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Universit catholique de Louvain Institut suprieur de Philosophie Facult des sciences philosophiques

Heidegger, interpreter of medieval thought

(An interpretation of his "Die Grundeprobleme der Phnomenologie" )

Dissertation doctorale prsente par John Cronin en vue de lobtention du titre de docteur en philosophie et lettres

sous la direction du Professeur Jean-Michel Counet

Anne acadmique 2008-2009

"It has been said that my work is Catholic phenomenology - presumably because it is my conviction that thinkers like Thomas Aquinas and Duns Scotus understood something of philosophy, perhaps more than the moderns. But the concept of a Catholic phenomenology is even more absurd than the concept of a Protestant mathematics." Martin Heidegger1 M. Gilson, in his essay "Cajetan et l'existence," makes this curious remark: "Lhistoire de ce que l'on nomme commodment l'Ecole Thomiste n'a jamais t crite. Nous ne prtendons donc pas Ia connatre, mais ce que nous en savons nous invite penser que le principal obstacle Ia diffusion du Thomisme de saint Thomas, mme I'nteriur de lOrdre Dominicain, fut l'influence d'Aristote. Cette assertion d'apparence paradoxale, tant donne l'interprtation traditionelle de saint Thomas, est sans doute destine devenir une banalit dont on s'tonnera qu'il y ait jamais eu lieu de Ia dire." Tidjschrift voor philosophie (June 1953), p. 284. McInerny: "Doubtless St. Thomas himself would not be the least of those who would find this assertion paradoxical. General statements about the relationship between the doctrine of Aristotle and that of St. Thomas can be tested only by particular cases - like that of the existential proposition."2

Heidegger, Martin, The Basic Problems of Phenomenology, translated by Alfred Hofstadter, Indiana University Press, 1982, Introduction, p. 20. 2 McInerny, Ralph, 13. "Being and Predication", p. 165-228 in Being and Predication. Thomistic Interpretations, Washington, DC, The Catholic University of America Press, 1986, p. 189.

Table of contents General Introduction ....................................................................................................... CHAPTER ONE: Background ....................................................................................... 8 CHAPTER TWO: Heideggers Thesis on Medieval Ontology: to the Being of a Being Belongs Essence and Existence ...................................................................................................................................... 54 CHAPTER THREE: Heidegger analyzing Medieval Authors..................................... 94 ALPHA: Aquinas Section: PARTS 1 AND 2............................................................ 95 BETA: SCOTUS SECTION ..................................................................................... 136 GAMMA: SUAREZ SECTION.................................................................................. 159 CHAPTER FOUR: HEIDEGGERS APPROPRIATION OF LUTHER ..................... 182 CHAPTER FIVE: Courtine-McInerny......................................................................... 208 INTRODUCTION ..................................................................................................... 208 SECTION I ............................................................................................................... 210 SECTION II: (Analysis of Hermann Philipses source material)......................... 225 SECTION III: A brief examination of J.-F Courtines conference Heidegger et les mdivaux . .................................................................................................... 237 COURTINE-MCINERNY CONCLUSIONS............................................................... 254 GENERAL CONCLUSION .......................................................................................... 258

BIBLIOGRAPHY ..................................................................................................... 26260

GENERAL INTRODUCTION We might ask ourselves about our motivations in studying what Heidegger has to say about medieval philosophy and, subsequently, how central his interpretation of th medieval philosophy's role is within the spectrum of his vast contribution to 20 century thought. On a factical level One thing is sure. In Heidegger's case, the role of biography in the formation of his philosophical attitudes is of primal importance if only because he tells us so. Dating from 1921, we have the oft quoted passage where he defines for his advanced student Lwith how he sees his task:
I work concretely and factically out of my I am, out of my intellectual and wholly factical origin, milieu, lifecontexts and whatever is available to me from these as vital experience in which I live To this facticity of mine belongs what I would briefly call the fact that I am a Christian theologian. (Kisiels translation)3

This avowal to Lwith amounts to what Kisiel aptly calls: "Heidegger's own sense of the intrinsic importance . of the biographical element in (his) autochthonous hermeneutic situation"4. What was this background situation? In the briefest form, on a concrete level, Heidegger, a Church sexton's son who had grown up steeped in rural Catholic village parish life, being of modest origin, completed his early higher studies via Church sponsored scholarships, all of which presupposed a concentration on Scholastic philosophy, and one of which even 'obliged the preservation of Thomistic philosophy'.5 Any account of Heidegger's formative years would be amiss in not mentioning his 1915 Habilitationschrift: "Duns Scotus's Doctrine of Categories and Meaning". That work, completed just after his doctorate, may be seen as signaling a transition. Due, first of all, to the fact that he evinced a spirit of independence in choosing to work on Scotus rather than Aquinas and, furthermore, that he employed his new found (via Husserl) phenomenological method in analyzing Scotus's text. On a philosophical, hermeneutical level
3 4

Cf. Kisiel, the Genesis of Being and Time, Introduction, p. 7. Ibid. 5 Safranski, R., Martin Heidegger Between Good and Evil, p. 10: "Martin received for his final high school years and the first four semesters he studied theology in Freiburg an Eliner Grant that was tied to training for the priesthood. His studies between 1913 and 1916 were financed by the Schtlzer Donation, which imposed on recipients the obligation of preserving the philosophy and theology of St. Thomas Aquinas." Thus Heidegger remained in dependence on Catholic funding long after he'd made up his mind to make a clean break with the Church. This may go far in explaining a certain resentment he expresses towards Thomism. To my mind this expresses a sad irony for St. Thomas agreed with Boethius that appeal to authority, the "argumentum ad verecundiam" was the weakest.

We now look decades ahead precisely with a view to seeing how Heidegger categorized that crucial 1920's period in hindsight. Some thirty five years later, in 1954, late in his career, when his Japanese interlocutor mentions to Heidegger that he has had a theology-oriented origin dealing with issues altogether different from the sort of thinking he now expresses, Heidegger replies, in Unterwegs zu Sprache, that he would not have been led to the path of thinking without his "theological provenance. And that provenance is always future."6 A bit earlier in this exchange with his Japanese interlocutor, Heidegger says some very revealing things as to his path from theological studies to hermeneutics:
"The idea of hermeneutics was familiar to me because of my theology studies. I was especially awed by the question of the relationship between the Word of Holy Scripture and the thought of speculative theology. There was, if you will, the same relationship between Word and Being, but hidden and inaccessible to me, so that, after many mistakes and detours I gave up seeking a guiding thread."7 (underlining mine)

Here Heidegger describes his transition, perhaps evolution, from speculative (maybe medieval) theology to hermeneutics. He does not depict his simply abandoning speculative theology but rather his sense of failure in finding a bridge between it and scripture. Thus, failing to find a 'text to doctrine' rapport he turned his attention instead to applying hermeneutics to philosophical texts:
"Later I found the term hermeneutics in Wilhelm Dilthey, in his theory of the historical sciences of the spirit. Hermeneutics was familiar to Dilthey from the same source, his theological studies and especially from his work on Schleiermacher."8

We see that Heidegger shared a journey from theological studies to hermeneutics with Dilthey. later parting company with him but both of them were reliant on Schleiermacher, for whom hermeneutics was a philological art. For the Heidegger of SZ hermeneutics came to have a much broader sense. The topics Heidegger chose to teach during the formative 1922-1927 period9, alternating between studies of St. Paul and ancient and medieval philosophy, show tendencies that mark his career during the SZ & GP period that occupies us and of course that afterwards. In a 1919 letter to Krebs, Heidegger tells him that "his epistemological insights, applied to the theory of historical knowledge, have made the system of Catholicism problematic and unacceptable" for him. However, given that his phenomenological studies are to draw heavily on the middle ages, he retains a high regard for Catholic tradition.10 In a word, given the facticity of his present approach,

Heidegger, Unterwegs zur Sprache, p. 96 (Eng. p 10) : Replying to his Japanese interlocutor, Heidegger says: "Ohne diese theologische Herkunft wre ich nich auf den Weg des Denkens gelangt. Herkunft aber bleibt stets Zukunft." 7 Ibid., (English translation mine) 8 Ibid., (English translation mine) 9 Cf. Kisiel, op. cit., Appendix B, p. 461-466. 10 Safranski, R., op. cit., p. 107-8.

