In contrast, Heidegger explicitly criticizes the practice of Christian philosophy. Hesaid that “Christian philosophy is a round-square and a misunderstanding.”
This isparticularly clear in his claim to separate God from Being. He says that God is oftentimesused as an alibi in an argument thereby reducing the true quality of a philosophicalargument into a
Deus ex Machina
fallacy. He says in his
Introduction to Metaphysics:
Anyone for whom the Bible is a Divine revelation and truth has the answerto the question, “why are there essents rather than nothing?” even beforeit is asked:
everything that is, except God himself has been created by Him
. God himself, the increate creator, “is.” One who holds to such faithcan in a way participate in the asking of our question, but he cannotquestion without ceasing to be a believer and taking all the consequencesof that step.
He will only be to act as if
Yet, most Thomistic scholars are also insistent in saying that Aquinas has a solidphilosophical system. Josef Pieper writes, “The question is whether we can wholly isolatethe theological from the philosophical elements in the works of Thomas, and can considerthe one apart from the other. Gilson says that the theology of St. Thomas is aphilosopher’s and his philosophy is a theologian’s.”
This then calls for a rethinking, if not are-evaluation of the philosophical system set by Thomas Aquinas. Hence, the birth of works, like that of Caputo, which aim at doing a dialogue between the philosophicalsystems of Martin Heidegger and Thomas Aquinas. This present paper then is an attempt, not to directly confront the Aquinas-Heidegger tension on the talk of Being, but to look at one particular book relevant to thisissue:
Heidegger and Aquinas: An Essay on Overcoming Metaphysics
This paper then will endeavor to answer the following questions: What is thesignificance of the term onto-theology in the philosophies of Aquinas and Heidegger? Howdid Caputo resolve the Aquinas-Heidegger tension on Being? What are the strengths and
Introduction to Metaphysics.
(London: Yale University Press, 1959), 7.Henceforth, this work shall be referred to as
7 – italics added.
Guide to Thomas Aquinas
. (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1991), 143.
John D. Caputo,
Heidegger and Aquinas: An Essay on Overcoming Metaphysics.
(Indiana:Indiana University Press, 1982).