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An Elementary Christian Metaphysics Reprint Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0268009168
ISBN-10: 0268009163
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"...includes... a general investigation of beings... an analysis of knowledge... and... divine nature... in light of natural reason..." -- Studies in Religion, 15/1, 1986

About the Author

JOSEPH OWENS (1908–2005) taught philosophy at the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies and the University of Toronto for forty years. He is the author of a number of books, including An Interpretation of Existence, also published by the University of Notre Dame Press.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Center for Thomistic Studies; Reprint edition (April 30, 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0268009163
  • ISBN-13: 978-0268009168
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #562,126 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Unfortunately this book is not as popular as it should be. Don't let the title fool you, this is not a book about "basic" metaphysics. However, it also not so advanced that one's mind would have to be in the stratosphere to understand it. Joseph Owens discusses one of, if not THE, most important aspects of Thomistic philosophy - Being (esse) and Existence (essence). This is the crux of metaphysics and is the necessary starting point to actually do philosophy properly. Owens begins his work with a brief historical sketch of metaphysics, and then he launches into a full scale explanation of the applications and observations of metaphysics. Owens also delineates the fact that metaphysics is necessary in all realms of philosophy. Moreover, Owens discusses epistemology and the necessity of metaphysics for actually doing epistemology. Owens discusses the various types of knowledge and how they are applicable and useful in philosophical systems. While the book is not too simplistic, Owens totes that the intent of the text is to inform "new" students of the why and how of metaphysics in all aspects of philosophy and theology. Owens believes, and I agree, that a proper understanding of metaphysics formulates good habits of reasoning and assertions in the mind and philosophy of the philosopher. Furthermore, Owens places great emphasis on Etienne Gilson's teaching on the subject of metaphysics. Therefore, it also makes for a nice commentary to Gilson (for those who might find Gilson a little difficult to comprehend). I cannot recommend this book enough - especially for the Christian philosopher.
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Format: Paperback
If you are a Christian and interested in philosophy, then this book is for you. Owens does an excellent job of introducing the student to the science of 'being as being.' However, it is not elementary as the title might suggest. There is a lot to digest, but the Christian intellectual will find a lot of answers to how a theist ought to do philosophy. The best feature are the footnotes. Owens directs the reader to other interesting pursuits. I cannot not recommend this book enough.
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Format: Paperback
Fr. Owens truly provides an outstanding work into Christian metaphysical thinking. While this book is titled an "Elementary" introduction and indeed it is, still the subject matter of metaphysics is not easy and hence this material is no cake walk. First time readers on metaphysics should probably read an easier primer, but after doing so they would do well to buy this work of Owens. It is very well done.
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