The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 2, 1999


Ludger Honnefelder
Pages 1-13

Reconsidering the Tradition of Metaphysics
The Medieval Example (Aquinas, Duns Scotus, Ockham)

In what follows, I argue that the thinkers of the twelfth to thirteenth century rediscovered and passed on the questions of metaphysics; in what I call the second beginning of metaphysics they also developed those questions in such a way that they could be received into the thinking of the modern era in the first place. It was precisely the theological context which forced this development and lead the theologians of the Latin West, inspired by their Arabic predecessors, to redesign metaphysics according to the rules of Aristotle’s logic and philosophy of science. Put differently, through the challenge of theology medieval metaphysics was forced to become what it had claimed to be from the onset: first philosophy.