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Monday, December 20, 2010

0153: John F. Wippel on Actus Essendi (III)



Entry 0153: Remarks by Professor John F. Wippel on Actus Essendi



“Nothing enjoys actuality except insofar as it exists. Therefore esse itself is the actuality of all things, including forms themselves.

“Hence [esse] is related to other things not as that which receives is related to that which is received, but rather as that which is received to that which receives it.

“As he uses the term esse in this discussion, [Aquinas] has in mind the intrinsic act of being (actus essendi). It is this … which accounts for the fact that things exist.

“The term esse [signifies] not mere facticity but a principle within every finite substance which serves as its intrinsic act of being (actus essendi) and which accounts for the fact that it exists.” (1)


(1) John F. Wippel, The Metaphysical Thought of Thomas Aquinas (Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 2000), 410 and 489.