Heidegger felt that his philosophical integrity required his independence from Catholicism. Now while it is of course impossible to judge just what Heidegger retained from Catholicism in his intellectual universe and what he abandoned at that stage, the struggle he waged, alone and with Karl Jaspers, between 1920 and the 1926 appearance of SZ may tell us something about the kind of medieval philosophy Heidegger will appreciate in GP within the criteria of his newly developed hermeneutics. While there is no question here of detailed analysis of SZ, we note in passing that Heidegger at times shocked his students, who expected a lecture on Aristotle or medieval philosophy, by telling them that if they wanted to understand, say, Aristotle, they first had to understand themselves. In fact, Heidegger was grappling with fundamental notions in the runup to SZ: we live our daily existence without knowing ourselves. We are not transparent to ourselves. To become so we must venture a strike back at life, at the risk of drowning. Heidegger accomplished this via original word creations whose final versions were to become so prominent in SZ. Life is characterized by thisness. Traditions and systems are just shelters. The fundamental question is not how the world began but what is driving us to become beginners in our lives. Life must live itself firmly into its world. But this reversal is hard because life suspects that at the heart there is nothing, a vacui and that is right. Yet Heidegger introduces the commonplace into this struggle via the concept of sorge, concern. Life is concern with making things easy for ourselves. In a vertical turn Heidegger shows that this is inevitable and all philosophy does is reveal to us our free falling condition. Accepting the ongoing tension involved in this results in authenticity (Eigentlichkeit) and finally accepting our existence's, our Dasein's, being towards death Now all of this speaks to applications of what Heidegger called the facticity of his philosophizing in his remarks to Lwith but what does it have to do with his interpretation of medieval philosophy? Given what he has said about concern being a process of getting caught up in and lost in the world, it will not be surprising if we find that the Heidegger of GP (summer 1927) will consider an ontology oriented medieval philosophy to be a case of busying oneself with objects, diversions11... Perhaps we will find a twofold paradox here. On occasions, Heidegger praises the acumen of medieval thinkers (presumably in contrast with the colleagues he was surrounded with)12 whereas on other occasions he is highly critical of medieval philosophy as being what he terms an already decadent onto-theology.13

Such as his characterization of onto-theology. "It has been said that my work is Catholic phenomenology- presumably because it is my conviction that thinkers like Thomas Aquinas and Duns Scotus understood something of philosophy, perhaps more than the moderns." Heidegger, BP, Introduction, p. 20. 13 Cf. for example, BP, Chapter 2, section 12, p. 112: "The inadequacy of traditional thought becomes visible in the necessary positive task . The basic ontological concepts of thingness {Sachheit}, essentia, and of actuality, existentia, arise with a view to what is produced in productive activity or, again, with a view to the producible as such and the producedness of the produced, which is met with directly in intuition and perception as something already finished."


Like any area in philosophy, one might say that there are a number of poles of opposition running through the centuries of medieval thought: Platonism vs. Aristotelianism, conservatism vs. innovation, realism vs. nominalism, etc. Yet another pole might be described as existing between those thinkers whose thought seems to be the expression of a 'personal struggle' they wage in their search for or relationship to God. (Among such thinkers one might list Augustine, Eckhart, Cusa, and, surely in later days as their intellectual, theological descendent, Luther.) The other pole of this opposition might be described as that of philosophers proposing an ontology or a theory aimed at treating and explaining nature as consisting of knowable substances and, in their eyes, as being a manifestation of the divine, or what might sardonically correspond in Lutheran terms to a 'theology of glory'. I think it can be fairly easily supported that Heidegger is far and away an advocate and champion of the first sort of thinker, i.e., exemplified by 'personal struggle'. (This second sort might be typified by thinkers like Albertus Magnus, Thomas Aquinas and others of the Dominican school and, perhaps, Suarez). So, we can now describe a first element of paradox: Heidegger may well have borrowed categories from Augustine and would surely be a kindred spirit to 'personal struggle' type medieval philosophers, but those are not the types of thinkers he analyzes, at least in this GP chapter.14 Next, superadded to that paradox, comes another. Although he will describe himself as an avowed systematiser, i.e., someone who thought systematizing was a virtue, and, seemingly, hardly the sort of figure Heidegger would espouse, we shall come to see that in the chapters to follow, ironically, Heidegger uses Suarez as a guide in doctrine and spirit, even going so far as to adopt Suarez's vocabulary as expressing a sort of epitome of scholasticism. Suarez is perhaps an epitome of scholasticism but there is no doubt that he is an epitome of onto-theology, if ever there was one - the school Heidegger disadvantages if we apply his above described 'facticity criteria'. Of course, we must recall that Heidegger's task was not to choose those he most agrees with but to lay out the essence and existence distinction as he finds it among representatives of the major schools, those advocating the real, the formal and the rational distinctions and show how those essence and existence distinctions differ from his own ontological difference.15 In addition, we should not forget that Heidegger doubtlessly saw his GP as a historical contribution in its own right. Thus, he was bound to choose major representatives in the history of thought, even if he viewed them as advancing an ontotheology. Finally, he may have chosen Suarez as a guide for the simple reason that he was most familiar with his writings. The coming pages will tell. However, before dealing with Heidegger's introduction to his analysis in Chaper 2 and his textual analysis in Chapter 3, in Chapter 1 we shall first look at some background analysis of basic elements of SZ, the immediate predecessor to GP.

14 15

(Scotus might be an exception.) Cf. on the Ontological Difference from introduction to BP.

