This unit examines the major themes of classical metaphysics with special emphasis on Thomas Aquinas and his Aristotelian and Platonic sources.  It situates this discussion historically and within the context of some of the modern criticisms of metaphysics.

Study Level



Humanities in the Christian Tradition

Sub Discipline


Credit Points



W7106 Ancient and Early Medieval Philosophy or
W7109 Medieval and Early Modern Philosophy.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Outline the major approaches to the philosophy of being, existence and God in western thought
  2. Explain key principles in Thomistic philosophy, such as matter and form, potential and actual, essence and existence, nature and person.
  3. Critically reflect on the relationship between human reasoning and religious belief.
  4. Describe arguments for and against philosophical accounts of the divine attributes
  5. Note the metaphysical presuppositions of contemporary debates about God and human nature.
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