View Articles

Monday, May 19, 2014

0353: Heidegger and Actus Essendi

Entry 0353: Heidegger and Actus Essendi 

In his reflections on the encyclical letter Fides et Ratio, Mario Enrique Sacchi points out that Fides et Ratio “contains an unusual exaltation of metaphysics on the part of the Church’s teaching” (M. E. Sacchi, “The Exaltation of Metaphysics in John Paul II's Fides et Ratio,” Thomistic Institute of the Jacques Maritain Center, 1999).

According to Sacchi, Aquinas is the only philosopher to whom the well-known criticism of Heidegger concerning the metaphysics of being does not apply. In this regard Sacchi stresses that

“It is certainly unquestionable that Aquinas put the act of being in the vertex of his metaphysical speculation. He has demonstrated that the esse, or the actus essendi, is the first act of the being by participation and also the nature of God, the uncaused cause ... The being composed of essence and act of being is an effect of the causality of the ipsum esse subsistens, which can be known metaphysically starting from the intellection of created things, but being as such is not predicated of these things and of the divine being in a univocal sense. The finite being receives the act of being within the limits of its essence, whereas God is the esse irreceptum whose nature exceeds entirely the entity commonly predicated of the creatures whose essences are not their act of being” (Ibid.)

See Mario Enrique Sacchi, “The Exaltation of Metaphysics in John Paul II's Fides et Ratio,” in Faith and reason: The Notre Dame symposium 1999, ed. Timothy L. Smith, (South Bend, IN: St. Augustin’s Press, 2000), 57-66