From the beginning of time, people have wondered about the meaning of human life. Who are we? Why are we here? What is the point of it all? These questions have eternal significance, and just asking them tends to change the way people live their lives.
But there are even more fundamental questions than these, questions that ask not only about our being, but about being itself. What does it mean for anything to exist? What makes a being a being? How does being differ from nonbeing? And the ultimate question: Why is there something rather than nothing?
Philosophy and the Science of Being
Philosophy, in its traditional form as the love of wisdom and pursuit of truth, strives to answer these ultimate questions. And the branch of philosophy that seeks to do so is metaphysics. Aristotle called it the “science of being” because it is concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of existence itself.
Catholics might ask, why study metaphysics or philosophy? Don’t we have the answers to those questions in theology? But as St. Thomas Aquinas shows, revealed theology is the study of God as he is in himself. What Aquinas calls “philosophical theology” or metaphysics, studies God as the cause of being. Metaphysics proves through logical deduction that the existence of the universe requires a First Cause, a Creator, to account for why there is anything at all.
Metaphysics in the Catholic Tradition
Dr. Gregory T. Doolan offers a survey of metaphysics in the Catholic tradition. He discusses these topics and more:
The distinction between philosophy and theology The nature, principles, and causes of being The existence of God as the first cause of all being
Professor Doolan begins with the roots of metaphysics in pre-Christian Greek philosophy from the great minds of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. The course highlights the crowning philosophical achievements of St. Thomas Aquinas during the 13th century. Finally, Professor Doolan references the modern philosophical decline that followed St. Thomas Aquinas.
If you’re ready to explore the deepest realities of existence, join Professor Gregory T. Doolan for this philosophical survey of metaphysics.