We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

The Texture of Being

essays in first philosophy

Kenneth L. Schmitz

Publication Year: 2011

Diverse in topics yet unified in purpose, this volume brings together Schmitz's penetrating and rich insight into being, produced over many years, to offer readers a magisterial study from one of the great Christian philosophers of our time.

Published by: The Catholic University of America Press

Series: Studies in Philosophy and the History of Philosophy

Title Page, Copyright Page

pdf iconDownload PDF (31.8 KB)


pdf iconDownload PDF (25.8 KB)
pp. v-vi

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (25.6 KB)
pp. vii-viii

The present volume has come about through many helpful persons: the editor, Paul O’Herron, and a trio of friends—Dave McGonagle, Director of the Catholic University of America Press; Jude Dougherty, Dean Emeritus of the School of Philosophy at the Catholic University of America; ...

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (57.4 KB)
pp. ix-xviii

Kenneth L. Schmitz has taken giant strides toward doing what Hegel said he wanted to do: to reconcile the “being of the ancients” with the “subjectivity of the moderns.” In the first part of this introduction, I try to set up this issue. ...

Part I. Being

read more

1. Metaphysics: Radical, Comprehensive, Determinate Discourse

pdf iconDownload PDF (78.1 KB)
pp. 3-20

Metaphysics is the most controversial and controverted of the philosophical disciplines. I want to argue, nevertheless, that if it did not already exist in some form, then it would be necessary to invent it. For the need to think fundamentally is not incidental to the inquiring energy of the human mind. ...

read more

2. Analysis by Principles and Analysis by Elements

pdf iconDownload PDF (77.3 KB)
pp. 21-36

In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries widespread distrust of analysis by principles contributed to the acceptance of analysis by elements. More precisely, the challenge to the validity and significance of analysis by ontological1 principles resulted in the rise of analysis by quantitative elements. ...

read more

3. From Anarchy to Principles: Deconstruction and the Resources of Christian Philosophy

pdf iconDownload PDF (81.0 KB)
pp. 37-53

One of the most influential movements among philosophers today is that of Deconstruction. It is the moving energy of thought at the center of much that has been called “postmodern.” Its birthplace is Paris, but it has reached North America’s universities through philosophy, linguistics, literary studies, sociology, political theory, ...

read more

4. Neither with nor without Foundations

pdf iconDownload PDF (83.5 KB)
pp. 54-73

This essay was originally prepared for the 1988 Metaphysical Society meeting, where I had been asked to speak out of what has been called “the great tradition,” concerning the rumored “end of metaphysics.” It is important, however, to notice what followed the colon in the chosen theme: “the question of foundations.” ...

read more

5. Another Look at Objectivity

pdf iconDownload PDF (65.7 KB)
pp. 74-87

In many philosophical quarters, and elsewhere, something called “objectivity” has come into low esteem. It seems to some to be a counterfeit goal and a hindrance to more worthwhile knowledge. We hear of “mere objectivity,” of an approach which is “too objective,” of the indignity of treating persons as though they are “nothing but objects,” ...

read more

6. Enriching the Copula

pdf iconDownload PDF (76.7 KB)
pp. 88-105

It is a commonplace among students of St. Thomas Aquinas that in his view a judgment does not come to rest in its truth until it reaches the thing being judged about. For him the judgment in its fundamental nature is not simply a union of subject and predicate, but is rather the surge of the mind itself towards rest in the being of things (esse rerum). ...

read more

7. Created Receptivity and the Philosophy of the Concrete

pdf iconDownload PDF (110.5 KB)
pp. 106-131

Gabriel Marcel gave his phenomenological inquiries the name “Philosophy of the Concrete,”1 and he made no bones about the distance between his philosophy and that of Thomism.2 Between these philosophies there can be no question of an approchement of tone, nor even of manner, but at most a convergence of truths shared differently. ...

read more

8. The Solidarity of Personalism and the Metaphysics of Existential Act

pdf iconDownload PDF (72.1 KB)
pp. 132-146

There have been human persons since Adam delved and Eve span. And the word persona, prosopon—thickened and deepened by the revelation of the God-man Jesus Christ—has been with us since the great Councils of the Church. Is it not surprising, then, that we have had to wait until the twentieth century to hear of philosophies ...

