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(1,519 words)

Author(s): Albert Keller
The universal is what all have in common, the general denomination which fits all things or many things (i.e., all of a certain type or group). 1. History of the problem: the controversy. The existence of the universal or general is undeniable, and was not called in question even in the controversy on universals. For language uses the same word for several situations or to designate a multitude of particulars and it can only convey meaning on this supposition. The question is whether there is anything universal apart from the …

Secularization - Concept

(4,989 words)

Author(s): Albert Keller
Part of Secularization: 1. Concept 2. Laicism A. Defining the Notion “Secularization” comes from the Latin saecularis, meaning “worldly”, “temporal” or “age-old”, and forms a group with “secularity” and “secularism”. Since all these words indicate a theory or process whereby things or persons are assigned to the realm of the world, they are often used indifferently. But it is useful and now becoming more common to distinguish them. (i) Secularization has mostly been used for the confiscation of Church property …


(2,042 words)

Author(s): Albert Keller
1. The term. The term “ontology” is first found in R. Goclenius ( Lexicon Philosophicum, 1613). The usage spread (J. Clauberg, Metaphysica de Ente [1656], J. B. Du Hamel [1678]), and came to be a technical term in philosophy through the writings of C. Wolff ( Philosophia prima sive ontologia [1729]). According to its Greek components (τὸ ὄν, λόγος), it means the doctrine about that which is. 2. All sciences treat of beings, since they take various realms of beings and investigate them under certain aspects. But ontology differs from all other sciences insofar a…

Order - Concept of Order

(1,527 words)

Author(s): Albert Keller
Part of Order: 1. Concept of Order 2. Order of Creation 3. Supernatural Order 4. End of Man 1. Meaning. Order is a unity of many elements systematically referred to each other. These must be different from one another but they must be in a possible relation to each other and in a real order also existent (Thomas Aquinas, De Potentia, q. 7, a. 11, c.). The unity need not be rounded off, but may be open — as in the series of natural numbers. The rule which determines how the elements follow or proceed from each other in a dynamic order is called for prefer…


(1,144 words)

Author(s): Albert Keller
1. Meaning. Ontologism is the doctrine propounded under this name by V. Gioberti (1801–52) according to which human reason first grasps intuitively infinite being, though not in the same way as in the beatific vision. Being is grasped not as an indeterminate abstraction but as supremely real, containing within it all determinations, even though they cannot be distinguished by earthly knowledge. This being ( essere — also called ente by Gioberti, “that which is”) is perpetually present to the human mind, and it is only in the light of this being that existing thi…