An Elementary Christian metaphysics written by Joseph Owen

The Application of Metaphysical Principles in Joseph Owens' An Elementary Christian Metaphysics

The author of Joseph Owens' An Elementary Christian Metaphysics investigates the application of metaphysical principles to situations that happen on a daily basis, notably in the Christian milieu.

Nature of Revealed Facts and Existence of Beings

Following the rational, exterior, and non-human entities, there is a particular focus on the nature of revealed facts and the existence of beings. In addition, there is a comprehensive inquiry of the very earliest principles as well as the causes of being. Indeed, the examination delves deeper into the study of knowledge, as well as the divine character and the attributes associated with natural reason. Importantly, there is also a trace down of the origin of metaphysics that help the undergraduates to which the book is directed in the understanding of its development downwards to the current debate over the scope and viability.

The Relationship Between Metaphysics and Sciences

In the epilogue of the literature, Owens summarizes the main points that are discussed in details in the whole literature work. In the same epilogue, he also clears the air on the relation between metaphysics and sciences. Firstly, there is a depiction of the ultimate being or God as called by the Christians. He argues that all the sensible things tend to draw their beings from other things does not exist until the reception of the being occurs from the environment of the thing (P, 375). Consequently, its nature is incapable of producing of producing its being. However, its being is efficiently caused an agent that is different from itself. Notably, an agent that exists from an act of being, it is rendered to be an accidental occurrence that is before its nature.

Nature and Essence of Beings

Similarly, it will depend on another different agent for its proper being which implies that it will be a caused cause that is in the order of efficient causality. In as much as the series of causes continues, not even the infinite progression of these caused causes would account for any being, even the least in the world. Collectively in all the instances and every instance, there would only be the existence of nature without any being. Nature would merely remain open for the reception of being from something else. (P, 378) Therefore, there would be series of existential zeros that is infinite. Consequently, for there to be a series of efficiently caused causes, there also has to be a first cause that does not have its being from anything else. In other words, the author demonstrates that from God who exists as a pure actuality, come other beings that He causes.

The Analogical Notion of Being

The second critical point in the epilogue that tends to summarize the Christian metaphysics is the being. The aspects of including potency, act, matter, and also form. Notably, being is the concept that is most comprehensive and its application to all things that exist to avoid any subsuming of the same under something that is more general. Pointedly, it cannot be applied univocally to every being since it is an analogical notion. Markedly, both angels and material things can be said to have been, however, the material things are different since they are composites of form and matter while the angels are only forms that have no matter. Again, both God and the created things have been; nevertheless, existence and essence are just distinct in the created things but not in God.

Connection Between Being and Goodness

Owen also portrays the connection between the being and goodness. In essence, he argues that both the good and being are transcendental in that good may be convertible from the being. The goodness of something is compared to the extent of its existence or its possession of being and the very instance having its kind. Something may be considered perfect as long as it is actual on the basing that it is the existence that tends to make all the things actual. Nonetheless, the very essence of goodness has or just the existence. For instance, a thing can be seen as good since it is either desirable or appetible in some way. Therefore, Owens relates the goodness to the being in consideration to the appetite.

Grounding Ethical System on Metaphysics

Hence, it is no addition to being because it is itself but conceived as appetible. Precisely, being and the goodness is the same save for the slight addition that goodness presents the different aspect of desirableness which is not presented by being. Importantly, the notion of innate goodness entails more than just human morality. In fact, morality is a subset of the same and involves specifically the desirableness of the human behavior. In short, the behavior of human being can be termed as good when the being accomplishes the final cause for which it was caused or brought into existence.

The Role of Metaphysics in Ethics

The epilogue also portrays that the ethical system of the Christians has to be grounded on the metaphysics. In a bid to generate a robust ethics, there also has to be the consideration of a robust metaphysics as the foundation. Indeed, it is impossible to figure out how one should act or how the world should operate without the prior know-how of the way the world is or the being acts (P, 380. Moreover, Christian metaphysics is important since it identifies the source of the moral values through the study of existence and of being. Therefore if such things as moral values exist, then metaphysics is compelled to finding the same.