CHAPTER ONE: Background

A few dates The sequence of events at Marburg University went something like this: Paul Natorp, sixty-eight years old, retired. Nicholai Hartmann replaced him. The idea was that Heidegger would eventually replace Hartmann as Extraordinarius at Marburg. Heideggers third attempt to be named at Marburg, a few years later, succeeded. Hartmann moved to Cologne. Heidegger was to be named to Hartmanns chair but first he had to publish something. During the Spring vacation, prior to the 1926 Summer Semester, Heidegger and Husserl worked together at Johann Brenders farm, just below Heideggers retreat in Todtnauberg, on finishing the first version of SZ, in order to send it to the Berlin Ministry of Education. They finished the text and Heidegger sent it. But it was refused and Heidegger remained in his current post at Marburg one more year. The Berlin Ministry of Education subsequently reversed its opinion and Heidegger acceeded to Hartmanns chair, but only for a year as Heidegger was to succeed his old master, Edmund Husserl, th at the University of Freiburg-im-Bresgau, November 5 1928 to great applause! Thus we find Heidegger at Freiburg.whereas our text, the GP is a Marburg production. On Being and Time and the Basic Problems of Phenomenology While some say you have to just jump into a hermeneutical circle, Heidegger says that you can never enter it because you are always already in it and the important thing is knowing how to act within it. However, most would agree that unlike some medieval ontologies that declare an order among sciences as well as recommending an order in learning them, for Heideggers ontology there is no fixed point of entry, no privileged starting point. With that in mind, in beginning this chapter, let us take a quick look at the textual and chronological relationship of Sein und Zeit 16 (henceforth SZ) to Die Grundprobleme der Phnomenologie17 (henceforth GP when we refer to the German original and BP when we refer to 'Basic Problems', the English translation). Our eventual goal is taking a look at interpretation itself as Heidegger sees it, i.e. his role as hermeneuticist. Sein und Zeit and Die Grundprobleme der Phnomenologie (1927) share one structural point. Heidegger intended each of them to constitute the first part of a larger, but as it turned out, unfinished work ; notwithstanding, the latter book may amount to


HEIDEGGER, Martin, Sein und Zeit, (1927), 11th ed. Tubingen, Niemeyer, 1967. Martin, Die Grundprobleme der Phnomenologie, (1927), 11th ed. Tubingen, Niemeyer, 1975. translation: The Basic Problems of Phenomenology, translated by Alfred Hofstadter, Indiana University Press, 1982.

the partial, modified, promised concluding part of the formers project. This fact alone gives us a clue as to its importance for understanding Heidegger in the Marburg period. Let us look at Heidegger's plan for Sein und Zeit in 1926, as Philipse describes it:
According to the original plan of the book, which Heidegger discloses in its eighth section, Sein und Zeit was to consist of an introduction and six divisions (Abschnitte), divided into two parts of three divisions each. Heidegger published merely one-third of the book: the introduction and the first two divisions of part 1. One might say that part 1 is predominantly systematic or constructive, and that part 2 was meant to to be historical and destructive ... . In the unpublished part 2 Heidegger wanted to deconstruct the history of ontology, taking the problem of temporality as a guiding principle. Its three divisions were to be concerned with Kant, Descartes, and Aristotle ... .18

What does being an interpreter, or hermeneuticist, mean for Heidegger at the Sein und Zeit stage? (This is obviously a broad question.) As mentioned, the Grundprobleme text follows hard upon Heideggers masterpiece, Sein und Zeit (heretofore SZ), with the Grundprobleme being constructed from lectures notes of that 1926 summer semester course at Marburg. Thus we can conclude one thing. Even within the subtleties of Heideggerian scholarship, we may be fairly secure in concluding that what Heidegger says about interpretation in SZ, he means to apply in Die Grundprobleme der Phnomenologie (heretofore GP). Of course we seek an understanding of Heideggers role as interpreter and not a discourse on interpretation theory as such; this narrows the topic of our discussion. Any approach to SZ needs to keep in mind the initially startling fact that Heidegger develops a new and ideosyncratic terminological network (the existentialia) in order to chart the ontological constitution of Dasein.19 This network is not just there as a sort of window dressing. It is presumed that SZs 'existentialia' are to be used hand in hand with Heideggers own conceptual structure. The reason why is not difficult to find. Heidegger states clearly in SZ that traditional understandings of Dasein and beings have been inadequate due to our falling, or Verfallen condition. Philosophers have tried to understand Dasein on the model of things in the world (in-der-Welt-Seiende, i.e., Zeuge or vorhanden objects) as if Dasein were merely presence, Vorhandenheit, in-the-world the way other beings, Seiende, are present. Thus Dasein's ontological dimension implies a destructive interpretation of traditional metaphysics because traditional structures betray and conceal the way we perform the task of living; those theories of presence give rise to the thought of objects in an ontic sense, but this is not the way objects are experienced by a living person, who relates to them ontologically or in a living way. Thus, to think Dasein in a traditional way is to distance it from lived experience. This is why Dasein, in a traditional sense, although it is ontically nearest and even identical to us, is ontologically furthest.20 In other words, in traditional ontology, humans were thought of as things like other things but with a little added extra, a soul or mind, lets say. But not only are all things not simply ontic but Dasein is not like other things. Dasein is different. (Take for
18 Philipse, Hermann, Heidegger's Philosophy of Being , Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 1998, p. 16. 19 Ibid., p. 46. 20 SZ, German p.15; English, p. 35 ....This farness is rooted in fallenness ....

example the fact that most other things dont know other things. Animals know other animals but not the way Dasein knows others or the world.) So traditional structures are particularly inadequate for describing Dasein. Heidegger especially rejects traditional conceptions of human beings as material substances plus some added extras, e.g. consciousnesses and/or immortal souls.21 (Heidegger qua radical seeks to outdo other radicals. Heideggers conceptual structure is so radically novel that attempts to describe it in traditional terms are vain for they merely translate Heidegger back into the traditional terms that his writing sought to supersede throughout his career.) Existentialia It is a commonplace that in SZ there are three grand Existentialls that befall, or happen to, Dasein: Geworfenheit, Entwurf and Verfallen. Because Dasein finds himself thrown into the world, i.e., the condition he finds himself in causes him to devise Entwurfe or projects, as a response to this existential condition. Thus Heidegger calls man a Geworfener Entwurf, a thrown project. To round off the triad, Angst, anxiety over the stakes of these Entwurfe, results in Daseins turning to and preoccupying himself with daily concerns, leading him to be preoccupied with daily concerns in an attitude of unspecified fear or foreboding lest death soon intervene before his most cherished projects have been completed. This general anxiety leads to the attitude of forgetfulness of his own being, which manifests itself in Verfallenheit, or the fallen condition of Dasein. Now how does Heidegger get from this initial Geworfenheit (Thrownness) to Verstehen (Understanding) and thence Auslegung, or (Interpretation), which is our goal, what Heidegger is doing in SZ ?22: it is the characteristic of Dasein to find itself, sich befindet, in its thrownness. One of the essential structures Dasein maintains itself in is Befindlichkeit or the disclosure of Daseins finding itself in situations. The second, Verstehen may be called the opening up of possibilities for effectuating ourselves. And one of Verstehens explicit modes or ways of effectuating itself is Auslegung i.e., interpretation or hermeneutics - making sense of speech and texts. Types of Interpretation

21 Philipse, op. cit., p. 183.In fact, Heidegger distinguishes two kinds of falling in Sein und Zeit. The first consists in the tendency of human existence to get absorbed in the world and to interpret itself in its terms, by reflection, so to say. The Aristotelian interpretation of humans in terms of form and matter is a product of falling in this sense, because the notions of matter and form are derived from the domain of artifacts. A destruction of Aristotle is needed in order to show that human life has to be conceptualized in terms of a very different set of categories (the existentialia). The second kind of falling is conceived on the Lutheran model. Tradition made the Aristotelian concepts over familiar to us and it conceals their original source in specific fundamental experiences. This is why we have to destroy the tradition of philosophy. In other words, the tradition of philosophy is interpreted as a kind of falling, which conceals another falling: the fact that human existence was alienated from itself to begin with.. 22 It is obvious that we are working down from what is most general in Heideggers Dasein Analytik to what is most relevant to our analysis.


