"Sic vive cum hominibus, tamquam deus videat; sic loquere cum deo, tamquam homines audiat" Seneka

"Metaphysics or Ontology?"
Piotr Jaroszyński, Catholic University of Lublin
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. Metaphysics or Ontology? masterfully treats the history of this controversy and many other important metaphysical questions raised over the centuries.


Table of contents

Robert Delfino


Part 1: On the Origin of Metaphysics

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

Part 2: The Rise of Ontology

Descartes and Malebranche—The Return of Augustinianism
British Philosophy: The Marginalization of Metaphysics
The Founders of Ontology: From Lorhard to Clauberg
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

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