Volume 15, Issue 1, 1967
Methods Of Modern Metaphysics (Part I)
The ways of pursuing metaphysics have become so numerous and varied today that the need for some classification is obvious. In fact they differ so much that one may doubt whether they can still be ranged under the common name of metaphysics. That is why, we must first explain how this term should be understood so as to cover all modern trends and styles adopted in this discipline. Next a distinction must be drawn between actually applied methods and others which are simply suggested or advised in a particular metaphysical approach. The paper is essentially devoted to both kinds.
Following the introductory terminological remarks, the choice of the principles governing the systematics of the methods of metaphysics today is examined. Ultimately two principles have been accepted: a more historical one — according to the most distinct philosophical trends — and a second one, more systematic, according to the accepted starting point in metaphysics and the tasks ascribed.
The first part of the study, presented here, gives a cyclopedic description of the characteristics of metaphysical methods, grouped in the main philosophical trends of today. In the first set are grouped methods belonging to a very large trend which may be called scientistic and intuitive philosophy (among others, Bergson, Teihard de Chardin, Whitehead, Collingwood, Gonseth, G. Martin and N. Hartmann). The second group represents analytical philosophy developing in three stages: I — Moore, Russell; II — Wittgenstein, Russell and some neopositivists; III — Wittgenstein, Wisdom, Ryle, Lazerowitz, Strawson. Phenomenology and existentialism are grouped together because their methods intercross: phenomenological method — Husserl, Scheler, Conrad-Martius, Ingarden, Landgrebe, Fink, Ricoeur; phenomenological and existential method — Heidegger, Sartre, Mer- leau-Ponty; existential method — Jaspers, Marcel and the so-called Philosophie de Vesprit (Lavelle, Le Senne, Guitton). The last group, Peripatetic philosophy, will be considered in part II.