If, for the ancients, interpretation or hermeneutics meant deciphering the future in animal entrails, smoke and signs of Hermes, the gods will, for us it usually means trying to find out what difficult texts mean. (Notwithstanding this modern, textual bent, that tendency was in some sense reversed by Dilthey and Heidegger, widening the scope of the hermeneutical project to include any meaningful - extra textual - manifestations of human existence.). While many subjects may be interpreted, the most basic, unavoidable interpretation of all, the sine qua non of all others, Heidegger calls Dasein Analytik .... which is also the only one constituting his main endeavor, 'Fundamental Ontology'. (This is not just saying man is most important but that Dasein is the only being that knows Being.) Thus, hermeneutics in SZ means primarily Dasein ontology and this Dasein ontology is at the basis of all other ontologies and works out the conditions for all other, regional, ontologies. (Special sciences are founded upon regional ontologies but hermeneutics, as transcendental philosophy, is foundational.) If Dasein is a self-interpretative being, then SZ (sections 1&2) may rightfully be called Heideggers ontological auto-interpretation of Dasein. As Philipse remarks: Interpretation is the very medium of Heideggers thought..... But not one smoothly woven method. 23 If Entwurfe are the projects Dasein develops in responding to his thrownness, then Daseins projecting itself will be the Woraufhin des Entwurfs (that toward which we project our projects), including each and every one of our interpretative endeavors. (Of course, Entwurfe may also be inauthentic, responding to Daseins condition of Verfallenheit.) By way of recapitulating, this can be put in layman's terms: in each and every one of his hermeneutical or interpretative endeavors, Dasein, as interpreter, is going to insert himself, i.e., his 'Projekt', into what he's interpreting. Put even more banally: he is unavowedly going to put a little bit of himself into every interpretation. (This projective element is avowed in describing Dasein, but unavowed in the practice of hermeneutics; thus constitutiing the 'covertness' characteristic of Heideggerian hermeneutics. In other words, in the Dasein Analytik, Heidegger tells us that hermeneutics is an explicit project of Dasein. But in the practice of hermeneutics, we are presented with a commented text. What belongs to the author and what belongs to the commentator is for the reader to determine.) Perhaps influenced by Nietzsches 1874 essay On the Use and Abuse of Historiography24, Heidegger points out that any interpretation, any hermeneutic, passes by way of, exists by way of Daseins Projekt; Daseins ultimate Woraufhin des Entwurfs is his existence itself. (If all regional ontologies, e.g., biology, depend on fundamental ontology, then Daseins Projekt is inherent in (and does not just color) every interpretation. (The weight of this for the interpreter will be appreciated, for it declares the search for objectivity illusion, and does this in the hard as well as in the soft sciences.) We may express this assymetrical relationship between fundamental
Philipse, op. cit., p 49. Ibid., Cf, Sein und Zeit , Section 76, for Nietzche reference (historiography incompatible with scientific objectivitiy; and SZ, Section 32, where Heidegger claims that the ideal of objectivity in the natural sciences is itself an illusion because these sciences are mere subspecies of Verstehen or interpretation (p. 153).
24 23


ontology and regional ontology in layman's terms too: while each and every declaration in a regional ontology, say, biology, is subject to the Dasein who is doing the biology (and thus is subject to fundamental ontology), Dasein, in doing fundamental ontology, does not pass through, is not subject to anything involving, for example, biologists language. In other words, fundamental ontology is primary in every sense here. While asking ourselves what kind of interpreter Heidegger is we might well also ask what kind of interpreter Heidegger exhorts us to be. It is sometimes remarked that Heidegger (and many Heideggerians) feel that interpretations of Heidegger that do not follow his instructions or embody his methods are irrelevant and blind to his message. This view ends up valuing what we will call internal criticism alone, i.e. that using Heideggers own methods. Interestingly enough, from the outset, Philipse categorically states that Heideggers interpretational method should not be followed in interpreting Heidegger. Philipse provides three reasons for rejecting (at least) 'strictly internal critics manners of following Heidegger: 1. Heidegger's conceptual terminology is not as new as it is often described as being: take his analysis of the relationship between the Latin 'cura' and German 'Sorge'. 2. Heideggers key terms remain mysterious unless one breaks out of his terminology, e.g. das Man, Ereignis. And most pertinently: 3. How are we to employ Heideggers strict internal criteria when he fails to do so himself in commenting authors, and when doing so would contradict his directives?25 It is not just a matter here of 'practicing what one preaches'. Much more profoundly, what we might call a 'hermeneutical contradiction' might occur here, were we to follow the internal critics. If Heidegger states that in each and every one of his hermeneutical or interpretative endeavors, Dasein, as interpreter, is going to insert himself, i.e., his 'Projekt', into what he's interpreting, then this applies to Heidegger's texts too. In other words, there is a contradiction if the very following of Heideggers instructions for interpretation lead us (due to our own projects) to reject the strict adherence (internal criticism) he himself fosters. In other words, on an individual level, if Heidegger tells us that each Daseins projects intervenes, then our own will intervene too, including when we are interpreting Heidegger26. Adopting the sort of criteria needed, we are led towards what might be called a moderated position, a reflective internalism27. This implies that there may be more than one type of interpretation - (which Heidegger, by the way, implies too). Thus, we may need to distinguish between hypothetical or theoretical and applicative interpretation

Philipse, op. cit., p. 47. Query: one cannot expect to interpret a text the way one interprets one's life. One can call forth the other - the less profound (the text intepretation) can call forth the more profound (the interpretation of one's life). Does the reverse also happen? Less often....... 27 Philipse, op. cit., p. 47-48.



(a distinction Philipse feels Heidegger fails to make.)28 Some of Heideggers later remarks on interpretation are startling vis--vis the contemporary scholar's habitual view of interpretation. In the 1950 Holzwege, Heidegger states:
Jede Erluterung mu freilich die Sache nicht nur den Text entnehmen, sie mu auch, ohne darauf zu pochen, unvermerkt Eigenes aus ihrer Sache dazu geben.29

There seem to be two elements at play here: 1. The SZ claim that every interpretation is a fruit of Daseins projecting. 2. Heideggers further HW claim that what is added in any interpretation (a fruit of Daseins projecting) should be kept covert (also in SZ).30 How are we to explain this covertness? Might we say of Heidegger what Philipse says of Heideggers disciples: Having decided in advance in terms of which conceptual structure we are going to interpret these works, we are always forcing them into our own mold, projecting our preconceptions into them.31 Does this sort of hermeneuticist project his own ideas onto others and force them to speak his language? Answering affirmatively might lead one to conclude that Heideggers policy of covertness in hermeneutics should be rejected out of hand.... tant nous sommes indigns- might one say in French.32 But that might mean missing some clues having to do with Heideggers overall philosophy. It may simply be that covertness, or mixing his commentarys message with that of the author of the text at hand may be for Heidegger an unavoidable element of Auslesung, interpretations being an explicit mode of Verstehen, with what Heidegger calls a Vor-struktur (forestructure, 32). This point is central and refers to the claim about Daseins always projecting in every knowing. Fundamental ontology involves the Dasein Analytik because no science gets around Daseins projecting. (The French expression incontournable expresses it well.) Philipse feels that this presents Heidegger with a dilemma insofar as he sometimes claims there exist certain formal aspects of Daseins ontological structure that do not depend on

