View Articles

Monday, October 26, 2009

0093:
Philosophy of Actus Essendi - One Universally Valid Philosophy Recommended by Fides et Ratio (III)

Entry 0093: The Philosophy of the Actus Essendi: The One Universally Valid Philosophy Recommended by Fides et Ratio (III)

Professor John F. X. Knasas writes,

No doubt should exist that Fides et Ratio is referring to Aquinas’ central metaphysical notion of actus essendi.

In discussing the needs of systematic theology, Fides et Ratio mentions the requirement of a “philosophy of being based upon the act of being.” (1) Affixed to this remark is note 115 that references John Paul’s Angelicum address on the occasion of the centenary of Aeterni Patris. A read of that address removes all doubt that the phrase “act of being” is a reference to Aquinas’ notion of “actus essendi .”

(1) Fides et Ratio, paragraph 97: “If the intellectus fidei wishes to integrate all the wealth of the theological tradition, it must turn to the philosophy of being, which should be able to propose anew the problem of being—and this in harmony with the demands and insights of the entire philosophical tradition, including philosophy of more recent times, without lapsing into sterile repetition of antiquated formulas. Set within the Christian metaphysical tradition, the philosophy of being is a dynamic philosophy which views reality in its ontological, causal and communicative structures. It is strong and enduring because it is based upon the very act of being itself, which allows a full and comprehensive openness to reality as a whole, surpassing every limit in order to reach the One who brings all things to fulfillment.”

John F. X. Knasas, “Fides et Ratio and the Metaphysical Basis of Aquinas’ Natural Law,” Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture, 2002, conference.


Monday, October 19, 2009

0092:
Philosophy of Actus Essendi - One Universally Valid Philosophy Recommended by Fides et Ratio (II)

Entry 0092: The Philosophy of the Actus Essendi: The One Universally Valid Philosophy Recommended by Fides et Ratio (II)

Stephen Pimentel writes,

Notable is John Paul II’s urgent recommendation in Fides et Ratio, par. 97 of a “philosophy of being” that “is based upon the very act of being itself” and that “views reality in its ontological, causal and communicative structures” so as to surpass “every limit in order to reach the One.”

Stephen Pimentel, “Thomas’s Elusive Proof: A Reconstruction of the ‘Existential Argument’ for the Existence of God,” Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association, vol. 78, 2004, pp 94-106.

Monday, October 12, 2009

0091:
Philosophy of Actus Essendi - One Universally Valid Philosophy Recommended by Fides et Ratio (I)

Entry 0091: The Philosophy of the Actus Essendi - The One Universally Valid Philosophy Recommended by Fides et Ratio (I)

Martin Bieler writes,

“The encyclical Fides et Ratio is an impressive document of the Catholic Church’s esteem of philosophy (57ff.)

“Although it is the declared intention of Fides et Ratio not to canonize any particular philosophy (49,78) there can be no doubt about the fact that the encyclical moves along the lines of Thomas Aquinas’ metaphysics when it outlines the future tasks of philosophical investigation.

“First of all, it strongly emphasizes the importance of a philosophy of being (5, 66, 90, 97) which meets the necessary requirements of a metaphysics that is indispensable for unfolding the truth revealed in Christ (82-83).

“Second, it seems to conceive a philosophy of being in the way Aquinas does by referring to the ‘act of being’ (actus essendi): ‘Set within the Christian metaphysical tradition, the philosophy of being is a dynamic philosophy which views reality in its ontological, causal and communicative structures. It is strong and enduring because it is based upon the very act of being itself, which allows a full and comprehensive openness to reality as a whole, surpassing every limit in order to reach the One who brings all things to fulfilment’ (97.)


Martin Bieler, “The Theological Importance of the Philosophy of Being” in Reason and the Reasons of Faith, edited by Paul J. Griffiths and Reinhard Hütter, T & T Clark International, New York, 2005, pp. 295-296.