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Monday, October 18, 2010

0144: The Uniqueness of the Transcendental Perfection of Actus Essendi

Entry 0144: Actus Essendi and Existence (II)

The Uniqueness of the Transcendental Perfection of Actus Essendi


The transcendental perfection of actus essendi has something unique to it, namely, that it cannot be conceived other than as pertaining to what actually exists as a subsisting extramental thing.

The notion of any other transcendental perfection, on the other hand, remains logically coherent regardless of whether or not the perfection has being, regardless of whether or not the perfection is instantiated in the real world—in what has actual existence.

By contrast, the notion of actus essendi changes radically if it is not understood as the innermost perfection of what actually exists as a subsisting extramental thing.

In other words, ‘existence’ is inseparable from the perfection of actus essendi.

Any of the transcendental perfections can be made the object of thought without considering whether or not the perfection exists in the real world. Not with actus essendi.

The perfection of actus essendi cannot be made the object of thought without considering that this perfection is the perfection of the real world.

The notion of actus essendi forces the mind to think of the real. No other notion, none of the notions of the other transcendental perfections, is so tied to the real as to be, even in thought, inseparable from the thought of the real itself.

And yet the notion of actus essendi cannot be reduced to ‘existence.’ ‘Existence’ is not something in which a thing can participate.


See Battista Mondin, “L’Oggeto e il metodo della metafisica secondo Aristotele e secondo S. Tommaso,” Sapienza, vol. 55, no. 2, 2002, pp. 129-153.