Monday, July 2, 2012

Existence and Its Self-Evidence

Entry 0232: Existence and Its Self-Evidence 


1. An existing thing, by the very fact that it exists, excludes its simultaneous non-existence.

2. “Let us consider any being. That being, by the very fact that it exists, cannot simultaneously not exist. Its very existence excludes its simultaneous non-existence” (Jose Sanchez Villasenor, Ortega y Gasset Existentialist: A Critical Study of His Thought and Its Sources, trans. Joseph Small [Chicago: Henry Regnery Company, 1949], 205).

3. An existing thing manifests its existence.

4. “The existence of a thing implies the manifestation of its existence” (Paul Carus, Fundamental Problems: The Method of Philosophy as a Systematic Arrangement of Knowledge [Chicago: The Open Court Publishing Company, 1903], 155).

5. Everything that exists manifests its existence somehow. No matter how hard it is for us to get to know the existence of a thing, an existing thing cannot hide its existence.

6. “Each individual thing manifests its own existence clearly” (, accessed 30 June 2012).

7. It is self-evident that things actually present to our external senses are real existing things.

8. “The existence of extramental reality is self-evident” (Raymond Dennehy, “The Loss of the Knowing Subject in Contemporary Epistemology,” in Jacques Maritain and the Many Ways of Knowing, ed. Douglas A. Ollivant, [Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 2002], 139).

9. Not everyone understands what is conveyed by the highly sophisticated technical term “actus essendi.” However, in the implied awareness that everyone has of the real, everyone is in touch with the actus essendi without necessarily knowing it explicitly. The actus essendi of extramental subsisting things is as self-evident to us as the principle of non-contradiction is self-evident to us.

The Non-Contradictory Character of Being 

1. “What exists cannot not exist.”

2. “Whatever exists exists and cannot not exist.”

3. “That which exists cannot not exist and that which does not exist cannot exist.”

4. “That which is, is; and that which is not, is not.”

5. “It is impossible for a thing to exist and not exist at the same time.”

6. “Id quod est praesens, non potest non esse praesens,” (Summa Theologiae, I-II, 39, 3, c).

7. “Quod est, necesse est esse quando est,” (De Veritate, 2, 12, ad 2).