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Monday, May 5, 2014

0351: Science, Actus Essendi, and Revealed Truth
Remarks on Methodology

Entry 0351: Science, Actus Essendiand Revealed Truth
Remarks on Methodology

(Reflection on statements dealing with the philosophy of being
made by Saint John Paul II during his pontificate

Abstract: It is generally recognized that both modern natural science and the theology of the Magisterium contain methodologies by which sound and unsound developments in the disciplines can be distinguished. However, it is controversial whether the knowledge afforded by philosophical discourse also contains such a methodology. In this paper, it is argued that, despite the emergence across history of a variety of philosophical approaches, any sound philosophy is and must be conducted according to the methodology of the actus essendi (act of being). This methodology is founded on the principle that every existent thing ultimately has its source in the actus essendi and so cannot be said both to be and not to be at the same time and in the same respect. Importantly, it is argued that the methodology of the actus essendi does not constitute a particular philosophical school; rather, it is the transcendental ground for all philosophical schools, supplying external guidelines for their legitimate development. Furthermore, the methodology of the actus essendi sets the proper epistemic order between philosophy and other disciplines, particularly science and theology.