Abstract/Details

Jacques Maritain, the intuition of being, and the problem of the proper starting point for Thomistic metaphysics


1994 1994

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Abstract (summary)

One of the great controversies of twentieth century Thomism concerns Jacques Maritain's insistence that a metaphysical intuition of being is both necessary and possible for metaphysics, if metaphysics is defined as that discipline which studies being qua being, for according to Maritain, only the metaphysical intuition of being enables the intellect to see, through immediate, abstractive, intellectual insight, that being (ens) transcends the bounds of matter, and so need not be actualized in matter. Without the intuition of being, the intellect is confined to the knowledge of possible being implicit in sensory experience and everyday life. Indeed, an intellect lacking the metaphysical intuition of being can never rise above its knowledge of being as material, as clothed in the sensible. Maritain believes that the metaphysical intuition of being throws open the door of the mind to the possibility of the existence of non-material, though quite actual, ens.

Maritain's opponents, such as Gilson, Owens, and most recently, John F. X. Knasas, claim that the basic positive judgment of existence never apprehends esse (a being's act of existing) as actuating anything other than material ens. Maritain's intuition of being, they say, is a non-Thomistic, accidental, and distorting addition to an epistemology that needs no amending. It is this author's contention, however, that Maritain was right to have insisted upon the necessity of the intuition of being for metaphysics, and further, that the possibility of such an intuition is laden with great significance for the development of Thomistic metaphysics, and for the future of the Catholic intellectual tradition. This is especially true when Maritain's philosophy of the intuition of being is seen in the light of Marechal's transcendental Thomism, for both recognize the inherent dynamism of the intellect, and the need for a purely intuitive, though natural, knowledge of God's existence.

It is the purpose of this dissertation to defend Maritain's metaphysics and philosophy of the intuition of being against its Thomistic critics, and to show that Maritainian Thomism points the way out of the current Thomistic impasse in metaphysics.

Indexing (details)


Subject
Philosophy
Classification
0422: Philosophy
Identifier / keyword
Philosophy, religion and theology; Maritain, Jacques
Title
Jacques Maritain, the intuition of being, and the problem of the proper starting point for Thomistic metaphysics
Author
Pugh, Matthew Scott
Number of pages
328
Publication year
1994
Degree date
1994
School code
0072
Source
DAI-A 55/01, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
Advisor
Hudson, Deal
University/institution
Fordham University
University location
United States -- New York
Degree
Ph.D.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
9416675
ProQuest document ID
304095511
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/304095511
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