Open main menu

Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 10.djvu/273

This page needs to be proofread.




dent, body, plant, tree, etc.? In the first place, the predicate being is never univocally affirmed of lower concepts, because it is not a genus. Neither is it pred- icated cqui\'ocally, because its meaniiif; wlien predi- cated of substance, for example, is not entirely distinct from its meaning when predicated of accident. The predication is, therefore, analogical. What, then, is the relation, in comprehension, between Being and the lower concepts? It Is obvious that the lower concept has greater comprehension than Being. But can it be said that the lower concept addx to the comprehen.sion of Being? Manifestly, that is impossible, because if anything distinct from being is added to being, what is added is "nothing", and there is no addition. The schoolmen, therefore, teach that the lower concept simply brings out in an explicit manner a mode or modes of being which are contained implicitly but not expressed in the higher concept, Being. The compre- hension, for example, of substance Ls greater than that of being. Nevertheless it is not correct to say that. Substance = Being + a; for if a is distinct from the term Being, to which it is added, it must be Nothing. The truth, then, is that Substance brings out explic- itly a mode (namely the power of existing without a subject in which to inhere) which is neither explicitly affirmed nor explicitly denied but only implicitly con- tained in the concept of Being.

{.'i) Being and Xothing. — Being, therefore, hasacom- prehension, which, though it is the least of all compre- hensions, is definite. It ii not a bare, empty concept, and, therefore, equal to "nothing", as the Hegelians teach. This doctrine of the scholastics is the line of demarcation between .-i-rLstoteleanism on the one hand and Hegelianism on the other. Aristotle teaches that being has a definite comprehension, that, therefore, the fundamental law of thought as well as the basic principle of reality is the identity of Being with itself: Being = Being, .\ is A, or Everirthing is what it is. Hegel does not fleny that this .\ristotelean principle is true. He holds, however, that Being hiis an inde- terminate comprehension, a comprehension which is dynamic or, as it were, fluent. Therefore, he says, the principle Being= Being, A is A, or Everything is what it is, is only part of the truth, for Being is also equal to Nothing, A = not-A, Everything is its oppo- site. The full truth is: Being is Becoming; no static or fixed formula is true ; everything is constantly pass- ing into its opposite. The con.sequences which follow from this fundamental divergence of doctrine regard- ing Being are enormous. Not the least serious of these is the Hegeliin conclusion that all reality is dynamic and that God Himself i; a process.

(4) Being, Exigence, and Essence. — As wisdom (sapi- entia) is that by which a person is wise (sapere), so es- sence {essentia) is thj.t by which a thing is (esse). If one inquires what is the intrinsic cause of a person being wise, the answer is, wisdom ; if one asks what is the intrinsic cause of existence, the answer is, essence. Essence, therefore, is that by which a thing is what it is. It is the source of all the necessarj' and universal properties of a thing, and is itself necessary, univer- sal, eternal, and unchangeable. The act to which it refers is existence, in tbe same way as the act to which wisdom refers, is the exercise of wisdom (sa- pere). Both existence and essence are realities, the one in the entitative order, the other in the quiddative order. Of course, the existence of a notional being (ens rationis) is only notional; its essence, too, is no- tional. But in the of a real, created Being, the existence is one kind of reality, a real actuality, and the essence is another kind of reality, a reality in the pot^'ntial order. This doctrine of the real distinction between essence and existence in real created beings is not admitted by all scholastic philosophers. Suarez, for instance, and his school, hold that the distinction is only logical or notional ; the Scotists, too, maintain that the distinction in question is less than real. The

Thomists, on the contrary, hold that in God alone es- sence and existence are identical, that in all creatures there is a real distinction, because in creatures exist- ence is participated, diversified, and multiplied, not by reason of itself but by reason of the essence which it actualizes. There is much controversy not only over the question itself, but also concerning the interpreta- tion of the words of St. Thomas, although there seems very little ground for denying that in the work " De Ente et Essentia " the Angelic Doctor holds a real dis- tinction between essence and existence.

(5) Transcendental Properties of Being . — Equally ex- tensive with the concept of Being are the concepts good, true, one, and beautiful. Every being is good, true, one, and beautiful, in the metaphysical sense, or as the scholastics expressed it. Being and Good are convertible, Being and True are convertil^le, etc. {Bonum et ens convertunlur , etc.). Goodness, in this sense, means the fullness of entity or perfection which belongs to each being in its own order of existence; truth means the correspondence of a thing to the idea of it, which exists in the Divine Mind; oneness means the lack of actual divbion, and beauty means that completeness, harmony or symmetry of essential na- ture which is only an aspect of truth and goodness. These properties, goodness, truth, oneness, and beauty, are called transcendental, because they transcend, or exceed in extension, all the lower classes into which reality is divided.

