View Articles

Monday, September 6, 2010

0138: The Self-Evident Connotation of the Actus Essendi (V)

Entry 0138: The Self-Evident Connotation of the Actus Essendi (V)



In the process of teaching, the teacher must direct the attention of the student to a self-evident principle because many issues do not at first appear self-evident. In Some Philosophers on Education, Francis C. Wade explains this as follows:

“The key notions of teaching are these: The teacher knows a conclusion as seen in the light of a self-evident principle; he goes through the reasoning process before the student, using signs, words, things, gestures, to manifest his reasoning; the student’s natural reason then acts on its own to know what the teacher knows… Once the self-evident principle is seen to be self-evident…, and the facts as fitting under the principle…, then the conclusion stands out clearly as being lighted up by the clear light of a self-evident principle.”

Now, concerning the metaphysical principles of essence and actus essendi, Aquinas was the one who saw them as self-evident principles. There is no question that Aquinas takes these two principles as point of departure for his theological and philosophical reasoning, and that in doing so, Aquinas elevated theological and philosophical wisdom to heights never seen before.

See Francis C. Wade, “Saint Thomas Aquinas and teaching,” Some Philosophers on Education, Edited by Donald A. Gallagher, The Marquette University Press, Milwaukee, 1956, pp. 67-85.