Transcendentals

Transcendental Attributes

  • Transcendental Attributes are perfections which all things share in, in virtue of their being.
  • They are ‘convertible’ with being – each is a thing’s being in relation either to itself or other beings.
    • Being – the reality of a thing
      • Essence: what it is
      • Act of Existing: what makes it a real thing
    • One – the thing as undivided
    • Good – the thing as an object of desire
      • The perfection of its own being
      • The perfection of the being of another
    • True – the thing as an object of knowledge; the reality to which a mind conforms
    • Thing – being what it is (essence considered in itself)
    • Something – being other than everything else
    • Beautiful – perfection as an object of knowledge
  • Trancendentals are like Platonic Forms in that
    • they are shared in by material things more or less completely
    • they are the foundation of the reality and intelligibility of what shares in them (which is everything that is)
  • Transcendental Good (as Metaphysical Perfection)
    • Most obvious Transcendental Attribute in observable reality from which the Fourth Way proceeds (as another a posteriori proof)
    • Defined as ‘what each thing (truly) desires’ (should): the due good, or duly desirable
    • Not arbitrary or relativistic, because convertible with being
    • Each thing’s goodness is the perfection of its own being (metaphysical perfection)
      • A thing’s good is what is or contributes to its functioning well
      • This well-functioning is determined by the sort of thing it is, i.e., its nature or essence: what it is.
    • Incidentally, evil is the privation or lack of (a due) good.
      • Not every lack or privation is evil: unseeing rocks are not called blind, and do not suffer an evil.
      • Only what is supposed to see (and doesn’t) is called blind and suffers an evil
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