After his reception into the Church of Rome, Ward gave himself up to ethics, metaphysics and moral philosophy.
His reputation soon widened, and in 1754 he became professor of logic, metaphysics and Greek in the university of Reggio, and in 1760 was translated to Modena, where he continued to teach with great assiduity and success, but devoted his whole leisure to natural science.
It is clear then that a man's metaphysics and psychology must colour his logic. It is accordingly necessary to the logician to know beforehand the general distinctions and principles of things in metaphysics, and the mental operations of sense, conception, memory and experience in psychology, so as to discover the processes of inference from experience about things in logic.
There is no committal to the metaphysics in the light of which the logical inquiry is at last to find its complete justification.
No real advance in metaphysics can take place, and natural science itself is in some danger, until the true history of the evidences of the laws of mechanical force is restored; and then it will soon appear that in the force of collision what we know is not material points determining one another's opposite accelerations, but bodies by force of impenetrable pressure causing one another to keep apart.
Following the text and ordinary interpretation 5 of Aristotle's Metaphysics, it is believed that Aristotle already Catholic identified metaphysics with a theology: accordingly grouping.
Linnaeus's primarily zoological classification of man did not, however, suit the philosophical opinion of the time, which responded more readily to the systems represented by Buffon, and later by Cuvier, in which the human mind and soul formed an impassable wall of partition between him and other mammalia, so that the definition of man's position in the animal world was treated as not belonging to zoology, but to metaphysics and theology.
In philosophy, properly so called, the humanistic scorn for medieval dullness and obscurity swept away theological metaphysics as valueless.
It does not, with the former, regard logic as purely formal in the sense of abstracting thought from being, nor does it follow the latter in amalgamating metaphysics with logic by identifying being with thought.
This is obvious enough in the Metaphysics: it has two openings (Books A and a); then comes a nearly consecutive theory of being (B, F, E, Z, H, 0), but interrupted by a philosophical lexicon A; afterwards follows a theory of unity (1); then a summary of previous books and of doctrines from the Physics (K); next a new beginning about being, and, what is wanted to complete the system, a theory of God in relation to the world (A); finally a criticism of mathematical metaphysics (M, N), in which the argument against Plato (A 9) is repeated almost word for word (M 4-5).