Ever since Kant, attempts to close down metaphysical inquiry in philosophy have proliferated. Yet the interest in metaphysics persists and is showing signs of resurgence among students concerned with raising the most basic questions about life and being as a whole.
This book is an attempt to reopen the fundamental question of being and to pursue that question in a way that is critical and systematic. Oliva Blanchette begins by establishing the necessity of raising the question of being as being after the natural sciences and phenomenology have run their course and pursuing it according to a method that is properly metaphysical as well as critical. He then proceeds to examine how we think of being according to a logic that is at once universal and concrete leading to a transcendental conception of being as analogous. After elaborating on the properties of being as one, active, true, and good, the author inquires into the structure of being and its constitutive principles as becoming and as finite. This brings him to a consideration of how being is communicated among a plurality and a diversity of beings according to a universal order of nature and history. Blanchette concludes by showing the necessity of raising the question of a totally transcendent Being at the end of metaphysics and of answering the question in the affirmative, even though the essence of what we are affirming escapes the grasp of our understanding.
The discourse is thus shown to have a beginning, a middle, and an end of interest to anyone concerned with the defense of metaphysics not only as having a standing in philosophy but also as arriving at such a standing only through a critical reflection on being as given in experience. It requires a special interest in raising the universal question of being, but it is accessible to anyone who has arrived at the point of exercising critical judgment about what there is in reality in the course of any investigation that is scientific or phenomenological.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Oliva Blanchette (1929 - 2021) was Professor of Philosophy at Boston College. He is the author of numerous works, including The Perfection of the Universe According to Aquinas.
PRAISE FOR THE BOOK:
WINNER OF THE 2007 FINDLAY BOOK PRIZE OF THE METAPHYSICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA
"Blanchette has produced a book of colossal breadth and depth of erudition.... It is a work that solidly establishes the metaphysical enterprise at the beginning of the third millennium. All contemporary philosophers will surely find profit in its careful study."—Michael J. Dodds, The Thomist
"A beautifully written, complex work of great distinction, it may rank as one of the most important books of its kind in living memory. Even those unsympathetic to metaphysics will find this prodigy of limpid clarity irresistible. Despite the vast scale of the book, there is not an obfuscating sentence."—Cyprian Love, OSB, Irish Theological Quarterly
"Professor Blanchette's focus on the questioning subject and on judgment is an extremely valuable methodological decision." — David M. Hammond, The Maritain Notebook