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Monday, August 31, 2009

0085: Actus Essendi: Commentary on In De Hebdomadibus, 2

Entry 0085: Actus Essendi - Commentary on In De Hebdomadibus, 2

Text:

Deinde cum dicit, ipsum enim esse, manifestat praedictam diversitatem tribus modis: quorum primus est, quia ipsum esse non significatur sicut ipsum subiectum essendi, sicut nec currere significatur sicut subiectum cursus: unde, sicut non possumus dicere quod ipsum currere currat, ita non possumus dicere quod ipsum esse sit: sed sicut id ipsum quod est, significatur sicut subiectum essendi, sic id quod currit significatur sicut subiectum currendi: et ideo sicut possumus dicere de eo quod currit, sive de currente, quod currat, inquantum subiicitur cursui et participat ipsum; ita possumus dicere quod ens, sive id quod est, sit, inquantum participat actum essendi: et hoc est quod dicit: ipsum esse nondum est, quia non attribuitur sibi esse sicut subiecto essendi; sed id quod est, accepta essendi forma, scilicet suscipiendo ipsum actum essendi, est, atque consistit, idest in seipso subsistit.


Comment:

In this text Aquinas further explains how he understands the notion of actus essendi. One cannot speak meaningfully about the 'act of being,' without referring to a particular subject, because the 'act of being' is a metaphysical principle.

'Actus essendi' is the metaphysical principle that goes 'side by side' with the metaphysical principle 'essence' in a subsistent extramental thing. And metaphysical principles as such do not subsist by themselves in isolation.

In the real world 'essence' and 'actus essendi' are inseparable. The metaphysical principle of 'actus essendi' always appears instantiated in an 'essence.' And the 'essence' of the thing is what put limits to the thing's participation in 'actus essendi.'