On the Essence of Finite Being as Such, on the Existence of That Essence and Their Distinction: De Essentia Entis Finiti Ut Tale Est, et de Illius Esse, Eorumque Distinctione

On the Essence of Finite Being as Such, on the Existence of That Essence and Their Distinction: De Essentia Entis Finiti Ut Tale Est, et de Illius Esse, Eorumque Distinctione

On the Essence of Finite Being as Such, on the Existence of That Essence and Their Distinction: De Essentia Entis Finiti Ut Tale Est, et de Illius Esse, Eorumque Distinctione

On the Essence of Finite Being as Such, on the Existence of That Essence and Their Distinction: De Essentia Entis Finiti Ut Tale Est, et de Illius Esse, Eorumque Distinctione

Excerpt

In the history of philosophy in the West, the translation of philosophical documents needs no justification. However, this translation of a sixteenth-century metaphysical tract, dealing with a highly sophisticated philosophical issue, would seem to require something of an explanation. Accordingly, then, the reasons for this translation at this time are no less than those of an integral philosophical perspective itself: historical and anhistorical, temporal and atemporal, immanent in time and yet transcendent thereto. Anything less than this is unworthy of the muse of philosophy.

The historical reasons are both remote and proximate. It has been sometime now since Mgr. Grabmann indicated that the problem of essence and existence and their distinction in Francisco Suárez should be examined, not only in a directly doctrinal way, but also from an enlightened historical perspective. The extensive historical annotations accompanying this translation are presented on behalf of that important task.

Furthermore, the problem of essence and existence in Francisco Suárez affords a unique contribution to the "purgative way" of contemporary Thomism since it clearly indicates the wide divergence obtaining between the Thomistae and their master, Thomas Aquinas. This historical conclusion is scarcely without its anhistorical consequences.

More proximate historical reasons for this translation are afforded by the essence-existence context of much of the discussion within contemporary Existentialism. Indeed, a persistent comparison of present with past and past with present is an indispensable feature of a viable and vigorous philosophical enterprise.

Further, on this score, this work of Francisco Suárez offers a more than appropriate occasion to assess Martin Heidegger's charge of a Vergessenheit des Sein on the part of Western metaphysics from its onset down to the present day.

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