upon their disposition towards matter and motion.

There are three divisions that can apply to speculative objects, thereby permitting us to differentiate the sciences that consider such objects: (i) there is a class of speculative objects that are dependent on matter and motion both for their being and for their being understood, for instance, human beings cannot be without matter, and they cannot be understood without their constituent matter (flesh and bones); (ii) there is a class of speculative objects that depend on matter and motion for their being, but not for their being understood, for instance, we can understand lines, numbers, and points without thereby understanding the matter in which they are found, yet such things cannot be without matter; (iii) there is a class of speculative objects that depend on matter and motion neither for their being nor for their being understood.

Given these three classes of speculative objects, the speculative sciences that consider them can be enumerated accordingly: (i) physical science considers those things that depend on matter and motion both for their being and for their being understood; (ii) mathematics considers those things that depend on matter and motion for their being but not for their being understood; (iii) metaphysics or theology deals with those things that depend on matter and motion neither for their being nor for their being understood. Before going on to consider the subject-matter of metaphysics in a little more detail, it is important to point out that Thomas takes this division of the speculative sciences as exhaustive. For Thomas, there could be no fourth speculative science; the reason for this is that the subject-matter of such a science would have to be those things that depend on matter and motion for their being understood but not for their being, for all other combinations have been exhausted. Now, if a thing depends on matter and motion for its being understood but not for its being, then matter and motion would be put into its definition, which defines a thing as it exists. But if a thing’s existence is so defined as to include matter and motion, then it follows that it depends on matter and motion for its being; for it cannot be understood to be without matter and motion. Hence, all things that include matter and motion in their definitions are dependent on matter and motion for their being, but not all things that depend on matter and motion for their being depend on matter and motion for their being understood. There could be no fourth speculative science since there is no fourth class of speculative objects depending on matter and motion for their being understood but not for their being. Thomas thus sees this threefold division of the speculative sciences as an exhaustive one.

The third class of speculative objects comprises the objects of metaphysics or theology. Now Thomas does not equate these two disciplines, but goes on to distinguish between the proper subject-matter of metaphysics and the proper subject-matter of theology. Recall that this third class of speculative objects comprises those things depending on matter and motion neither for their being nor for their being understood. Such things are thus immaterial things; however, Thomas here draws a distinction. There are things that are immaterial insofar as they are in themselves complete immaterial substances; God and the angels would be examples of such things. To give the latter a title, let them be called positively immaterial. On the other hand there are things that are immaterial insofar as they simply do not depend on matter and motion, but can nevertheless be sometimes said to be found therein. In other words, things of the latter category are neutral with respect to being found in matter and motion, and hence they are neutrally immaterial. St Thomas’s examples of the latter are: being, substance, potency, form, act, one and many; such things can apply equally to material things (such as humans, dogs, cats, mice) and, to some extent, to positively immaterial things. Thus, the neutrally immaterial seem to signify certain aspects or modes of being that can apply equally to material and to immaterial things. The question then arises: what is the proper subject-matter of metaphysics: the positively immaterial or the neutrally immaterial?

According to Thomas, unaided human reason cannot have direct knowledge of the positively immaterial; this is because such things (God and angels) outstrip the human intellect’s capacity to know. Nevertheless, direct knowledge of the positively immaterial is possible, but this will not be on the basis of unaided human reason; it will require that the positively immaterial reveal themselves to us in some way, in which case direct knowledge of the positively immaterial will be dependent on some sort of revelation. As it is a purely rational science, not dependent on or presupposing the truths of revelation, metaphysics will be a study of the neutrally immaterial aspects of things, that is, a study of those modes of being that apply to all beings, whether they are material or immaterial. Such a study will be in accord with the Aristotelian conception of metaphysics as a study of being qua being, insofar as the neutrally immaterial apply to all beings and are not restricted to a certain class of beings. However, Thomas does not adopt the Aristotelian phrase (being qua being) as the subject-matter of metaphysics, he offers his own term. According to Thomas, ens commune (common being) is the proper subject-matter of metaphysics. Through an investigation of ens commune, an investigation into the aspects of being common to all beings, the metaphysician may indeed come to a knowledge of the causes of being and might thereby be led to the affirmation of divine being, but this is only at the end of the metaphysical inquiry, not at the beginning. Thus, metaphysics for Aquinas is a study of ens commune where this is understood as the common aspects of being without which a thing could not be; it does not presuppose the existence of divine being, and may not even be led to an affirmation of divine being (though Thomas of course offers several highly complex metaphysical arguments for the existence of divine being, but this should not be taken to be essential to the starting point of Thomistic metaphysics).

Metaphysics then is a study of the certain aspects common to all beings; and it is the task of the metaphysician to uncover the aspects of being that are indeed common and without which a thing could not be. There are certain aspects of being that are common insofar as they are generally applicable to all beings, and these are essence and existence; all beings exist and have an essence, hence metaphysics will be primarily concerned with the nature of essence and existence and their relationship to each other. Having completed an investigation into essence and existence, the metaphysician must investigate the aspects of being that are common to particular instances of being; and this will be a study of (i) the composition of substance and accident, and (ii) the composition of matter and form. The format of Thomistic metaphysics then takes a somewhat dyadic structure of descending generality: (i) essence and existence, (ii) substance and accident, (iii) matter and form. The format of the remainder of this article will be an investigation into these dyadic structures.
F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z br br A... (show quote)


Again, the length of this tome is prohibitive. The search words were: Aquinas on Metaphysics

I favor Aquinas because he was a religious man and made five attempts to prove the existence of God. Then he was an admirer of Aristotle but went his own way to a large degree.

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