28 Ibid., p. 59. While theoretical, historical interpretations aim at discovering what a text meant in the historical circumstances in which it was written, applicative interpretations purport to apply texts in order to do specific things in present situations, that is, to carry out projects, or in order to illuminate our present existence. In order to do so, applicative interpretations often have to read into the text meanings that the author did not intend. 29 Holswege, Nietzches Wort Got is tot, 1950, 4th ed. Klostermann, Frankfurt a/M, 1963. p. 197; Philipses translation: Of course an elucidation (Erlauterung) does not have to derive the matter (die Sache) from the text only. It must also add something of its own, out of its matter (aus ihrer Sache), and it has to do so covertly (unvermerkt), without boasting about it. While aware that HW is a later text, we are claiming that here it agrees with central doctrines of the SZ Dasein Analytik. 30 Philipse, op. cit., pp. 49-61. Philipse concentrates on what he calls the covertness requirement discoverable in Heideggers hermeneutical doctrine. 31 Ibid, pp. 59. 32 Ibid, p. 50, If this philosophy consists of interpretations through and through, it is crucial to discover the rationale for Heideggers view of interpretation, because this view must somehow be central to his thought..


ontical structures but, for Philipse, any such independence would contradict the elsewhere declared pervasiveness of Daseins projecting. Let us concentrate somewhat on how the 'covertness requirement leads to what we have decided to call 'applicative interpretations, e.g., of texts or documents. The term covertness, in connection to interpretations seems immediately suspicious even if 'applicative' does so less; we ask ourselves whether and where they might be justified, if ever. Philipse points out that our first instinct might be to reject 'applicative interpretations out of hand, just as we do covertness. But such hastiness will probably result in our missing the geneology of this interpretation of interpretation, at first startling, as it emerges from Heideggers SZ period ontology. Of course it may be that situations where interpretation goes 'underground' are undesirable, but they do exist. Philipse's argument comes down to saying that Heidegger fails to distinguish between applicative and hypothetical (testable) interpretations, and ends up treating all interpretations as applicative. With a view to delineating the two options he is going to accuse Heidegger of collapsing into one, Philipse outlines two situations where applicative interpretations may be either expected and/or accepted.33
The requirement of covertness is justified in situations where, on the one hand, interpretation cannot be avoided and, on the other hand, interpretation cannot be allowed. In these situations (the latter) interpretation has to go underground.34

This is worth looking at in some detail. Where it cannot be avoided would normally mean that it should be allowed. Where it is nonetheless not allowed means both that it cannot be avoided and is not (prima facie) allowed. (In other words, cases where we are doing something for someones own good.) The four conditions: 1. Where interpretation cannot be avoided: ancient religious or sacred texts may be judged necessary for guiding human conduct but despite their reputation time has made their content irrelevant or else they are much too general to be useful as such. Usually there is no need for covertness; the need for interpretation being accepted. The same may apply to old legal texts, like State constitutions, etc. 2. Where interpretation is (needed but) not allowed: Exceptions to permitting interpretation are cases where ancient texts are held to be gifted with divine authority and so untouchable. Here interpretation, if it is nonetheless to be carried out, has to be hidden. Since there is agreement that there must be interpretation for the interpretations applicative use, a priest or other agent in religious cases, must pretend that he or she is speaking in the name of the god or deity, thus maintaining divine transmission and/or correctitude. 3. In another example, in a context where maintaining a certain political approach was the worry, French revolutionaries feared that reactionary judges would turn the law to their own advantage, so all interpretation was forbidden. The judge
33 Ibid.p. 50-51. This usually involves religious or legal texts that are general and whose meaning must be made more specific or changed. The kind of interpretation needed to apply texts to specific situations or to present life (is) applicative interpretation....Normally, these applicative interpretations are accepted and there is no need for covertness, except in cases of authoritative or religious texts where some agent, e.g. a priest, has to hide the fact of interpretation or pretend to be inspired by the truth source. 34 Ibid. p 50. Parenthesis mine.


was to be the bouche de la loi (the laws mouthpiece) and nothing more. But since the ever-present need for interpretation was felt, it was done but clandestinely to allow the courts to function.35 Another simple example might involve a superior who gives an order which, if followed, would result in sure disaster. Subordinates countermand his/her orders to avoid disaster but hide the fact to avoid embarrassing him/her. So these pairs of options might be summed up in: 4. Old, Sacred or politically fragile texts needing to be changed: there is objection to their being changed because they are thought to express a divine command (e.g. scripture) or a politically threatened law (e.g. right after the French revolution). In both these cases, the change or interpretation is hidden, in the first to protect the divine will expressed and in the second to maintain the pretext that the laws daily use preserves its original spirit in every circumstance. Let us now turn our attention to non-applicative, theoretical interpretations. (We might call them hypothetical interpretations insofar as they offer testable hypotheses in trying to approach what the author meant.) Where are they appropriate, what characterizes them and, most importantly, what do these types have to do with Heidegger's views on interpretation? And, finally, do they exist for Heidegger? How, then are these theoretical or critical-historical interpretations to be distinguished from applicative interpretations? We might look at a case of the latter that Philipse suggests: deciphering ancient tomb inscriptions, for example. The goal here is epistemic, understanding a past culture. (The sort of use-oriented premises applicative interpretations embodied are of course unacceptable here. Accordingly, while we conceded that 'covertness' might be acceptable in a minority of applicative situations, some of those that help us get things done, or for somebodys own good, it never is here. Granting that the ancient tomb inscription applied to a particular funeral, what we want to know is what its author had in mind.) Thus far, we have established that if applicative interpretations have their place, in most common understandings there is surely a distinction between applicative and theoretical interpretations. Among other things to be concluded: 'covertness' seems never to be acceptable outside of applicative situations. Yet Heidegger endorses it across the board in interpretation. This in turn suggests to Philipse that we are in need of what he calls an interpretative hypothesis to explain the fact that Heidegger endorses a maxim of covertness as an element of his doctrine of interpretation.36 Philipse will want to show that the fact that Heidegger 'bucks the trend' we find among modern historians and usually find among philosophers and is biased towards applicative interpretations is centrally rooted in the projective structure of Dasein. His declared aim:

Ibid. p 51. In political situations, where a document is to be upheld verbatim, the fact of interpretation has to be hidden to protect its integrity while adapting it to circumstances, without calling its applicability into question. 36 Ibid. p 51.



If we will be able to discover in Heidegger's views on interpretation a bias toward applicative interpretation (Heidegger I) and an authoritarian conception of philosophical texts (Heidegger II), we will have explained Heideggers maxim of covertness37 (parentheses mine).

