The rich and diversified dialogue that Suárez proposes with the history of metaphysics has effects on the representation that the human being implements in relation to the limits of his knowledge, the use of his faculties, and the conditions of the legitimacy of his practice. According to this perspective, metaphysics determines the basis of the modes of actualization of knowledge and action, and its history allows us to measure the scope of its influence on the latter. It has, in this sense, a performative dimension as an expression of the structure of operative conduct that can be applied in the spheres of knowledge and practice.
Two distinct views of philosophy would be recalled by Suárez and of which a synthesis must be carried on: the first one – that of wisdom to be actualized – is identified originally with the presentification of the being to itself by the reason; the second implies a mutual mode of appearance of men to each other, in a common space constituted by the human action and establishing the possibility of existing publicly (Philia). This is precisely the merit, and not the least, of the interrogation of the history of metaphysics that Suárez proposes to us.
Jean-Paul Coujou is a Professor at the Faculty of Philosophy of the Catholic Institute of Toulouse and a member of the Institut Michel Villey. He is the author of more than twenty books, including Pensée de l’être et théorie politique. Le moment suarézien, in three volumes, published by Peeters in Louvain.