Exploring Metaphysics
An Orientation to This Section


This section deals with three fundamental topics.
  1. The nature of the intuition of being which is what Maritain called Thomas Aquinas’ deep insight into the nature of existence, itself, how it can be cultivated, and something of its modern history.
  2. The renewal of a Thomist philosophy of nature.
  3. The mapping of the degrees of knowledge.

Our approach:

  1. The intuition of being is at the heart of the metaphysics of Thomas Aquinas who revolutionized metaphysics with this insight. It was focused upon and elaborated in a special way by Jacques Maritain who saw its necessity for genuine metaphysical activity. We look at the content of this insight, its evolution in Maritain’s thought, and ask how it can be cultivated. In the East-West section we compare this insight to similar ones in Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam.
  2. A philosophy of nature of St. Thomas is a distinctive philosophical way to look at subjects that the natural sciences deal with in their own ways. It is an integral but neglected part of the philosophy of St. Thomas, and its renewal was a dream of Maritain’s. We engage in dialogues from this perspective with physics in terms of cosmology and quantum theory, with biology in terms of morphic resonance and evolution, and with psychology by engaging various aspects of Jungian psychology. We hope that these dialogues will revitalize this philosophy of nature, and especially shed light on the mystery of matter.
  3. Maritain wrote an epistemological masterpiece called The Degrees of Knowledge, or To Distinguish in order to Unite. It was a map he created to show the inner geography of the human intellect. It carefully distinguishes the epistemological types of the modern sciences from that of a philosophy of nature, metaphysics, theology and Christian mysticism. We have used this map often as our guide in our various explorations.