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Monday, October 8, 2012

0246: Cornelio Fabro on Existence

Entry 0246: Cornelio Fabro on Existence

Acording to Cornelio Fabro, there are three ways of knowing that a thing exists:

(1) Sometimes the existence of a thing is self-evident. For this, the thing has to be present here and now to the knower and exhibit some sensible qualities that the external senses of the knower can grasp.

(2) Sometimes the existence of a thing is known through reasoning from effects to causes. In this case something related to the thing has to be accessible to the senses, as when someone through the observation of smoke detects the existence of fire.

(3) The existence of certain things can be known through one’s consciousness. This can happen, for example, when a person, reflecting on its own acts, becomes aware of its own existence.

See Cornelio Fabro, “Il Fondamento Metafisico della IV Via,” Esegesi Tomistica (Roma: Libreria Editrice della Pontificia Universita Lateranense, 1969), 388: “Tre sono anche i modi di conoscenza dell’esistenza di qualche cosa: ‘Similiter an res sit [intellectus noster] tripliciter cognoscit. Uno modo quia cadit sub sensu. Alio modo ex causis et effectibus rerum cadentibus sub sensu, sicut ignem ex fumo perpendimus. Tertio modo cognoscit aliquid in seipso esse ex inclinatione quam habet ad aliquos actus: quam quidem inclinationem cognoscit ex hoc quod super actus suos reflectitur, dum cognoscit se operari’ (In III Sententiarum, distinction 23, question 1, article 2, corpus).”