Volume 16, Issue 1, Spring 2011
Truth, Reality and Religion New Perspectives In Metaphysics
Paul Gilbert, S.J.
Voilà pourquoi je ne suis pas ‘ontologue’
The word ‘ontology’ has no meaning outside the context in which it was created. When it was invented, at the beginning of the seventeenth century, the
word ‘metaphysics’ already existed. So the creation of ‘ontology’ had to express a distance with respect to tradition. ‘Metaphysics’ had its roots in Aristotle and his search, his impossible search, for a first principle. This project is taken up again by ‘ontology’ but this time by limiting the Aristotelian intention to the area of univocal formality, while Aristotle had situated himself within the order of dialectical investigation. Current phenomenology tries to re-actualize the Aristotelian intention by emphasizing ontological difference and analogy, while analytic philosophy remains firmly within the tradition of modern ontology.