H. Boeder, Topologie der Metaphysik: The Origin of Reason (Schelling)


  • Martin Zubiría




Boeder, First Philosophy, Metaphysic, Schelling


Four decades ago, at the beginning of the 1970s, in the inaugural lecture he gave when he held his chair in philosophy at the University of Brunswick, Heriberto Boeder asserted, precisely in relation to the nature of philosophical knowledge, an elementary distinction that would prove enormously fruitful in all his subsequent work; a distinction that is not undermined because it is ignored and which allows more than one confusion in historical matters to be unravelled.   The lesson is entitled: "What consumes the First Philosophy" and thus deliberately avoids the name, which was then so hackneyed, of "Metaphysics". The expression "First Philosophy" goes back to Aristotle (Met. VI, 1026 to 24), as does "first science". Although Aristotle seems to consider them to be synonymous, it became frequent to appeal to the latter to name philosophy as a whole, while the talk of "first philosophy" refers to a distinction within that science. It is "first", Aristotle argues, philosophy whose matter is first in itself, the entity as such; the consideration of secondary entities is, on the contrary, by virtue of certain distinctions that need not be repeated here, incumbent upon the other philosophical sciences. The notion of "first", preached by a knowledge, supposes a relationship of logical subordination to the "second", in which the terms can be inverted if the sense under which they are considered changes; For Aristotle, not only is the science of the entity "first" as an entity with respect to the other philosophical sciences in general, because it is also "by itself" Theology, as opposed to Physics, in the area of theory, and Politics as opposed to Ethics, in the area of praxis, and Poetics as opposed to Rhetoric in the area of the poiesis. "Physics", "Ethics" and "Rhetoric" are instead first "for us". Boeder brings a novelty to this point. In this lesson, Boeder opposes a philosophy that is no longer called "second", but "the other" ("die Andere Philosophie") to the "first philosophy", which is historically deployed as a series of fundamental positions that begin with Parmenides, find their own centre in Augustine and close with Hegel.   


Boeder, Heribert. Topologie der Metaphysik, Friburgo/Munich 1980, 564-582


2015-07-31 — Updated on 2020-07-31

How to Cite

Zubiría, M. (2020). H. Boeder, Topologie der Metaphysik: The Origin of Reason (Schelling) . Characteristica Universalis Journal, 1(1), 13–34. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4294113