The Relationship Between Actuality and Potentiality

Undoubtedly, all the finite beings are complexes of both potentiality and actuality. However, although the potentiality and actuality are intelligible in full only concerning each other, an asymmetry exists between the two with the metaphysical priority given to actuality. On the flip side, potentiality is incapable of the existence without the actuality. Normally, it may be illogical to provide that something both exists and is purely potential without actuality. For example, a ball may be black in color, solid, oval, and bouncy. Hence, this ball is an act by way of actually being in the solid form, in the black color and being bouncy. Besides, the ball is in potency by its way of potentially being black, mushy, and soft. Change may be said to occur when the potency of the ball is brought to act, or its potentiality for existence is made actual. In other words, there is a potential for blackness in the ball which cannot become actual without external influence acting on the ball.

The Transcendence of Reason and Science in the Material World

The epilogue further looks into the issue of the transcending of both reason and science in the material world. The material world highly values science and reason so much that some of the intellectuals doubt the existence of anything that is not energy and matter. However, the matter is characterized by change and individuation (P, 382). Accordingly, the process of reasoning that is so much valued in the scientific progress would not take place without the independence from the strict material principle that science employs in the knowledge of science. Therefore there should be an open approach when seeking to know about subjects and should not be strictly tied to the principle of material.

The Functionality of Human Intellect Beyond Material Limitations

Additionally, communication is more importantly based on the immunity to both transcendence and change of the individuation of dimensions in the objects that are intelligible. Furthermore, civilization and culture tend to provide sufficient evidence in the functioning of human intellect in the various ways that tend to break through those matter limitations. Another issue is the exercising of faith. In this matter of faith, the argument goes that when one consents to anything that the individual has never had an experience on, then the person exercises faith. For example, if one consents to the judgment of another yet he has not seen or experienced anything that would act as evidence in his judgment, he automatically has faith that the other person's judgment is correct and therefore abides by the same.

The Role of Faith in Daily Life

Markedly, it only takes the acquaintance with the reliability of the person delivering that information that he has essential knowledge and that his aim is not to deceive you. However, even in the process of this acquaintance, one concludes the points on his own and accepts the informant's capacity to deliver reliable information, and you accept his authority, 389. Unfortunately, there is always a likelihood that the informer is wrong or mistaken in the human authority and that the same may cheat. In contrary to all these precautions that should be taken against the informer, one still proceeds to consent to the judgment, and that is faith. Therefore Owen makes it clear that one cannot live without faith since people rely on each other's authority almost all the times there is an interaction between them.

The Role of Authority in Acquiring Information

In fact, in everyday life, much of the information that an individual uses comes from an authority either close to the individual or elsewhere like those gathered from the internet. The examples include the news that one relies on from the daily papers, the knowledge of cities and even countries that one visits or just read about, one's knowledge of history, and much still a sizable portion of an individual's cognition.


In conclusion, Owens precisely summarized the whole literature in his epilogue by means of addressing all the issues that he had touched throughout the same. Further, there is also a clear situating of the metaphysics about the sciences in the discussion of all the issues that connect metaphysics and Christianity. For instance, he addresses the being and goodness as well as the way the two connect positing that they are the same with a little perspective of desirableness added to the goodness. Besides, the issue of God's existence also has evidence in the form of argument that he uses to confirm the same. Also, the affirmation that everybody has faith because people only survive because of their trust in other people's authority in their daily lives that include the news, knowledge, and cognition.


Joseph Owens, AN Elementary Christian Metaphysics.

Deadline is approaching?

Wait no more. Let us write you an essay from scratch

Receive Paper In 3 Hours
Calculate the Price
275 words
First order 15%
Total Price:
$38.07 $38.07
Calculating ellipsis
Hire an expert
This discount is valid only for orders of new customer and with the total more than 25$
This sample could have been used by your fellow student... Get your own unique essay on any topic and submit it by the deadline.

Find Out the Cost of Your Paper

Get Price