Health-Healing Psychological-Sexual Ontology: Theory of Being (MobiPocket Ebook Edition)

Ontology: Theory of Being (MobiPocket Ebook Edition)

Ontology: Theory of Being (MobiPocket Ebook Edition)
Catalog # SKU3461
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 1.00 lbs
Author Name Peter Coffey
ISBN 10: 1610337832
ISBN 13: 9781610337830
Quantity 1 (this product is downloadable)



The Theory of Being

MobiPocket Reader Edition
Electronic Download

Peter Coffey

It is hoped that the present volume will supply a want that is really felt by students of philosophy in our universities-the want of an English text-book on General Metaphysics from the Scholastic standpoint. It is the author's intention to supplement his Science of Logic1 and the present treatise on Ontology, by a volume on the Theory of Knowledge. Hence no disquisitions on the latter subject will be found in these pages: the Moderate Realism of Aristotle and the Schoolmen is assumed throughout.

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In the domain of Ontology there are many scholastic theories and discussions which are commonly regarded by non-scholastic writers as possessing nowadays for the student of philosophy an interest that is merely historical. This mistaken notion is probably due to the fact that few if any serious attempts have yet been made to transpose these questions from their medieval setting into the language and context of contemporary philosophy. Perhaps not a single one of these problems is really and in substance alien to present-day speculations.

The author has endeavoured, by his treatment of such characteristically "medieval" discussions as those on Potentia and Actus, Essence and Existence, Individuation, the Theory of Distinctions, Substance and Accident, Nature and Person, Logical and Real Relations, Efficient and Final Causes, to show that the issues involved are in every instance as fully and keenly debated-in an altered setting and a new terminology-by recent and living philosophers of every school of thought as they were by St. Thomas and his contemporaries in the golden age of medieval scholasticism. And, as the purposes of a text-book demanded, attention has been devoted to stating the problems clearly, to showing the significance and bearings of discussions and solutions, rather than to detailed analyses of arguments. At the same time it is hoped that the treatment is sufficiently full to be helpful even to advanced students and to all who are interested in the "Metaphysics of the Schools". For the convenience of the reader the more advanced portions are printed in smaller type.

The teaching of St. Thomas and the other great Schoolmen of the Middle Ages forms the groundwork of the book. This corpus of doctrine is scarcely yet accessible outside its Latin sources. As typical of the fuller scholastic text-books the excellent treatise of the Spanish author, Urraburu,2 has been most frequently consulted. Much assistance has also been derived from Kleutgen's Philosophie der Vorzeit,3 a monumental work which ought to have been long since translated into English. And finally, the excellent treatise in the Louvain Cours de Philosophie, by the present Cardinal Archbishop of Mechlin,4 has been consulted with profit and largely followed in many places. The writer freely and gratefully acknowledges his indebtedness to these and other authors quoted and referred to in the course of the present volume.


Human knowledge has for its object everything that falls in any way within human experience. It has extensively a great variety in its subject-matter, and intensively a great variety in its degrees of depth and clearness and perfection. Individual facts of the past, communicated by human testimony, form the raw materials of historical knowledge. Then there are all the individual things and events that fall within one's own personal experience.

Moreover, by the study of human language (or languages), of works of the human mind and products of human genius and skill, we gain a knowledge of literature, and of the arts-the fine arts and the mechanical arts. But not merely do we use our senses and memory thus to accumulate an unassorted stock of informations about isolated facts: a miscellaneous mass of mental furniture which constitutes the bulk of human knowledge in its least developed form-cognitio vulgaris, the knowledge of the comparatively uneducated and unreflecting classes of mankind. We also use our reasoning faculty to reflect, compare, classify these informations, to interpret them, to reason about them, to infer from them general truths that embrace individual things and events beyond our personal experience; we try to explain them by seeking out their reasons and causes. This mental activity gradually converts our knowledge into scientific knowledge, and thus gives rise to those great groups of systematized truths called the sciences: as, for example, the physical and mathematical sciences, the elements of which usually form part of our early education. These sciences teach us a great deal about ourselves and the universe in which we live.

There is no need to dwell on the precious services conferred upon mankind by discoveries due to the progress of the various special sciences: mathematics as applied to engineering of all sorts; astronomy; the physical sciences of light, heat, sound, electricity, magnetism, etc.; chemistry in all its branches; physiology and anatomy as applied in medicine and surgery. All these undoubtedly contribute much to man's bodily well-being. But man has a mind as well as a body, and he is moreover a social being: there are, therefore, other special sciences-"human" as distinct from "physical" sciences-in which man himself is studied in his mental activities and social relations with his fellow-men: the sciences of social and political economy, constitutional and civil law, government, statesmanship, etc. Furthermore, man is a moral being, recognizing distinctions of good and bad, right and wrong, pleasure and happiness, duty and responsibility, in his own conduct; and finally he is a religious being, face to face with the fact that men universally entertain views, beliefs, convictions of some sort or other, regarding man's subjection to, and dependence on, some higher power or powers dwelling somehow or somewhere within or above the whole universe of his direct and immediate experience: there are therefore also sciences which deal with these domains, morality and religion.

Here, however, the domains are so extensive, and the problems raised by their phenomena are of such far-reaching importance, that the sciences which deal with them can hardly be called special sciences, but rather constituent portions of the one wider and deeper general science which is what men commonly understand nowadays by philosophy.

602 book pages - MobiPocket Reader Edition, mobi file, Electronic Download

ISBN-10: 1610337832
ISBN-13: 9781610337830

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