Volume 76, Issue 2, Spring 2002
Thomas A.F. Kelly
On Remembering and Forgetting Being
Aquinas, Heidegger, and Caputo
This essay consists of (a) an exploration of the relation between Aquinas and Heidegger as this is discussed in the work of John Caputo, and (b) an attempt, in the light of what is learned from the previous discussion, to rethink the essence of Thomistic metaphysics in a way that is both faithful to the spirit of Thomism, remaining attentive to its mystical source, and alive to the mystery of Being in a Heideggerian sense. In this way the argumental structure central to that metaphysics is treated as a Wittgensteinian ladder that we can kick away, that is, which auto-deconstructs, thereby placing us before unlimited, unqualified existence, the Difference between existence and nothingness. The essay ends with a suggestion for a transformation of Heidegger’s Denken along lines suggested by this rethinking of Thomism. A reply by John Caputo follows the essay.