This connection between applicative interpretations and Daseins projects may exist simply because philosophical texts, as Auslegung or interpretations, are themselves active projects, Entwurfe, explicit activities of Dasein. If so, we need another look at the fundamental ontology of Dasein: hermeneutics, as an interpretational methodology, is based on hermeneutics as the fundamental ontology of Dasein because interpretational activity is rooted in Dasein's ontological structure. Thus, we can only understand what interpretation is if we understand our own ontological mode of being. Heidegger stresses this again and again. We might try putting it differently, stressing what seems to emerge as an autointerpretational aspect of the hermeneutical project. Philipse shows the irony involved: Moreover this implies that Heidegger's own hermeneutical method in Sein und Zeit is rooted in the results of Sein und Zeit, so that the book unwinds in a spiraling way.38 Or we might simply say that 'Heidegger's own hermeneutical method in Sein und Zeit embodies the recommendations Sein und Zeit will make explicit,' i.e., being rooted in Heidegger's own personal, 'existenzial projekt'. On the Dasein Analytik Since the basic ontological structure of Dasein implies Auslegung or interpretation, the further elucidation of interpretation will imply a repetition of the Dasein Analytik (Division 2 of SZ). Thus, whereas the first Dasein Analytik occurs in division one, section 7c, the second is to be found in Division two, 63. If we want to understand these turns of the spiral, or this hermeneutical circle, there are two key images to be kept in mind. The notion of parts and wholes or the holistic aspect, on the one hand. And, on the other, the presuppositional aspect, among many other things, referring to our always beginning interpretation within the situation of our own form of life. The idea of wholes and parts merely means that as the circle unwinds, parts, or single concepts will help us understand the motion of the whole. And in turn and symbiotically, that whole, so known, will help us better understand the parts. The way Division One proceeds provides an example of this whole to part to whole process: I. Preparatory analysis of Dasein 2. Being-in-the-world in general 3. The Worldlihood of the World. ...focused on the most general or the whole .... 4. Being-in-the-world as Being-with and Being-oneself. The They 5. Being-in as such ...focused on Dasein, as the part here ....
37 38

Ibid. Ibid.


6. Care as the Being of Dasein ...focused on the whole again but as known more deeply through Sorge or Care .... Referring to the spiraling, Philipse deals with the accusation that Heideggers circle is vicious - and how Heidegger avoids it.
Heidegger argued in sections 2 and 4 of Sein und Zeit that we have to analyze Dasein in order to grasp Sein. But if Dasein is said to be itself, must we not clarify the notion of being in order to be able to analyze Dasein? Heidegger resolves this circle by what I have called the spiraling movement of interpretation. In order to analyze Dasein, we must indeed presuppose some vague notion of being, but not a developed concept of being. This notion belongs to our average understanding of being. Having developed an ontological interpretation of Dasein, we will then be able to articulate the notion of being more fully, and so on.39

As mentioned, in Division I, having discussed being-in-the-world, in Chapter 5, sections 31-33, Heidegger discusses being-in as such. His immediate task is to show how Dasein differs from other types of being that are vorhanden or zuhanden, that we find in the world. Heidegger's point is at once quite radical and rather commonsensical. He feels that the metaphysical tradition has consistently treated Dasein, human existence, as if it were just another being among beings, stressing its common features with animals, minerals, tools, or what have you. This overriding tendency, no doubt the consequence of a search for order, has led western philosophers to treat Dasein as if it were just another material substance with a few added features tacked on: e.g., reason and will. Heidegger makes a frontal attack on this traditional tendency, convinced it has hidden Daseins ontological characteristic, which is to know other beings and, above all, to know being. The problem is expressed in a paradox. Consequently, Dasein, although it is ontically nearest (we are Dasein), is ontologically furthest from itself (we fail to discern its task) (parenthesis mine).40 In other words, the metaphysical tradition imposed thing categories on Dasein and so hid its ontological structure, making Dasein ontically closest (ourselves) but ontologically furthest from us (neglecting the very fact that we are the beings who know being). Or again, in its concern to classify substances, the tradition forgot that we are 'whos' and not 'thats'. Continuing on, as mentioned in Chapter 5, sections 29-30, Heidegger discusses being-in as specified by three aspects of being-in-the-world. They are (using Philipses translations): Befindlichkeit (finding oneself in a situation)41, sections 29-30),Verstehen (understanding, sections 31 33) and Rede (discourse, section 34). This trio is interconnected, interdependent and equiprimordial (gleichursprnglich). One cannot come from the other. (Incidentally, we shall see that Philipse considers Heideggers grounding of Verstehen in Befindlichkeit, to have been an error on his part, contributing to what he calls Heideggers applicative bias in interpretation.) Taking one step back: Befindlichkeit derives from Geworfenheit and reveals our thrownness, In the simplest of terms, if we are thrown into life we are thrown
39 40

Ibid. p 62, n. 200. Ibid. p 52. 41 KISIEL, Theodore, The Genesis of Heideggers Being + Time, University of California Press, 1993. Kisiel traces Befindlichkeit to the Aristotelian diathesis, dispostion, p. 293.


somewhere and hence find ourselves cast in situations, somewhere, that we have not chosen. (The shipwreck image is almost irresistible.) This reveals our facticity too, for we have to live in these situations or try to get out of them and so the image of Last, burden, is revealed as well. This in turn, and importantly, shows the sense of the etymology of the term Dasein. Being there. Cast there and needing to react. (We have mentioned that Dasein can live through or avoid situations, this implies passive and/or active reaction, in turn linked to Daseins understanding Verstehen.) It is worth noting that Daseins learning arises in coping and is not described as an isolated faculty, apt for theory. That fact says much about Heideggers epistemic views and leads us to the next element. What we might call an epistemological reversal, Philipse calls Heideggers revolutionary thesis. In Div. I, Chapter five, Heidegger rejects Brentano and Husserls views that what the latter called objectifying acts, perceptions and detached theoretical attitudes are fundamental in knowledge. They are rather derived from our more fundamental Stimmungen or (moods). (The relevance of this for any notion of objectivity is evident.) We have to avoid any describing of this sort of situation in a charicatural way. For instance, a simple observation like the following: 'I see a bear and am frightened', might be thought to yield Husserls viewpoint, which might supposedly be described in the following way: object of perception = the bear, followed by fear reaction = the mood. In contrast to that scenario would be Heideggers viewpoint, which might be supposed to describe the mood of fear as preceding the perception of the bear. We have just described a situation where Heideggers view can be depicted as an inversion of the 'common sense' version of things, (The latter supposedly represented by our charicature of Husserl's position.) More subtley, Heidegger is rather saying that an element of existential Angst precedes and, moreover, prepares any particular perception ... such as that of the bear. An oft-quoted SZ citation expresses this: the mood has already disclosed, in every case, being-in-the-world as a whole and makes it possible first of all to direct oneself toward something. 42 Moods and understanding are fundamental and precede perception. This is to have enormous consequences for what we might call Heidegger's interpretation of interpretation. Naming this existential, this aspect of being-in the-world by reworking a German way of asking 'how are you feeling?' = 'Wie befindet Sie sich?', Heidegger coins the term 'Befindlichkeit'. (Befindlichkeit being one of three existential aspects; the other two being Rede and Verstehen.) It has what we might call a passive and an active aspect. It is worth noting here that whereas being-in has three specific aspects, Befindlichkeit, Rede and Verstehen, Erschlossenheit or Dasein's 'disclosedness', has two modes, that is, passively, finding oneself in a situation, 'Befindlichkeit', and, actively doing so,Verstehen. The third member of the triad, Rede, involves the a priori structure permitting human speech. We will concentrate on the first two. Philipse describes this active-passive relationship:
Our being in situations has two opposite aspects, which traditional philosophy would have called a passive and an active one. On the one hand, we find ourselves in a meaningful situation and on the other hand we have to
42 SZ, p.137 Die Stimmung hat je schon das In-der-Welt-sein als Ganzes erschlossen und macht ein Sichricten auf...allererst moglich (Italics Heidegger's).


