Heidegger and Aquinas: An Essay on Overcoming Metaphysics

Heidegger and Aquinas: An Essay on Overcoming Metaphysics

Heidegger and Aquinas: An Essay on Overcoming Metaphysics

Heidegger and Aquinas: An Essay on Overcoming Metaphysics

Synopsis

"The volume, which tosses off insights by the pageful, demonstrates Caputo's masterful control of both the Heideggerian and Thomistic corpus." -Research in Phenemology

Excerpt

The purpose of the present study is to undertake a confrontation of the thought of Martin Heidegger and of Thomas Aquinas on the question of Being and the problem of metaphysics. Now, a "confrontation" which does no more than draw up a catalogue of common traits and points of difference is no more than a curiosity, an idle comparison which bears no fruit. What matters in a genuinely philosophical confrontation is that something be brought forth about the nature of things (rerum natura), about the matter to be thought (Sache des Denkens). Husserl's warning not to be concerned with philosophers and their philosophies rings truer than ever today, when the lines of philosophical communication threaten to be flooded with monographs and studies of this or that philosopher and of this or that "connection." I have no interest here in establishing such a connection between Heidegger and Aquinas, between this German philosopher who still today is popularly thought to be an atheist and this medieval theologian whose thought has always been held close to the bosom of the Catholic Church. What interests me is the Sache, the matter which presents itself for thought, which, in the case of these two thinkers, is the problem of Being and the nature of metaphysical knowledge. I have no interest in developing an expertise in Heidegger or Aquinas. What interests me is the problem of how Being can be thought.

And that is the point of this confrontation. For however widely separated these authors may be by historical setting and substantive concerns, Aquinas and Heidegger are philosophers of Being par excellence. and they each lay claim -- or in the case of Aquinas his . . .

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