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Selected Problems of Metaphysics and Ontology


Renáta Kišoňová

The presented text offers a basic overview of the terms and topics of the very wide philosophical discipline called metaphysics. The text includes, besides an overview of individual problems, reflections to consider and recommended literature. Readers will become familiar with the basic terms (metaphysics, ontology, existence, being), with the metaphysics of archaic nations, Parmenides’s approach to understand being as The One, the understanding of time and events of the Greeks, the problem of categories according to Aristotle and Kant, the problem of intuition and fundamental ontology.
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8. Metaphysics as a Way to God


8.1. Negative Theology of Dionysius the Areopagite

The historians of medieval philosophy can argue about the authenticity of the medieval faith; however, they agree on one fact: if there is a concept which concentrates in itself all of the ideas of medieval people about the universe then this concept must be God. According to Le Goff, “we cannot find a more global and universal idea as this one. God embraces, or more correctly, floods the entire conceivable area of experience, everything that can be observed in nature or among people, everything that can be thought of, begins with the idea of God itself” (Le Goff, Time, Work, and Culture in the Middle Ages, 1980).

Dionysius the Areopagite made his mark in history, on one hand, with his teachings about the hierarchical ← 51 | 52 → order of the world (probably even the term hierarchia comes from him), with his teaching about sacraments, beauty, the interpretation of Biblical symbols but mainly with the method of negative (απογατικη) and positive (καταγατικη) theology.

A key topic of most of his works is the relationship between God and humans, a specific question of how (if at all) a human can know God. God is, in his understanding, separated from everything, a transcendent principle of everything that is (see: Koudelka, M.: Nauka o pozitivní a negativní theologii v Dionysiových Listech a Mystické theologii. In: Dionysios Areopagity: Listy. O mystické theologii. Praha: OIKOYMENH, 2005, p. 11). This definition says that God...

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