(6) The Categories. — Real Being is divided (not by strict logics 1 division, but by a process analogous to it) into Finite and Infinite. Finite Being is divided into the supreme genera. Substance and Accident. Accident is further divided into Quantity, Quality, Relation, Action, "Passion", Place, Time, Posture, and Habit (or possession). nine --Vccidents, together with the supreme genus, substance, are the ten Aristotelean Categories into which, as supreme classes, all Being is divided.

I. .\ristotele.^n Metaphysics: — Aristotle, Metaphysics in the Berlin edition, Aristotelis Opera Grace et Latine (Berlin, 1823-7), tr. McMahon (London, 1878, New York, 1887), tr. Ross (Oxford. 1908); commentaries by St. Thomas, S. Thomte Opera Omnia. XXIV (Paris, 1875); Sylvester Mauros. Aris- totelis Opera (Rome, 1668), etc.; Wallace, Outlines of Phil, of Arist. (Cambridge. 1894); Piat, Aristole (Paris, 1903).

II. Scholastic Metaphysics: — St. Thomas, op. cit., and De Ente et Essentia, -wiih C.\j^TA.T-i'& commentary, in Qiuestiones Dispp., TV (Rome, 1883); Suarez, Di.fpp., Metaphysicm in Opera Omnia, XXV (Paris, 1866); scholastic manuals, Zl- gliara, Liberatore, Lorenzelli; Vallet, Reinstadtler, Gredt, Hickey. etc.. in Latin: Harper, Metaphysics of the Schools(.3 vols., London, 1879-84); Rickaby, General Metaphys- ics (London, 1890); Hill, Elements of Philosophy (Baltimore, 1873); Mercier, Ontologie (Louvain, 4th ed., 19()5): Gutber- LET. Allgemeine Metaphysik (Munster, 1906).

III. Hegeuan:— Heaefs Werke (18 vols., Berlin, 1832^0); Haldane, Pathway to Reality (2 vols., London, 1903); Brad- ley, Appearance and Reality (London. 1902); Stiruno, The Secret of Hegel (hoadon, 1865); McT.\gg.\rt, Absolute Relativ- ism (London, 1887).

IV. The following include psychology nrrl fpi^trmnlngy in Metaphysics: H.vmilton, Lectures on M ■ ' ■ ' 1 vols., Edinburgh, 1859, London, 1861); HoDr;s,r,. , 1/ 'iisicsof

Experience (4 vols., New York, 1898); I i -7,,/™ of

Metaphysics (New York, 1904); Ladd, T/,..,„!/ ,j] Utaidy (New York, 1899).

V. Various Tendencies: — Bowne, Metaphysics (New York, 1898); Taylor, Elements of Metaphysics (London, 1903); Day, Ontological Science (New York, 1878); Riehl, Science and Metaphysics, tr. Fairbajjks (London, 1894); Lotze, Meta- physik, tr. Bosanquet (2 vols., London, 1887); James, A Pluralistic Universe (New Y'ork, 1909); .Schiller, Studies in Humanism (London, 1903); Rotce, Philosophy of Loyalty (New York, 1908). Consult also, the various "Introductions", for example, Ki'LPE, Introduction to Philosophy, tr. Pillsbury and TiTCHNEH (London, 1901); Watson, Outline of Philosophy, 2nd ed. (Glasgow, 1898); Paulsen, Introduction to Philosophy, tr. Thilly (New York, 1898); Marvin, Introduction to .Systematic Philosophy (New York, 19()3); Ladd, Introduction to Philosophy (New York. 1901).

VI. History of Metaphysics: — Vnv HAifT\»\vv, nrsrh. der

Metaphysik (3 vols., Berlin, 189^<-r' " n : ■' . • '..-),. des

/rf*'/i/ijtmus (3 vols., Brunswick, 1^'H ' in^forics

of Philosophy, such as, Stockl. 11 ■ , ■ I ' r. Fin-

lay (Dublin, 1888-1903); Tdrneu, lli.iuij ,,i y. . .'■;, (Bos- ton, 1903).

— William Tukner.