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Ch VII Being as Gift

Ch VII Being as Gift

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Published by Salvador Dida Leyso

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Published by: Salvador Dida Leyso on May 25, 2011
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03/19/2013

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THIRD
 
 PART 
:
BEING AS GIFT
.We have seen in the second part of the course that the
spirit
opens itself to a
 presence
without dominating such presence completely. The third part will investigate how thespirit offers itself to this presence. The
 first chapter 
is dedicated to the analogy and to participation. Here, we will see how
being 
reveals itself logically as it emerges andunfolds properly. We will elaborate on the diverse voices of being. The
 second chapter 
explains, with the help of the two transcendentals, which are
truth
and
 goodness
, themanner through which
being offers itself as gift to the spirit.
I.The Analogy of Being
.Based on the Scholastic framework, the doctrine of analogy concerns, first of all,the logical applicability of our universal ideas to individuals that have their proper consistency. The doctrine of analogy regards therefore the problem of universality of our ideas and their relation to the reality, which assumes it. This doctrine opens the way of thinking the rigorous constitution of the predictability of the substances, preservingfirmly the distinction between essence and existence.Indeed, the substance is its essence, meaning to say an intelligible unity. But thefact of the unity of intelligibility is a priori, grounded on the unity of the existent. Thesubstance gathers in itself the accidents, which render its particularity, as the actactualizes its potency. The intelligibility cannot guarantee the principle of this unitydeparting from itself. The particular substantial unity in fact surpasses or transcends theuniversal essence. It actuates the universal essence, and renders itself to it as the actualinteriority of the intelligible.If the essence is simply an inadequate potency to the substantial act, the substancecannot be said essentially. Then, we are condemned not to know it. Any kind of  judgement will be denied of it. It is, therefore, necessary that
the existential unity isexpressed by means of the essential unity
. Here, the essence, as intelligible form,manifests the existence intelligibly. The movement of the essence towards the existenceof the substance is considered as that which constitutes properly the analogical language.So, first, we will expound the doctrine of the logical forms of the analogy, as purely their instances on the intelligence of the idea of being. We will show then howthese logical forms take root in ontology. Finally, we will see how the grouping of finite beings is structured by means of the act of being. Here, the essence consists the presenceof its proper and unique act.
1
 
AThe Diverse Voices of Being
1
 
Based on the contemporary discourse in metaphysics, being expresses itself in plurivocity, diverse voices. The voices of being indicate the diverse particular modalitiesof linguistic reference to the existent. These modalities cover the diverse games of language. According to William Desmond, the modality of reference can be exercised inthe manner that is univocal, equivocal, dialectical, and metaxological.1. The Univocity of Being.The reference is univocal when the term used is applied in one sense or onemeaning to different things. The univocal term has a proper logical basis. It agrees to thespecie as it concerns its individuals; to the genus as regards to their specie. It renders, infact, a unification of multiplicity. The construction of this unity is in cadence by theintellectual project, which looks at the universality as always better. Now in such logicalline, that which is extended more universally is also that which carries in itself thecontent more lacking. The width of the extension of a logical term is in fact inversely proportionate to that of its understanding. And it is because of this that the concept of  being, which has therefore the greater extension, is also, as a univocal concept, that whichhas the understanding more lacking. The univocal being is
 pauperimum
.The concept of being, made as an abstraction from any other determination, presents itself to the spirit in the simplicity of its “scientific” sense, objective, univocal.Such being gathers in itself all the predicates and all the accidents, which determine thegenus and specie. It is more commonly attributed to any substance or subject without anylogical or real distinction. Consequently, such being is measured in poverty of itsapplication (only one sense) by the power of the spiritual intervention.
“Esse pauperimum” 
is the abstracted condition of the intelligibility of the whole. It is thatwhich presents itself in the determined manner to the spirit.The logical univocity of being is radically unsustainable. Certainly, the spirit is inthe level of knowing being which is absolutely indeterminate. But the univocaluniversality of being has as a result the impossibility of justifying being in any being,whatever is the accidental determination. Therefore, the logical univocity of beingcontradicts the real universality of being. The logical universality of univocal beingindicates a collective universality, which convenes a grouping without content. Thewhole is of being, but nothing is “being”. Being is therefore not a collective universal, because all that which is, is in its proper fullness, that of its act of being.The universality of being cannot be ignored itself, but it must on the contraryimply all beings in their respective unique simplicity. The universality of being is notonly logical, but also ontological. It expresses itself this universality recognizing the unityof being in the singular unity of every existent.
1
William Desmond, Being and the Between, State University of New York Press, 1995, pp. 47-222.2
 
a) From Prelapsarian to Postlapsarian Univocity.The focus is on the univocal sense and its diverse ways of privileging the notionof unity. There is no such thing as absolutely pure univocity. Such univocity would be aunity totally devoid of mediation and exclusive differentiation. Without the later, therewould be no determination of diversity among beings, no speaking about being, and noarticulated knowing of anything. Absolutely pure univocity is a limit concept, onlyintelligible by abstraction from differences, and only articulate by reference to somesense of the interplay of identity and difference.Certainly, the notion of unity is indispensable to our efforts to make determinatesense of being. Much of traditional metaphysics is defined by an oscillation betweenunivocity and equivocity. This is coherent with the notion of pure univocity as an idealabstraction. Nevertheless, this oscillation emerges from what we might call a prior "lived"univocity. There is immediacy to our initial immersion in being. This is broken up withthe dawning of our distinctive mindfulness by its mode of rational self-consciousness.This immediacy of the community of being is aesthetic. The world as given being ischarged with sensuous presencing. We are present to this overdetermined presencing inour own flesh - the self as sensing, embodied being.We are in the garden of being, the metaphysical Eden, at home in this rareunivocity. This is the prelapsarian univocity. The dawning of mindfulness in the body,the emergence of a distinctive sense of self, brings differentiation and the loss of thismetaphysical Eden. As robbing us of the rapturous univocity of the metaphysical Eden, being as other may even present itself as possibly hostile. No longer home, we turnagainst it in knowing. We develop our own rational univocity to take away or mitigate theseeming threat of enigmatic being. Then we seek to reconstruct univocal being in rationalcategories. The result will be, so to say the postlapsarian univocity. b) Ontological and Logical UnivocityThe universal mind has been developed by modern science. Philosophers tend to be intolerant of the easy tolerance of common sense as it shifts between univocity andequivocity. Philosophers would radicalize univocal mind and in this radicalizationconquer and transcend the equivocal in being.Let us consider Parmenides. He passes on the admonition of the goddess: judgewith logos, be discriminate with respect to the logos. The goddess offers Parmenides avision of pure being, identical with pure thinking. This vision is revealed after the passage beyond the equivocations of becoming. Becoming refuses to conform to univocal being; it is self-contradictory, itself and yet not itself.Parmenides must transcend the many. The vision of pure eternal, univocal being,stands counter to the equivocities of becoming and opinion. This single minded
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