A Study in the History of the Methodology of Classical Metaphysics
3. The intuitive validation of the first principlesof being
3. The intuitive validation of the first principles of being296 This chapter shall consist in a discussion of two key issues: the relation of the first principles of being to the concept of being as the object of metaphysics, their position and role in metaphysics as well as the method by which they are validated as the concept of being as being is illuminated. In the course of discussing the latter of these issues under the heading “method” I will address the fact that the first principles of being are indemonstrable, and will discuss their intuitive nature. 3.1. The relation of the first principles of being to the concept of being as being Our discussion of the relationship between the first principles of being and the concept of being as being will be divided into two parts. The first principles of being will first be described with respect to their linguistic formulas. In this part, I will simply describe the first principles by reflecting on the way they have been formulated in Maritain’s work, beginning with an analysis of the term “principle” itself. I will subsequently show the first principles of being to result from an illumination of the concept of being as being and indicate the intuitive nature of the process of illumination as well as the role played and position occupied by the first principles in metaphysics. 3.1.1. On understanding the term “principle” In the philosophical language of J. Maritain, just as in the philosophy of Aristotle and...
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