Two-Staged Doctrines of God as First Known and the Transformation of the Concept of Reality in Bonaventure and Henry of Ghent
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 85 (1):77-97 (2011)
The medieval doctrine of God as first known presents a privileged moment in a tradition of classical metaphysics that runs from Plato to Levinas. The presentcontribution analyzes two versions of this doctrine formulated by Bonaventure († 1274) and Henry of Ghent († 1293). In reaction to the preceding discussion inParis, they advance a doctrine of God as first known that distinguishes the relative priority of God within the first known transcendental concepts from the absolutepriority of God over these. Although their two-staged doctrines of God as first known structurally agree, they vary in their strategical embedding. Underlying this variation is a transformation of the concept of reality that abstracts actuality as a standard and criterion to the determination of the first known. As such, thisconcept of reality gives rise to the very idea of neutral existence against which Levinas objects
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