restricted access Chapter Three. Determination by Christianity and the Concept of Mathematical-Methodological Grounding in the Metaphysical Systems of Modernity
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Chapter Three Determination by Christianity and the Concept of Mathematical-Methodological Grounding in the Metaphysical Systems of Modernity§13. The two main tasks that frame modern metaphysics: the grounding of the essence of Being in general and the proof of the essence and existence of God Metaphysics is the knowledge of beings as a whole. God—according to the tradition the highest being, summum ens—rules and determines all beings . But in another sense, Being is also comprehensive, that which belongs to every being as such, ens in communi. “God,” taken in the light of the most universal concept of Being, is only one being among others , albeit the highest. Now, if we are right in our thesis of the predominance of the mathematical method in the inner construction and claim to truth of this metaphysics, then obviously this construction must begin with the simplest concept and its grounding deduction, and in such a way that on the basis of this inception all other beings are derived—both what they are and that they are. That applies above all and ultimately to the summum ens. So what is at stake here is nothing less than deriving the essence and existence of God as summum ens from the universal essence of Being in a step-by-step deduction. This project demands two things if it is to become properly possible. First, the concept of God must be grasped in such a way that its specifically Christian content, as viewed from the end and conclusion of this metaphysics, remains intact, while its mathematical derivation from the concept of Being becomes possible: to mathematize the Christian concept of God. But then, from the point of view of the inception of this 41 metaphysics, the question arises: whence the ens in communi? If everything is subject to deduction, and if even and precisely the simplest concepts are to be subjected to a deductive definition, whence and how do we arrive at the ens in communi? The entire structure of this metaphysics is framed by these two main tasks, the proof of the essence and existence of God and the grounding of the essence of Being in general—and so much so that these tasks are not even expressly named at all. They are taken for granted as the point of departure and goal of the whole, and they mutually determine each other. Behind this framework stand two powers, powers of the history of Western humanity: the Greek question concerning beings and the Christian faith in God. But both have already also lost their edge and their dangerousness. The question concerning Being is now nothing but a search for a way to define it, and faith has been made “rational” in the age of Enlightenment . The proof of this is precisely what this metaphysics now strives for in its construction and claim to truth: the mathematical. The rigor of this thinking and defining does not grow from strength and from the struggle to overcome an urgent need, but results and flows from a secured position of Dasein that, certain of what it possesses, would like to shape it in an unassailable way that is accessible to everyone . But precisely this is the presupposition for the fact that then, later on, with Hegel, the whole of this metaphysics can return in a changed way, and as something that has been surpassed in a certain sense. This means: we must learn to grasp Hegel on the basis of the connections we have now elucidated, and to set aside the perspective that has become usual in recent times, the perspective that tries to grasp Hegel only on the basis of Kant.§14. The mathematical character of the system at the basis of Baumgarten’s metaphysics a) The concept of veritas metaphysica: the agreement of what is with the most universal principles Now let us try to achieve an actual insight into the inner construction of the entirety of Baumgarten’s metaphysics, (1) on the basis of its starting point and goal, and (2) at the same time on the basis of the inner connection of both, in order thus to support our assertion about its mathematical character. To this end, we first need to clarify a question . If it is the case that the inner construction of this metaphysics, not just its external framework, is mathematical, then this must be apparent above all in the concept of truth under which the knowledge 42 Christian Determination and Grounding [52...


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