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In scholastic philosophy, actus purus (English: "pure actuality," "pure act") is the absolute perfection of God.
Created beings have potentiality that is not actuality, imperfections as well as perfection. Only God is simultaneously all that He can be, infinitely real and infinitely perfect: 'I am who I am' (Exodus 3:14 ). His attributes or His operations are really identical with His essence, and His essence necessitates His existence. (Contrast this understanding with the Essence–Energies distinction in Eastern Christian, particularly Palamite, theology).
In created beings, the state of potentiality precedes that of actuality; before being realized, a perfection must be capable of realization. But, absolutely speaking, actuality precedes potentiality. For in order to change, a thing must be acted upon, or actualized; change and potentiality presuppose, therefore, a being which is in actu . This actuality, if mixed with potentiality, presupposes another actuality, and so on, until we reach the actus purus.
According to Thomas Aquinas a thing which requires completion by another is said to be in potency to that other: realization of potency is called actuality. The universe is conceived of as a series of things arranged in an ascending order, or potency and act at once crowned and created by God, who alone is pure act. God is changeless because change means passage from potency to act, and so he is without beginning and end, since these demand change. Matter and form are necessary to the understanding of change, for change requires the union of that which becomes and that which it becomes. Matter is the first, and form the second. All physical things are composed of matter and form. The difference between a thing as form or character and the actual existence of it is denoted by the terms essence and being (or existence). It is only in God that there is no distinction between the two. Both pairs – matter and form, essence and being – are special cases of potency and act. They are also modes: modes do not add anything to the idea of being, but are ways of making explicit what is implicit in it.
In philosophy, being means the material or immaterial existence of a thing. Anything that exists is being. Ontology is the branch of philosophy that studies being. Being is a concept encompassing objective and subjective features of reality and existence. Anything that partakes in being is also called a "being", though often this usage is limited to entities that have subjectivity. The notion of "being" has, inevitably, been elusive and controversial in the history of philosophy, beginning in Western philosophy with attempts among the pre-Socratics to deploy it intelligibly. The first effort to recognize and define the concept came from Parmenides, who famously said of it that "what is-is". Common words such as "is", "are", and "am" refer directly or indirectly to being.
Existence is the ability of an entity to interact with physical or mental reality. In philosophy, it refers to the ontological property of being.
Ontology is the branch of philosophy that studies concepts such as existence, being, becoming, and reality. It includes the questions of how entities are grouped into basic categories and which of these entities exist on the most fundamental level. Ontology is traditionally listed as a part of the major branch of philosophy known as metaphysics.
In theology, the doctrine of divine simplicity says that God is without parts. The general idea can be stated in this way: The being of God is identical to the "attributes" of God. Characteristics such as omnipresence, goodness, truth, eternity, etc., are identical to God's being, not qualities that make up that being, nor abstract entities inhering in God as in a substance; in other words we can say that in God both essence and existence are one and the same.
Aristotelian theology and the scholastic view of God have been influential in Western intellectual history.
Science of Logic, first published between 1812 and 1816, is the work in which Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel outlined his vision of logic. Hegel's logic is a system of dialectics, i.e., a dialectical metaphysics: it is a development of the principle that thought and being constitute a single and active unity. Science of Logic also incorporates the traditional Aristotelian syllogism: It is conceived as a phase of the "original unity of thought and being" rather than as a detached, formal instrument of inference.
Thomism is the philosophical school that arose as a legacy of the work and thought of Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274), philosopher, theologian, and Doctor of the Church. In philosophy, Aquinas' disputed questions and commentaries on Aristotle are perhaps his best-known works.
In philosophy, potentiality and actuality are a pair of closely connected principles which Aristotle used to analyze motion, causality, ethics, and physiology in his Physics, Metaphysics, Nicomachean Ethics and De Anima, which is about the human psyche.
In Palamite theology, there is a distinction between the essence (ousia) and the energies (energeia) of God. It was first formulated by Gregory Palamas (1296–1359) as part of his defense of the Athonite monastic practice of hesychasmos against the charge of heresy brought by the humanist scholar and theologian Barlaam of Calabria.
Metaphysics is one of the principal works of Aristotle and one of the first major works of the branch of philosophy with the same name. The principal subject is "being qua being," or being insofar as it is being. It examines what can be asserted about any being insofar as it is and not because of any special qualities it has. Also covered are different kinds of causation, form and matter, the existence of mathematical objects, and a prime-mover God.
"Critique of the Kantian philosophy" is a criticism Arthur Schopenhauer appended to the first volume of his The World as Will and Representation (1818). He wanted to show Immanuel Kant's errors so that Kant's merits would be appreciated and his achievements furthered.
Nous, sometimes equated to intellect or intelligence, is a term from classical philosophy for the faculty of the human mind necessary for understanding what is true or real. English words such as "understanding" are sometimes used, but three commonly used philosophical terms come directly from classical languages: νοῦς or νόος, intellēctus and intellegentia. To describe the activity of this faculty, the word "intellection" is sometimes used in philosophical contexts, as well as the Greek words noēsis and noeîn. This activity is understood in a similar way to the modern concept of intuition.
Distinction, the fundamental philosophical abstraction, involves the recognition of difference.
The trademark argument is an a priori argument for the existence of God developed by French philosopher and mathematician, René Descartes.
Actus primus is a technical expression used in scholastic philosophy.
The philosophy of self is the study of the many conditions of identity that make one subject of experience distinct from other experiences. The self is sometimes understood as a unified being essentially connected to consciousness, awareness, and agency.
An ontological argument is a philosophical argument, made from an ontological basis, that is advanced in support of the existence of God. Such arguments tend to refer to the state of being or existing. More specifically, ontological arguments are commonly conceived a priori in regard to the organization of the universe, whereby, if such organizational structure is true, God must exist.
Actus Essendi is a Latin expression coined by Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274). Translated as "act of being", the actus essendi is a fundamental metaphysical principle discovered by Aquinas when he was systematizing the Christian Neoplatonic interpretation of Aristotle. It relates to the revelation of God as He Who is, and to how we as humans perceive God’s essence. Aquinas thought one could not perceive the essence of God as sense data but rather could only be understood in terms of His act of being, that is, His effects in the real world.
Seddiqin Argument or the argument of the righteous is an argument for the existence of God in Islamic philosophy. This argument was explained by Islamic philosophers such as Avicenna, Mulla Sadra and Muhammad Husayn Tabataba'i.
God in Catholicism is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The Catholic Church believes that there is one true and living God, the Creator and Lord of Heaven and Earth.
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