(Greek: ontos, being; logos, science)

The doctrine that an intuition of God is the first act of our intelligence. Malebranche (1638-1715), was the first ontologist, assuming that thus alone could he account for the universal and necessary character of ideas. It was revived during the 19th century as an attempt to counteract modern subjectivism (Orestes A. Brownson in America). According to Gioberti (1801-1852), our first judgment is "Being creates existences," and from this we deduce the existence and attributes of God, as well as all ideas of finite reality. Philosophically ontologism embodies many false assumptions and dangerous consequences, while its theological implications caused its definite condemnation in 1887, in the form of 40 propositions of Rosmini.

New Catholic Dictionary

NCD Index SQPN Contact Author