Volume 89, 2015
Analyzing Catholic Philosophy
A Thomist Re-consideration of the Subject Matter of Metaphysics
Chrysostom Iavelli on What is Included in Being as Being
Catholic Philosophy has long acknowledged the primary place of Metaphysics, and a primary question of metaphysicians is “what is Metaphysics about?” This paper engages this primary metaphysical question through the lens of Scholastic dispute over the adequate subject matter of Metaphysics. Chrysostom Iavelli defended the position that the subject of Metaphysics is real being common to God and creatures against the position of his predecessor Dominic Flandrensis who had argued that it is categorical being to the exclusion of uncreated being. I find Flandrensis’s position represented in the writings of notable contemporary Thomists, but not Iavelli’s. This paper, offers a sixteenth-century Thomist’s position on the subject matter of Metaphysics as a challenge to current Thomist consensus. It attempts to prompt a re-investigation of the reasons behind the current consensus both as a philosophical position and as an interpretation of St. Thomas Aquinas.