Notes on metaphysics

-Being is not a genus, and so there are no kinds of being. Its unity is not the unity of several kinds, its analysis does not consist in classifying various sorts.

– Squirrels and mice are both kinds of vertebrates, while color and animals are not kinds of healthy things. But a squirrel is a vertebrate and so is a mouse; an animal is healthy, and so is medicine.

-Heidegger gave contemporary philosophers a phobia of onto-theology. As a counter-balance, it’s worth pointing out that it’s very difficult to get a good view of being and not think it is a divine thing, either in itself or as an immediate reflection of it. The world got its first glimpse of being through Parmenides, and all he could see was the unity of all things, pure simplicity, timelessness, the foundation of all things compared to which the sensible world is opinion and unreality (as Dionysius put it, God is neither this nor that, but all things as cause). Being is the nexus where creation proceeds from the divine activity.

1 Comment

  1. Paul Boire said,

    December 23, 2010 at 8:30 am

    I enjoyed your reflection on being, and have certainly been experiencing the onto-theological phobia on an Amazon website for “The God Delusion” where a couple of pragmatist philosophers and an analytic with personal issues have at us thomistic types with gusto. As I see it, when one leaves being, one leaves the core of philosophy. I took a few undergrad courses at U of Toronto with some wonderful professors but wish I were more efficient in my arguments.



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