Metaphysics or Philosophy of Being

Metaphysics or Philosophy of Being

Metaphysics, a discipline with long standing history, has been understood in different ways. Traditionally, it is considered as the most general and fundamental discipline of all other disciplines. Metaphysics or the Philosophy of Being as Being seeks to answer questions about existence. 

Course code: PHI00012

Professor: Dr. Vinoy Thomas Paikkattu, O.P.

Course description

Metaphysics seeks to describe the world on the basis of reason and experience. Metaphysics seeks to answer the questions: Why is there something rather than nothing? And who am I and why am I here? The world of experience that we each contemplate is conditioned by many prior beliefs. Metaphysics is the science and art of bringing unconscious beliefs into mind and questioning them. The answers and solutions to the questions and problems are discovered with a kind of rational contemplation and critical thinking.

Table of contents

  • The first chapter is an introductory chapter that deals with the whole notion of Metaphysics. Definition, nature, scope, division, importance, and starting point of Metaphysics in detail.
  • The second chapter is a historical overview of Metaphysics based on the history of philosophy and philosophers. The history is not all exhaustive but is sufficient to understand the progressive development of Metaphysics as a discipline of Philosophy down the centuries.
  • The third chapter attempts to introduce the notion, knowledge, Definition, principles, analogy and identity, and types of Being. This chapter aims at more of a conceptual clarification of Being.
  • The fourth chapter elucidates on the metaphysical structure of Being. It analyses the concepts of existence, essence, matter and form, act and potency, and substance and accidents. This chapter synthesises all these notions into a holistic system of understanding the very reality of a thing whether material or immaterial.
  • The fifth chapter deals with the ontological or transcendental properties of Being, the associate concepts of Metaphysical structures of Being. These concepts shed light into the ordinary understanding of Being, the way beings are recognised by human beings.
  • The sixth chapter is a brief introduction on the principle of causality. It enquires into the ‘why’ of all things. The chapter ends with a Humean critique of principle of causality and a relevant answer to the concerns of David Hume, the sceptic.
  • The seventh chapter is a brief description on the ontological notion of person, especially on human person.
  • The eight chapter is a small introduction of Indian Metaphysics which would complement other studies on Indian philosophy, and would stand as a logical counterpart to the western Metaphysics.