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(2,665 words)

Author(s): Alois Halder
1. The ancient origins. “After physics”, τά μετά τά φυσικά was originally a heading in a catalogue of a library. When editing the Corpus Aristotelicum, Andronicus of Rhodes used this heading to range “after the writings on physics” the fourteen books in which Aristotle developed a “first science” (πρώτη φιλοσοφία) distinct from all other sciences. This placing of the subject was possibly inspired by pedagogical motives, to suggest that this supreme science could only be properly dealt with and assessed after the treatm…


(1,426 words)

Author(s): Alois Halder
The “real” and the “actual” are often used synonymously and the general term “reality” applied to both. But they were distinct concepts originally and in the course of history, though as central philosophical terms not readily definable. In medieval terminology, realitas was one of the transcendentals convertible with entity, unity, goodness, etc. It means that anything which has being in any sense at all has a concrete content, determination and essential constitution (see St. Thomas Aquinas, De Veritate, 1, 1 c : “nomen rei exprimit quidditatem sive essentiam entis”; cf. 1 Sententi…


(3,561 words)

Author(s): Alois Halder
1. General concept. The Greek word τέχνη embraces all “artificial” production of things by man, as opposed to their spontaneous, “natural” growth and development. Starting from this, technology can be taken as synonymous with “art” in the widest sense, in contradistinction to “nature”. It is one of the basic ways in which the world of nature is freely and consciously transformed into the world of man, a cultural process, therefore, which consists essentially in material production. Within this cat…


(8,201 words)

Author(s): Alois Halder
A. Knowledge as a Problem 1. The self-acceptance of knowledge and of scepticism. The question of the “nature” of knowledge, as posed in philosophy, is itself aimed at knowledge, that is, at knowledge about knowledge. If it is posed as a meaningful and rational question, it positively anticipates the possibility of knowledge,, and accepts itself as knowledge and has thereby begun to give concrete reality to the nature of knowldege. To put the problem and solve it by denying that knowledge is possible in any…