Part II. Man

read more

9. The Geography of the Human Person

pdf iconDownload PDF (82.6 KB)
pp. 149-167

If an inquisitive acquaintance gets uncomfortably close to what we don’t want broadcast to others, we are likely to demur with the excuse: “I really don’t want to talk about that, it’s very personal.” If the questioner has any sensitivity at all, that should warn him or her off any further inquisition, ...

read more

10. Immateriality Past and Present

pdf iconDownload PDF (71.3 KB)
pp. 168-182

The medieval conception of immateriality was prominent in discussions of God, man, and nature, of causality, activity, and order, of knowledge, freedom, and immortality. Yet this once noble conception seems absent from most present-day discussions of similar topics. ...

read more

11. The First Principle of Personal Becoming

pdf iconDownload PDF (77.3 KB)
pp. 183-199

Personal development has two broad phases: the first is that of infancy, childhood, and adolescence; the second is that of our continuing development as adults. Without excluding the former, I wish to concentrate upon the latter in order to describe what I will argue is a spiritual form of life in the individual human being. ...

read more

12. Purity of Soul and Immortality

pdf iconDownload PDF (86.8 KB)
pp. 200-220

It is said of St. Thomas Aquinas’ teacher, St. Albert the Great, that he grew forgetful towards the end of his life and began to say mass for himself as though he were dead: quasi defunctus est. The fact that he was one of the most learned persons of Western Europe during his lifetime did not save him from a pathetic loss of memory. ...

read more

13. Is Liberalism Good Enough?

pdf iconDownload PDF (92.2 KB)
pp. 221-242

A free market will undoubtedly offer several varieties of goods for sale, including a variety of theories of the good. As we enter the bazaar we can expect to be offered the very best theory of the very best good; nor should we be surprised to find the trademark “Liberal” stamped upon it, and perhaps the logo: ...

Part III. God

read more

14. Theological Clearances: Foreground to a Rational Recovery of God

pdf iconDownload PDF (82.7 KB)
pp. 245-264

Near the beginning of the Summa theologiae St. Thomas Aquinas presents the well-known “five ways.”1 The quinque viae make up a single proof of the existence of God by way of five approaches: from motion concluding to the First Mover; from causative action concluding to the First Cause or Source; ...

read more

15. God, Being, and Love: New Ontological Perspectives Coming from Philosophy

pdf iconDownload PDF (84.8 KB)
pp. 265-282

In keeping with the theme of Fides et ratio, I am impelled to complete the subtitle: “New Ontological Perspectives Coming from Philosophy,” with the following: “Coming from Philosophy in its Encounter with the Proposals of Faith.” For the strict substance of the argument in the encyclical insists that nothing truly and profoundly new ...

read more

16. The Death of God and the Rebirth of Man

pdf iconDownload PDF (84.8 KB)
pp. 283-299

Metaphors of language sometimes express a reality that stricter and more modest conceptions do not express so well. Moreover, some striking metaphors, such as the “death of God,” can give expression to real conditions in our culture. The intention of this essay is to sketch a current problematic ...

read more

17. The Witness of Beauty: The Profile of God

pdf iconDownload PDF (76.2 KB)
pp. 300-316

In 1939, during the early horrible days of the Nazi occupation of the Polish city of Krakow, the young Karol Wojtyla wrote to an older friend, replying to his request for information regarding mutual friends, those who had disappeared during the initial terror. ...


pdf iconDownload PDF (54.9 KB)
pp. 317-324

Index of Names

pdf iconDownload PDF (43.1 KB)
pp. 325-327

E-ISBN-13: 9780813216539
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813214689

Page Count: 345
Publication Year: 2011

Series Title: Studies in Philosophy and the History of Philosophy