Ontology or the Theory of Being

Ontology or the Theory of Being

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Excerpt: ...there are many philosophers nowadays who reject as mere mental fictions, as products of mere logical distinctions, and as devoid of objective validity, the notions of composite substance and incomplete substance. Nor is this to be wondered at when we remember what a variety of groundless and gratuitous notions are current in regard to substance itself (64 ). But understanding substance in the traditional sense already explained (62 ), there is nothing whatever inconsistent in the notion of a composite substance, or of an incomplete substance, -provided these notions are understood in the sense to be explained presently. Nay, more, not only are these notions intrinsically possible: we must even hold them to pg 255 be objectively valid and real, to be truly expressive of the nature of reality, unless we are prepared to hold that there is no such thing as substantial change in the universe, and that man himself is a mere aggregate of material atoms moved according to mechanical laws and inhabited by a conscious soul, or thinking principle, rather than an individual being with one definite substantial nature. What, then, are we to understand by complete and incomplete substances respectively? A substance is regarded as complete in the fullest sense when it is wanting in no substantial principle without which it would be incapable of existing and discharging all its functions in the actual order as an individual of some definite species. Of course no created substance exists or discharges its functions unless it is endowed with some accidents, e.g. with properties, faculties, forces, etc. But there is no question of these here. We are considering only the essential perfections of the substance. Thus, then, any existing individual of any species-a man, a horse, an oak-is a complete substance in this fullest sense. It is complete in the line of substance, in substantial perfection, "in ordine substantialitatis," inasmuch as it can exist (and does...show more

Product details

  • Paperback
  • 189 x 246 x 11mm | 381g
  • Rarebooksclub.com
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236724879
  • 9781236724878