III
ACT

Aristotle and Aquinas

SINCE our entire book illustrates the featuring of act, there is less call for a special section on it. But let us cite a few passages from the Baldwin dictionary that will sufficiently indicate why scholastic realism should be treated as a speculative enterprise constructed about action as the basic concept.

In Aristotle "things are more or less real according as they are more or less energeia (actu, from which our 'actuality' is derived)." In scholastic realism "form is the actus, the attainment, which realizes the matter." "As Saint Thomas says, and as the whole Peripatetic doctrine teaches, forma per se ipsam facit rem esse in actu (or, as it is often expressed, a form is an act)." And when discussing the characteristic distinction between existence and essence, the article on Aquinas defines existence as "the act of essence." Similarly in his comments on Aristotle Metaphysics, Aquinas refers to the soul as the "act of an organic physical body capable of life." Etienne Gilson God and Philosophy states the matter succinctly in observing that for the scholastics existence is "an act, not a thing."7 And when discussing the "Likeness of Creatures" in the Summa Contra Gentiles, Aquinas brings out a similar stress, in keeping with the agent-act ratio: "It is of the nature of action that a like agent should produce a like action, since every thing acts according as it is in act" (though he is here using the principle to distinguish between God as cause and human agents as effect, a disproportion whereby "the form of the effect is found in its transcendent cause somewhat, but in another way and another ratio").

The most convenient place I know for directly observing the essentially dramatist nature of both Aristotle and Aquinas is in Aquinas' corn-

____________________
7
However, to be is the act of acts. Gilson makes much of the fact that the copulative verb is grammatically in the active voice. Sociologically, we may note how well this identification between act and being served a feudal society built upon the maintenance of fixed social status.

-227-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
A Grammar of Motives
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Contents ix
  • Introduction: the Five Key Terms of Dramatism xv
  • Part One - Ways of Placement 1
  • I - Container and Thing Contained 3
  • II - Antinomies of Definition 21
  • III - Scope and Reduction 59
  • Part Two - The Philosophic Schools 125
  • I Scene 127
  • II - Agent in General 171
  • III - Act 227
  • IV - Agency and Purpose 275
  • Part Three - On Dialectic 321
  • I - He Dialectic of Constitutions 323
  • II - Dialectic in General 402
  • Appendix 445
  • Index 519
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 530

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.