Sunday, January 5, 2014

plenitudo esse > plenitudo essendi

"The Christian correction of Neoplatonism by Denys is therefore inseparable from [the] new and original ontology to which it gave rise:  being [(l'être)] is not a minimal perfection, simple existence, the [mere] fact of not being nothing, but . . . an intensive perfection that encompasses in a virtual fashion [(virtuellement)] all the other perfections."

     Serge-Thomas Bonino, "Influence du Pseudo-Denys sur la conception thomiste de l'«esse»," Bulletin de littérature ecclésiastique 94, no. 3 (1993):  271 (269-274).
"if the causality of the God of Denys is [by contrast with that of the First Principle of Neoplatonism] universal and immediate, this is because being (which, he tells us, is the first effect of God, the first participation) in some way includes and encompasses in its own perfection all the other perfections, which, be they [for example] life or thought, are only aspects, modes, or manifestations of the perfection of being.  To live is one form of being, to think, another... By causing being, God causes at the same time all the other perfections, beginning with the causal virtue of the principles.  'It is because the principles of all beings [themselves] all participate in being that they exist and play their role as principles.  And if you prefer to call life itself the principle of the living of all living things, . . . you will discover that these participations, considered in an absolute fashion, participate first themselves in Being [(l'Être)], before being principles according to this or that mode, and that it is by their participation in Being that they exist and are participated [in]'" (270-271).
Cf., for example, ST I-II.18.1.Resp.:  "God alone has the whole plenitude of His Being [(plenitudinem . . . esse)] in a certain unity: whereas every other thing has its proper fulness of being [(plenitudinem essendi)] in a certain multiplicity."

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