FIRST PHILOSOPHY is the study of being-qua-being for the love of wisdom
Why study being-qua-being ('BEING')?
For the love of wisdom.*
- Studying BEING is the way to wisdom.**
- Realizing BEING is attaining wisdom.***
What is wisdom?
Wisdom is the answer to the fundamental questions of life, i.e. questions such as:
- What is good? What should I do? How am I to live? What is the purpose of life?
- What is true? What can I know? Is there a way out of the chaos and absurdity?
- What is real? What am I? What will happen when I die? Does God exist?
Wisdom is totally satisfying:
- Rationally satisfying.
- Emotionally satisfying.
- Spiritually satisfying.
What is BEING?
BEING refers to being-qua-being, being-as-such, not to 'a' being (e.g. a human being, a thing among other things).
BEING refers to that which everything else appears to, to that which I am looking out of, to the subject, to ME, to the BEING that I am.
What makes BEING so special?
BEING is absolute (while everything else is relative).
And only what is absolute can provide absolute answers, answers to the fundamental questions of life, the answers you can expect from philosophy.
Why 'FIRST' philosophy?
Because it serves the (primary) purpose of philosophy: Wisdom.*
And because FIRST PHILOSOPHY is 'FIRST' in several other ways, e.g.:
- It is of primary importance (theoretically as well as practically).
- Its subject-matter, BEING, is the most general concept, the most basic.
- FIRST PHILOSOPHY is the common root of all branches of philosophy, the sciences, and religions.
Is FIRST PHILOSOPHY not just another word for Metaphysics?
No, FIRST PHILOSOPHY is not just different, but in a certain sense even the opposite of Metaphysics:
- Metaphysics studies the being of beings, of what exists.
Recognizing the difference between FIRST PHILOSOPHY and Metaphysics, i.e. between 'BEING' and 'existing', is the very purpose of (first) philosophy. The confusion between FIRST PHILOSOPHY and Metaphysics is understandable because (i) Mr Aristotle defined FIRST PHILOSOPHY (as the study of being-qua-being) in writings that have become known as Metaphysics and that deal primarily with the being of beings, and because (ii) only very few people recognize the difference between 'BEING' and 'existing', i.e. between FIRST PHILOSOPHY and Metaphysics.
- FIRST PHILOSOPHY studies being qua being, what IS.
Is FIRST PHILOSOPHY religious?
No, FIRST PHILOSOPHY is secular. But is it is the common ground, not only of all branches of philosophy and the (natural) sciences, but also of religion. As such, FIRST PHILOSOPHY is the rationale for many (if not all) religions, which may explain the interest that religion has in FIRST PHILOSOPHY. Theistic religions take a detour via GOD to end up identifying GOD with (supreme) BEING and, at least their mystics, identifying themselves with that BEING (resulting in divine union, which means salvation, the end of sin (i.e. separation) and the consequences of sin (i.e. toil, pain, suffering)). What we call wisdom.
*) Philosophy means 'loving wisdom', from philo (loving) and sophia (wisdom).
**) Why are BEING, IS, AM etc. and I, ME, MYSELF, etc. GOD, etc. capitalized? See the Editorial notes.
***) Realizing BEING means realizing that BEING IS (and everything else IS not).