St Thomas and the Future of Metaphysics Author:Joseph Owens, C.Ss.R., M.S.D. This book reproduces the paper delivered by Professor Joseph Owens in 1957 for the Aquinas Lecture Series given under the auspices of the Aristotelian Society of Marquette University. (More recently known for, say, Alvin Plantinga's _Does God Have a Nature?_.) — Among much else, it discusses the relevance of the uniquely Owensian cosmological ar... more »gumentation from contingent existence to God (in which the causal principle is NOT taken axiomatically) for purposes of resolving the rampant doubt, despair and emerging false mysticism/fideism of the day.
Arguably, however, this lecture is perhaps most famous for offering one of the few English discussions -- from a non-William Carlo perspective of the precise role of essence in an ontology where all existence is abstracted, i.e., re: essence thus absolutely considered. (The only author in English of whom I am presently aware that is more vocally an opponent of Carlo's ideas in this regard is Wippel -- and yet Wippel himself recommends the Owens discussion found in this small book.)
Briefly, the questions posed by Carlo and co. versus those (like Owens and Wippel) are over concerns such as follows:
Does essence absolutely considered necessitate that "it" play a role of pure limitation? Or is a positively specifying role not altogether excluded, without, that is, unwittingly invoking /esse/?
The analysis by Owens -- for all its vaunted bibliographical fanfare by Wippel -- is not actually found in the main text, but is rather included as an endnote (albeit rather lengthy), viz., that of #23, where Owens uses a citation from Italian Thomist Cornelio Fabro as his point of departure for this ongoing discussion.
In sum: the entire lecture (not to mention accompanying endnotes) are well-worth the study -- especially if one is a fan of the works of Owens, Gilson, Maritain, et al.« less