construct our life in this situation. .... Heidegger calls our disclosure of finding ourselves in situations Befindlichkeit, whereas he identifies the existential of understanding (Verstehen), with our opening up possibilities of effectuating ourselves (Sections 31 -32). Finding oneself (in a situation, or, again, Befindlichkeit,) reveals one's thrownness (Geworfenheit), but understanding one's possibilities always reveals the projects (Entwurfe) one has wittingly or unwittingly projected: it is the capacity to live into the future.43 (Parenthesis mine)

(Key for our investigation of interpretation, it is well to note that Philipse straightforwardly disagrees with Heidegger's associating the presuppositional aspect of the hermeneutical circle with Verstehen and Dasein's projective nature rather than with Befindlichkeit. He feels that associating 'presuppostion' with Befindlichkeit and 'project' with Verstehen might have afforded interpretation an objective aspect. (It is worth recalling here that while this discussion deals with elements of the Dasein Analytik it is most specifically aimed at examining interpretation.) Although, unfortunately, we seldom find simple English phrases to translate the 'simple German phraseology' of Heidegger's key doctrines, that does seem to be the case here. The image invoked is obvious enough. We find ourselves in a situation. Might one say a predicament? What are we going to do about it? Bringing these two modes of Dasein's disclosedness together, Heidegger says that Dasein is a Geworfener Entwurf, that is, a 'thrown project'. With this image we see the 'coping' or 'coming to grips' aspect of the existentiale of Verstehen for Heidegger. The English 'know how' or the French 'savoir faire' fit here as well. (we note here the disparity between this and dispassionate Scholastic intellection.) Recapitulating, if Befindlichkeit names the disclosure of finding oneself in a situation and Verstehen, understanding, refers to one's reacting, then, obviously the notion of possibilities of asserting oneself, of 'doing something about it' will emerge next44. Recalling the three grand Existentialls that befall, or happen to Dasein: Geworfenheit, Entwurf and Verfallen, Philipse puts Verstehen into context. Heidegger's notion of understanding (is) a projection of existenzial possibilities ...45. While describing Heidegger's conception of Verstehen as ideosyncratic, one which, both stretches and narrows down the usual notion of understanding", Philipse nonetheless feels Heidegger deserves philosophical credit. Referring to Heidegger's insistence that all understanding, in any and all fields and sciences, passes through Dasein's understanding, Philipse feels that it both stretches and narrows the usual notion of understanding. (Just as 'realists' insist on the unavoidable nature of the individual subjects knowing, Heidegger points to Dasein's inescapability, in French incontournabilit, in the sciences or philosophy or in other fields of knowledge.) Dasein's narrowing role, as will be developed later, means simply that each Dasein's projects become the criteria of truth with authenticity or inauthenticity replacing correct or incorrect. (With the consequence being, for example, that some Dasein or other's projects are just as present in chemical experimentation as in hermeneutics.)
43 44

Philipse, op. cit., p 54. SZ, Sec. 31, p.143 Im Verstehen liegt existenzial die Seinart des Daseins als Sein-konnen ... Dasein ist ... primar Moglichsein, and pp. 143-144: Die Moglichkeit als Existenzial dagegen ist die ursprungliche und letzte positive ontologische Bestimmtheit des Daseins.. 45 Philipse, op. cit., pg. 54.


We said that in Heidegger's schema Verstehen advances possibilities of becoming 'what you already are' by fulfilling projections, but whose and for whom? In other words, we are asking why Dasein acts. Heidegger's answer is simple. Dasein exists for the sake of itself. This introduces the important notion of WorumWillen. (Philipse translates it as for-the-sake-of-which46.) Dasein existing for itself does not foster or license some sort of egoism. It rather means that the WorumWillen, that forthe-sake-of-which of all Dasein's projects, involves the sort of person any given Dasein wants to be. This involves not only the projection but the space of possibilities (Spielraum) and the referential structure (Bewandnis) 'relevance' or (Bewandnisganzheit) 'overall relevance' of (Welt ) 'world'. This soon leads us to the Heideggerian equivalent of epistemological considerations, for, in Heidegger's view, our perception too is in terms of these projects. Heidegger describes (Sinn) meaning, in a somewhat surprising way. It is the (Woraufhin des Entwurfs), where we direct our projects SZ, (p. 151). Thus the meaning of our life is our Dasein's ultimate goal and it is only in view of this ultimate goal and its structure that any other things, relations, relationships, happenings, etc. take on meaning and, in fact, are seen. If the sense of our life is our ultimate goal, formed out of a place of possibilities (Spielraum) and a referential structure, then Heidegger is saying that it is only with a view to this ultimate goal and its referential structure (Woraufhin) that any meaningful Seiende, thing, entity, will take on meaning. In other words, Heidegger is saying that if Dasein exists for the sake of itself, and understands itself in terms of its projects, then things only appear to Dasein in terms of their environing meaning. For example, a soldier in a hostile deserted village does not first see a wall or ruin that is just there' and then decide it can protect or shelter him. He sees these things in the context of his or her projects, from the first. Thus, for Heidegger, understanding something as something, as shelter, for instance, is more fundamental than objective perception. The latter being a poor derivative of the former. (The proviso might be added that while we are saying that all understanding of something is as something rooted in Daseins ultimate project, this should not be seen as taking place, daily, in a delibertate way .... as if Dasein entered into a study of his project upon each and every action!) A sort of modern version of the piddling, detailpreoccupied Socrates character in Aristophanes Clouds.47 If understanding (Verstehen) as know-how or savoir vivre projects possibilities, then its explicit mode (Auslegung) or interpretation has a Vor-stuktur or fore-structure, 32. Everything is seen and interpreted in view of a future project, a towards which of our projects, or a (Woraufhin des Entwurfs) which Heidegger defines as (Sinn), meaning48.


