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The transcendental being Some of Thomas Aquinas' propositions were reputedly condemned by the local Bishop of Paris (not the Papal Magisterium itself) in 1270 and 1277<ref>For text of condemnations 1277 (technically still 1276 at the date, since before 25 of March) see David Piché, La condemnation parisienne de 1277, [1], parallel Latin text with his French translation, or online list Latin only with footnotes, by Hans-Georg Lundahl, [2]</ref>{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[citation needed] }}, but his dedication to the use of philosophy to elucidate theology was so thorough that he was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church in 1568. Those who adopt it are called Thomists.

Thomistic analogical predication of being

In a single sentence, parallel to Aristotle's statement asserting that being is substance, St. Thomas pushes away from the Aristotelian doctrine:<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> "Being is not a genus, since it is not predicated univocally but only analogically." His term for analogy is Latin analogia. In the categorical classification of all beings, all substances are partly the same: man and chimpanzee are both animals and the animal part in man is "the same" as the animal part in chimpanzee. Most fundamentally all substances are matter, a theme taken up by science, which postulated one or more matters, such as earth, air, fire or water (Empedocles). In today's chemistry the carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen in a chimpanzee are identical to the same elements in a man.

The original text reads, "Although equivocal predications must be reduced to univocal, still in actions, the non-univocal agent must precede the univocal agent. For the non-univocal agent is the universal cause of the whole species, as for instance the sun is the cause of the generation of all men; whereas the univocal agent is not the universal efficient cause of the whole species (otherwise it would be the cause of itself, since it is contained in the species), but is a particular cause of this individual which it places under the species by way of participation. Therefore the universal cause of the whole species is not an univocal agent; and the universal cause comes before the particular cause. But this universal agent, whilst it is not univocal, nevertheless is not altogether equivocal, otherwise it could not produce its own likeness, but rather it is to be called an analogical agent, as all univocal predications are reduced to one first non-univocal analogical predication, which is being."<ref>http://www.newadvent.org/summa/1013.htm#article5</ref>

If substance is the highest category and there is no substance, being, then the unity perceived in all beings by virtue of their existing must be viewed in another way. St. Thomas chose the analogy: all beings are like, or analogous to, each other in existing. This comparison is the basis of his Analogy of Being. The analogy is said of being in many different ways, but the key to it is the real distinction between existence and essence. Existence is the principle that gives reality to an essence not the same in any way as the existence: "If things having essences are real, and it is not of their essence to be, then the reality of these things must be found in some principle other than (really distinct from) their essence."<ref name=Kreyche70>{{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}</ref> Substance can be real or not. What makes an individual substance – a man, a tree, a planet – real is a distinct act, a "to be", which actuates its unity. An analogy of proportion is therefore possible:<ref name=Kreyche70/> "essence is related to existence as potency is related to act."

Existences are not things; they do not themselves exist, they lend themselves to essences, which do not intrinsically have them. They have no nature; an existence receives its nature from the essence it actuates. Existence is not being; it gives being – here a customary phrase is used, existence is a principle (a source) of being, not a previous source, but one which is continually in effect. The stage is set for the concept of God as the cause of all existence, who, as the Almighty, holds everything actual without reason or explanation as an act purely of will.

The transcendentals

Aristotle's classificatory scheme had included the five predicables, or characteristics that might be predicated of a substance. One of these was the property, an essential universal true of the species, but not in the definition (in modern terms, some examples would be grammatical language, a property of man, or a spectral pattern characteristic of an element, both of which are defined in other ways). Pointing out that predicables are predicated univocally of substances; that is, they refer to "the same thing" found in each instance, St. Thomas argued that whatever can be said about being is not univocal, because all beings are unique, each actuated by a unique existence. It is the analogous possession of an existence that allows them to be identified as being; therefore, being is an analogous predication.

Whatever can be predicated of all things is universal-like but not universal, category-like but not a category. St. Thomas called them (perhaps not originally) the transcendentia, "transcendentals", because they "climb above" the categories, just as being climbs above substance. Later academics also referred to them as "the properties of being."<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=citation }}</ref> The number is generally three or four.


Being sections
Intro  The substantial being  The transcendental being  Being in Islamic philosophy  Being in the Age of Reason  Being in continental philosophy and existentialism  Quotations  See also  Notes  References   External links   

The transcendental being
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