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Monday, July 5, 2010

0129: The Self-Evident Connotation of the Actus Essendi (I)

Entry 0129: The Self-Evident Connotation of the Actus Essendi (I)

The 'actus essendi' of extramental subsisting things did not appear self-evident to philosophers who lived before Aquinas because the transcendental value and the unique dynamism of the 'actus essendi' did not call their attention, just as the law of gravitation did not appear self-evident to philosophers and scientists who lived before Newton because they did not bestow sufficient reflection upon the subject, and not because the dynamism of gravitational force was not self-evident.

It is not uncommon to find the operative dimension of a self-evident truth at work and unnoticed before a well-defined formulation of the truth emerges at a particular moment in history.

It does not follow that a truth or proposition cannot be said to be self-evident unless it carries irresistible conviction to every mind to which it is proposed. (The Southern Review, Albert Taylor Bledsoe, Editor, vol. 15, January 1874, no. 29, p. 334.)


(Note: The reference to the law of gravitation is a paraphrase of a passage also written by Albert Taylor Bledsoe in his An Examination of President Edwards' Inquiry Into the Freedom of the Will, Applewood Books, Bedford, Massachusetts, 2009, p. 114.)