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Monday, April 26, 2010

0119: The Thirteen Texts in which Aquinas Uses the Expression "Actus Essendi" (V)

Entry 0119: The Thirteen Texts in which Aquinas Uses the Expression "Actus Essendi" (V)

I. In I Sent., 8, 1, 1, c

II. In I Sent., 8, 4, 2, ad 2

III. In I Sent., 8, 5, 2, c

IV. In III Sent., 11, 1, 2, ad 2

V. De Veritate, 1, 1, c

VI. De Veritate, 1,1, ad 1

VII. De Veritate, 1, 1, ad sc 3

VIII. De Veritate, 10, 8, ad 13

IX. Summa Theologiae, I, 3, 4, ad 2

X. De Potentia, 7, 2, ad 1

XI. Quaestiones Quodlibetales, 9, 4, 1, c

XII. In Metaphysicorum, 4, 2, No. 6

XIII. In De Hebdomadibus, 2



Commentary on Text V: De Veritate, 1, 1, c


Text

Probat etiam Philosophus in III Metaphys., quod ens non potest esse genus. Sed secundum hoc aliqua dicuntur addere super ens, in quantum exprimunt modum ipsius entis qui nomine entis non exprimitur.

Quod contingit uno modo ut modus expressus sit modus generalis consequens omne ens in se.

Et hoc affirmative:

Non autem invenitur aliquid affirmative dictum absolute quod possit accipi in omni ente, nisi essentia eius, secundum quam esse dicitur; et sic imponitur hoc nomen res, quod in hoc differt ab ente, secundum Avicennam in principio Metaphys., quod ens sumitur ab actu essendi, sed nomen rei exprimit quidditatem vel essentiam entis.

Commentary

The text establishes a clear demarcation between terms derived from the metaphysical principle of essence and terms derived from the metaphysical principle of actus essendi. The major concern here is to clarify the meaning of the transcendental notion of res (thing), a term which derives its content and its transcendental connotation from the quiddity or essence of the thing.

The underlying principle of this doctrine is that, in the real world, one cannot have one of these two metaphysical principles existing without the other being present. In the real world essences exist with the actus essendi, and vice versa, the actus essendi always appears instantiated in an essence. For this reason, the term res (thing) expresses a transcendental notion; it stands for a universal mode of being that follows upon the fact of having an essence. Essences are found in every existing thing without exception.

Thus, from the side of the actus essendi every existing thing is said to be ens and from the side of the essence every existing thing is said to be res.





Note on Translation: The expression "actus essendi" is translated into English as "act of being," into Italian as "atto di essere," into French as "acte d'ĂȘtre," into Spanish as "acto de ser," and into German as "Akt des Seins" ("Seinsakt.")