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Understanding Our Being

Introduction to Speculative Philosophy in the Perennial Tradition

John W. Carlson

Publication Year: 2012

Written as an undergraduate textbook, Understanding Our Being treats central topics about our knowledge of being, the being of the natural world, and, via the latter, being as such

Published by: The Catholic University of America Press


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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-x

The author wishes to thank those at the Catholic University of America Press (David McGonagle, James Kruggel, Greg LaNave, Theresa Walker, and Beth Benevides) who encouraged and assisted this project through its various stages. Acknowledgment also is due to four readers for the Press ...

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pp. xi-xiv

This book introduces the reader to speculative philosophy, especially as pursued in what Pope John Paul II called the “great tradition”— a historical and continuing intellectual movement inspired, in part, by resources and requirements of Christian faith. ...

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pp. 1-24

This is a book of speculative philosophy;1 but what, the reader may ask, is that? From its Greek etymology (philia, for “love,” plus sophia, for “wisdom”), the word “philosophy” means “love of wisdom.” “Wisdom,” in turn, suggests an understanding of ultimate matters— in particular, concerning the nature of our being, ...

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Part 1. Being

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pp. 25-100

Philosophy, as we noted in the Introduction, has its origin in wonder. For the speculative philosopher such wonder, or awe, is directed primarily at the very being of things. In the Introduction, we mentioned wonder at “the splendor of existence” in noting how Christian faith can inspire and enhance one’s philosophical thinking. ...

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Part 2. Our Personal Being

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pp. 101-182

In this part of our book, general notions we have articulated about being (e.g., “substance,” “form,” “causality,” “act” and “potency,” etc.) are applied to the understanding of our specific type of being— namely, human and personal being. The reader will recall that we often referred to human reality and activity in our discussions in part 1. ...

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Part 3. God—Being’s Source and End

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pp. 183-262

Near the end of each of the preceding parts, lines of thought related to traditional ideas of God suggested themselves. In section 1.5, we came to the idea of Absolute Being, which might provide an ultimately satisfactory explanation of the being of our experience. ...

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pp. 263-280

Under the general title Understanding Our Being, this book has sought to introduce students to speculative philosophy as undertaken in the perennial tradition. Let us review the principal results that have been articulated. ...


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pp. 281-296


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pp. 297-308


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pp. 309-320

E-ISBN-13: 9780813220345
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813215181

Page Count: 335
Publication Year: 2012

OCLC Number: 815289391
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Understanding Our Being

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Subject Headings

  • Philosophy -- Introductions.
  • Ontology.
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