The Texture of Being
Essays in First Philosophy
Imprint: Catholic University of America Press
Kenneth Schmitz has spent an illustrious career as a philosopher striving to unite what Hegel called the "being of the ancients"—their deep engagement with metaphysics—to "the subjectivity of the moderns"—the modern concern with the interior life and historical particularity of human beings. Schmitz has sought to show how these concerns are two aspects of one "single philosophical life" which, far from being a pointless exercise, reflects an intellectually and spiritually fruitful human existence.
In this volume, Schmitz brings his encyclopedic knowledge of the Western philosophical tradition to bear in a wide-ranging series of essays grouped under three headings: Being, Man, and God. He brings disparate philosophical traditions into conversation, such as classical Aristotelian-Thomistic metaphysics, the modern critical rationalism of Kant, the idealist synthesis of Hegel, the postmodern deconstructionism of Derrida and Foucault, and the personalist phenomenology of Scheler, Von Hildebrand, and Wojtyla.
Schmitz explores re-situating classical metaphysics, with its confidence in the human ability to reach speculative truth, into a post-Enlightenment world that rejects the possibility, yet which values human interior richness. Schmitz believes, for instance, that we can have meaningful discourse about God's existence and about the role of beauty in helping us recognize that being is a gift received.
Diverse in topics yet unified in purpose, this volume brings together Schmitz's penetrating and rich insight into being, produced over many years, to offer readers a magisterial study from one of the great Christian philosophers of our time.
"[Schmitz] unites an almost encyclopedic knowledge of the history of philosophy, a commitment to traditional metaphysics, and a creative mind that both challenges and profits from advances made in modern and post-modern philosophy.... Schmitz provides his readers with a deep and rich understanding of the personal and a convincing case for developing a metaphysics of the personal that takes into account both the being of traditional metaphysics and the modern concern for the historical and the concrete."~Review of Metaphysics