2which the concept of being itself does not make explicit. They are so many ways, in other words,of saying what all beings whatsoever – infinite or finite, actual or possible – manifest incommon.”
The transcendentals of being are transcendental modes of being, convertible andcoextensive with being.
They are, observes William Wallace, “
with being; in them being manifests itself and reveals what it actually is. Just as being is never found without such properties, so these are inseparably bound up with one another in the sense that they include andinterpenetrate each other.”
The transcendentals of being are certain supreme modes or attributes necessarilyconnected with every being, different aspects of the same fundamental being, but not explicitlycontained in the concept of being as such.
They are modes consequent upon every being,modes, intrinsic to being itself, that refer to being universally and necessarily, to all beings savenone. These transcendental modes are called ‘transcendental’ inasmuch as they are not confinedto the categories or classification of being, but are rather found in all, affecting each and everyconceivable being; they ‘transcend,’ or ‘go beyond’ all the categories. When we use
Philosophy of Being
, Bruce, Milwaukee, 1950, pp. 168-192 ; G. P. KLUBERTANZ,
An Introduction to the Philosophy of Being
, Appleton-Century-Crofts, Inc., New York, 1955, pp. 186-209 ; R. P. PHILLIPS,
ModernThomistic Philosophy, volume 2 (Metaphysics)
, The Newman Press, Westminster, Maryland, 1957, pp. 174-179 ; D.J. SULLIVAN,
An Introduction to Philosophy
, Bruce, Milwaukee, 1957, pp. 206-216 ; J. E. TWOMEY,
TheGeneral otion of the Transcendentals in the Metaphysics of Saint Thomas Aquinas
, Catholic University of AmericaPress, Washington, D.C., 1958 ; R. J. KREYCHE,
, Henry Holt and Company, Inc., New York,1959, pp. 167-203 ; R. JOLIVET,
Metafisica (Ontologia e Teodicea)
, Morcelliana, Brescia, 1960, pp. 82-113; G.BERGHIN-ROSÈ,
, Marietti, Turin, 1961, pp. 75-139 ; H. J. KOREN,
Introduction to the Science of Metaphysics
, B. Herder, St. Louis, 1965, pp. 48-103 ; H. D. GARDEIL,
Introduction to the Philosophy of St.Thomas Aquinas. Metaphysics
, B. Herder, St. Louis, 1967, pp. 119-152 ; P. B. GRENET,
, PaideiaEditrice, Brescia, 1967, pp. 243-260 ; J. DE TORRE,
, Vera-Reyes, Manila, 1980, pp. 118-125; J. OWENS,
An Elementary Christian Metaphysics
, Center for Thomistic Studies, Houston, 1985, pp. 111-127 ; T.ALVIRA, L. CLAVELL, T. MELENDO,
, Sinag-Tala, Manila, 1991, pp. 129-172 ; B. MONDIN,
Il sistema filosofico di Tommaso d’ Aquino
, Massimo, Milan, 1992, pp. 107-123 ; L. ELDERS,
La metafisicadell’essere di san Tommaso d’Aquino in una prospettiva storica: (I) L’essere comune
, Libreria Editrice Vaticana,Vatican City, 1995, pp. 62-169 ; G. VENTIMIGLIA,
Il trattato tomista sulle proprietà trascendentali dell’essere
,“Rivista di filosofia neoscolastica,” 87 (1995), pp. 51-82 ; J. AERTSEN,
Medieval Philosophy and theTranscendentals
, Brill, Leiden, 1996 ; B. MONDIN,
, Edizioni Studio Domenicano, Bologna,1999, pp. 221-241.
D. J. SULLIVAN,
., p. 207.
H. D. Gardeil explains that “because they are as universal as being itself, the transcendental modes are spoken of as
convertible with being
, so that in a proposition where being is the subject and one of the common modes the predicate (or vice versa), we may interchange them. If, for example, ‘being is one,’ then ‘the one is being,’ with noshift of meaning” (H. D. GARDEIL,
, p. 121).
The Elements of Philosophy
, Alba House, New York, 1977, p. 91.
“Precisely as essentially given with being, these determinants are called its essential attributes; as transcending all particularities in the order of being, they are called transcendentals; and as belonging to everything whatsoever, theyare designated as the most common determinants of all things. Finally, their denomination as
properties of being
establishes their connection with the fourth of the predicables, i.e., property or
, with the followingconsequences: (1) these are not synonyms for being, but rather characteristics that add something to being and are of necessity found with it; (2) neither are they accidents, such as properties usually are, but rather determinants that areformally identical with being; (3) these properties do not actually arise out of being; being is their foundation, and isotherwise identical with them – it is not their principle, therefore, and certainly not their cause; and (4) thedistinction between being and its attributes is a distinction of reason reasoned about; although the distinctionoriginates in the mind that understands or reasons, it has a foundation in reality because the attributes either manifestwhat being is or add something to it”(W. WALLACE,
., p. 91).