The course includes discussion of the following topics:
1. Theory of being as a philosophical discipline; The distinctive features of philosophical explanation: 1) search for ultimate explaining reasons (causes) of human experience as a whole, 2) relevance to the whole of human experience (the whole of reality as experienced by us, humans), 3) transcendent (non empirical) nature of the looked for reasons 4) absence of a priori presuppositions, methodological abstraction and thematic restrictions.
The place of philosohical sciences in the overall classificatory scheme of scientific fields of study.
2. Philosophy and religious dogma, the points of convergence and the essential differences; diverse conceptions of the relationship obtaining between philosophical theoryand religious doctrine.
3. The three basic points of reference of philosophical enterprise as illustrated in the so called Plato's triangle: the world (nature, the object), the knower (the self, the subject), and the Absolute (God, pure essences, the Absolute Spirit); three kinds of philosophy and philosophical explanation arising therefrom: philosophy of being, philosophy of the subject (transcenedental philosophy) and philosophy of the Absolute (Absolute Spirit, God, Absolute substance).
4. The classical philosophy of being as developed in ancient Greece, given the mature form in Aristotle, further developed and enriched by the Church Fathers, medieval Arab and Jewish philosophers and, above all, by the Latin scholastic thinkers (St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Bonaventure, Blessed John Duns Scotus, William of Ockham), the names of "first philosophy", "metaphysics" and "ontology" given to it, the history of these names and various shades of meaning associated with them; "Being insofar as being and the essential attributes of being" (Aristotle, Metaphysics, 4; 1003 a) as the definition of the subject matter of the classical theory of being.
5.The development of philosophy of being in ancient Greece, starting from the Milesian school, over Heraclitus, Parmenides of Elea, the Pythagoreans, the pluralist philosophers, the atomists; Plato's theory of transcendent essences as a crucial contribution to the final shaping of the classical theory of being.
6. Aristotle's philosophy as a synthesis of earlier attempts at philosophical explanation of the Universe: the materialism of the early philosophers and the essentialism of Plato, the ontologism of Parmenides and the process philosophy of Heraclitus, the number philosophy of the Pythagoreans and their atomistic materialism of Democritus, the theory of act and potency as the conceptual device mediating between the opposed philosophical theories; the fundamental concepts of the classical) theory of being: being, essence, act, potency, substance, accident, form, matter, material, formal, efficient and final causality: the crucial terms supplied in the course of later development: nature and supposit, existence (esse) and essence (as related to esse), person.
7. Substance as the fundamental form of being in the classical theory of being; the distinctive features of substance; accident as a form of being complemetary to substance (opposed to substance and necessarily related to it); concrete individual being as a unity of substance and its accidents; the doctrine of categories in Ariostotle and the nine categories of accidents, the essential (intrinsic) accidents and adventitious (extrinsic) accidents.
8. Act and potency as the fundamental metaphysical theory rendering possible mediation between unity of principle and plurality of the principled realities; the conception of movement as transition from potency (imperfect realization) to act (perfect realization); the theory of act and potency as the necessary metaphysical basis for any principled explanation of pluirality and variability of being
9. The conception of hylomorphic composition in being (that is composition of from and matter) as the application of the act/potency theory to nature and its processes; the form as the principle of a being's unity, essence, specific and generic identity, spontaneous (natural) activity and intelligibility. Matter (prime) as the principle of a being's changeability, spatial extension, passivity (receptivity of changes induced from without), destructibility and (relative) opacity with respect to comprehension. The problem of individuation; matter as the principle of individuation in Aristotle, the alternative theories of individuation (Thomas Aquinas, Henry of Ghent and Duns Scotus; the nominalists).
10. The distinction of esse (existence) and the essence and its history (Al-Farabi, Avicenna); Aquinas's conception of the act of being (esse) as the discovery of the fundamental principle of any being; esse as the ultimate act grounding any reality; God as pure esse (His essence being identical to his esse), the reality of the distinction esse/essence in the created beings; the proof of God's existence based upon this distinction sketched in Aquinas's work "On Being and Essence").
11. The system of ontological differences in an individual being according to the classical theory of being (existence/essence; form/matter; substance/accident); the conception of supposit and individuality of rational nature; theory of personal being and its theological (dogmatic) sources.
12. Metaphysical conception of causality (as opposed to scientific and transcendental);the fourfold conception of causality in the classical theory of being: the intrinsic causes (formal and material) and the extrinsic ones (efficient and final); diverse kinds of efficient causality (God as a creative efficient cause, natural and human efficient causality); the centrality of final (teleological) causality in the classical theory of being.
13. The essential (necessary) attributes of being as being: the transcendentals. The thomistic discussion of transcendental attributes of being as being: being, thing, unity, something (or otherness), true, good and beautiful as the transcendentals; the fundamental laws of being as revealed by transcendental analysis: the laws of identity, non contradiction and sufficient reason of any being; the foundation for Aquinas's; conception of transcendentals; analogical character of transcendental concepts; analogy of proportionality as the transcendental feature of being; the structure of analogy of proportionality; other kinds of analogy (analogy of attribution, metaphore).
14. The structure of metaphysics as a science of being arising from experience: existential judgments followed by judgments of separation as the foundation of correct comprehension of reality and the formation of the realist concept of being as the subject matter of metaphysical science; the peculiar features of the metaphysical concept of being (and other transcendental concepts), the analogical, non abstract generality and concrete (encompassing esse and essence) character of all transcendental concepts.
15. Some alternative to the Thomistic developments of the Aristotelian realist act/potency metaphysics; the metaphysical conceptions of St. Bonaventure, John Duns Scotus, the nominalists (William Ockham, later developed by Suarez).
(in Polish) Grupa przedmiotów ogólnouczenianych
(in Polish) Punkty ECTS
Learning outcome code/codes
Type of subject
The basic reading:
1.Mieczysław A. Krąpiec, Metafizyka, Lublin 1995 (or any other edition);
2. Arno Anzenbacher, Wprowadzenie do filozofii, p. 17 - 94, Kraków 2003.
3. Peter van Inwagen, Meghan Sullivan, Metaphysics, in: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy,
4. The script of the course by the responsible for the course given to the participants of the course
1. Władysław Stróżewski, Ontologia, Kraków 2004
2. E. Gilson, Byt i istota, tłum. D. Eska, J. Nowak, Warszawa 2006
3. E Gilson, Jedność doświadczenia filozoficznego, tłum. Z. Wrzeszcz, Warszawa 1968,
4. Mieczysław A. Krąpiec, Teoria analogii bytu, Lublin 1993,
5. Mieczysław A. Krapiec, Z teorii i metodologii metafizyki, Lublin 1994,
6. Mieczysław A. Krąpiec, Struktura bytu, Lublin 1995,
7 Jerzy Łopat OFMConv, Skrypt wykładów seminaryjnych, Łódź-Łagiewniki 2004,
8. M. Jaworski, Metafizyka, Kraków 1998,
9. S. Kowalczyk, Metafizyka ogólna, Lublin 1997.
10. Stefan Swieżawski, Byt. Zagadnienie metafizyki tomistycznej, Lublin 1961,
11. Tadeusz Czeżowski, O metafizyce, jej kierunkach i zagadnieniach, Kęty 2004 (or any earlier edition).
Information on level of this course, year of study and semester when the course unit is delivered, types and amount of class hours - can be found in course structure diagrams of apropriate study programmes. This course is related to the following study programmes:
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