Clouds, translated by Alan Sommerstein, Aris & Phillips, Werminster, UK, 1982. ; Plato, The Apology, translated by H. Fowler, (Loeb), Heinemann, London, 1960. Also cp. with the Socrates that Plato describes in the Apology, 31, c-d. 48 So interestingly and somewhat ironically, while Heideggers Dasein is more radically different from other substances, i.e. vorhandene seiende ) than Aristotles rational animal is from other substances, hes in some way more practical minded too, since (zuhanden ) precedes (vorhanden ) in the sense that

47 Aristophane,


In this mode of interpretation (Auslegung), Heidegger tells us that the Vor-struktur is triple, i.e. consisting of: (Vorhabe), (Vorsicht) and (Vorgriff). Besides noting that Heidegger is fond of triple formulations, let us take a closer look at these three aspects of interpretation (Auslegung). It might also be noted that these three seem to have more a complementary than a sequential relation to interpreting.): 1. Vorhabe: a Heideggerian invention or neologism, having before, refers to the fact that in projecting our Dasein, we have in advance (Vor-haben ) a referential structure of instruments, institutions and possibilities (Bewandtnisganzheit) that derives its point from Dasein as the ultimate for the sake of which and that functions as a background for interpreting entities or texts.49 (the second and third involve what Philipse calls ideosyncratic usages of German terms.) 2.Vorsicht: usually means caution50 but Heidegger takes it as meaning the opposite of Hinsicht or the English hindsight, as meaning here: a point of view we have always already adopted in advance (vor-) by projecting a project51. 3. Vorgriff : normally means anticipation. Heidegger seems to play on both vorgreifen, anticipating and begreifen, understanding. In fact Philipse feels that Heideggers explanation of this threefold fore-structure of understanding is rather unclear.52 Developing what we hinted at earlier, neologisms and ideosyncratic usages of German terms provide images and analogies. As mentioned, they are best seen as designed to complement one another in describing the Vor-stuktur or fore-structure of projection in interpretation (Auslegung). Explaining that this triad schema Heidegger develops is vague. Philipse remarks:
Heideggers explanation of this threefold structure is not very clear. What is clear, though, is the fact that according to Heidegger all understanding has a forestructure because it is rooted in Daseins projective manner of being. .The crucial question here is whether Heideggers projective theory of understanding, if applied to interpretation and scientific method, leaves room for more or less objective tests of interpretative or explanatory hypotheses and conceptual structures.53

Before deciding about whether there is room for objectivity in the interpretative life of the Dasein Heidegger describes, we will just recall briefly what is meant by an applicative as opposed to an objective or hypothetical interpretation, at least in terms of the argument here. (By the way, there are at least three arguments against there remaining room for hypothetical or objectivity aimed interpretations within this schema): 1. An applicative interpretation is quite simply one that helps us get things done, helps us get on with things. Whether it be using an ancient liturgical rite today or deciding how a theft should be punished today, e.g., in promulgating a 200 year old law.
understanding something as something in a referential structure (Woraufhin ) is more primal, more fundamental than any detached attitude of perception. 49 Philipse, op. cit., p 55. 50 Whereas, interestingly,Voraussicht DOES means foresight. 51 Philipse, op. cit., p 55. 52 Loc cit. 53 Loc cit.


2. A hypothetical or objective interpretation is one that attempts to understand what the author of a text meant, what he/she wanted to say. It is one using testable hypotheses. Again objectivity is an ideal aimed at. Philipse supplies various reasons explaining why Heidegger advances what he calls an applicative bias at the SZ stage. Firstly, If everything that has meaning finally gets it from the Woraufhin des Entwurfs, i.e., that towards which ones projects project, then every meaning will turn out to be preordained by our very own, personal, existentiell goals or projects. Here the criteria of truth and falsehood will be the extent to which our projects pave the way to what we have chosen as an authentic way of constructing what we already are. Philipse puts it: It seems that in order to assign meaning to something at all, we have to envisage it in the light of an endeavor to construct our life.54 (Note that these arguments tend to dovetail into one another.) Secondly, we might consider the Vorgriff or predecisional element said to be present in all interpretation. As in: Havent we always already decided this or that? If it is correct, a given text or passage will be interpretable differently by different interpreters at different times, as a function of time and their life project or authenticity quest. It is, might one say, the decisional equivalent of Merleau-Pontys on est toujours dj l.55 (This second element extends the consequences of the first.) So, if there are many interpreters and many interpretations, at least some of them will be incommensurable and any supposed criteria between applicative as opposed to objective or hypothetical interpretations will become meaningless. Thirdly, we consider Heideggers statements on the ontological interpretation of Dasein itself ( 62 & 63) of SZ. If interpretation can only take place via an ontic, existentiell project, then the ontological interpretation of the being of Dasein itself, among other interpretations, presupposes an ontic goal, of authentic existence ( 62). But by virtue of this very authenticity any and every choice must needs be the choice of some, particular one of us. This seems to involve us in a contradiction: If each and every one of us determines what constitutes his or her authentic lifes goal, then the ontological interpretation of the being of our Dasein will be as varied as there are actors. How to arrive at consensus or any doctrine beyond personal whim? (Philipse addresses a sort of compliment to Heidegger in pointing out that historically variety has not been lacking insofar as the Dasein Analytik has been variously appropriated by thinkers as disparate as Sartre, Merleau-Ponty and Levinas.)56 But the problem is not so much one of knowing whether an authentic individual Dasein project will yield similar conceptions of Dasein, but rather of determining if there is some bare bones information or formal
54 55

Ibid, pg. 56. Cf. also Merlau-Ponty, Maurice. (1951) Rapport prsent au Collge de France sur ses travaux propos de la: Phnomnologie de la perception: Cest dans lpreuve que je fais dun corps explorateur vou aux choses et au monde, dun sensible qui minvestit jusquau plus individuel de moi-mme et mattire aussitt de la qualit lspace, de lspace la chose et de la chose lhorizon des choses, cest dire un monde dj l, que se noue ma relation avec ltre.. 56 Philipse, op. cit., p 56.


indications, as Heidegger would say, which are objectively sure, independently of this or that Daseins project. In any case, three basic positions on subjectivity emerge here: 1. The ontic ideal or goal of authentic Dasein will vary due to individuals choices. 2. This will in turn cause (philosophical) conceptions of Dasein (fundamental ontology) to vary too, e.g., Sartre, Ponty, Levinas, etc.. But: 3. There may be basic ontological structures beyond ontical variations (the position Heidegger advances). In ( 63) Heidegger (according to our extrapolations) raises the possibility that items 1 & 2 above rule out any ontological constancy and subsequently rejects them both, opting for 3. He says that there are formal aspects of the ontological structure of Dasein as interpreted by him, such as the self-interpretative nature of Dasein in general, which do not depend on a particular ontical project and its forestructure.57 The SZ text he refers to: In indicating the formal aspects of the idea of existence we have been guided by the understanding of Being which lies in Dasein itself.58 So when we speak of a contradiction, or even of a dilemma, we mean either, as Heidegger would have it, that there are formal aspects of the ontological structure of Dasein, as interpreted by him, such as the self-interpretative nature of Dasein in general, which do not depend on a particular ontical project59 OR that all features of Daseins ontological structure can be discerned only in the light of a specific existentiell project and its forestructure60 OR that the presuppositional nature of understanding excludes the ideal of objectivity, and ..... that this ideal is an illusion because it stems from misunderstanding the circular nature of Verstehen and, indeed, the circular nature of projective Dasein61 We may ask how can it be that Heidegger accepts such a subjectivism, such a tainted, involved status for Dasein. In a rsum section entitled Subjectism, written by William Richardson s.j. and approved by Heidegger himself, Richardson faces this objection [There-being is Richardsons translation of Dasein ]:
Such a conception of truth makes all truth dependent on There-being. Is this a subjectivism? It would be, if There-being were a subject. But this is what There-being is not. There-being is transcendence. To conceive Therebeing as a subject would be to conceive of it as a mere entity (Vorhandenes), i.e. to consider its ontic dimension and forget completely its ontological dimension. For by reason of this ontological dimension, There-being transcends all beings (even itself), therefore all subject-object relationships, unto the Being which founds this relationship. As to-bein-the-World, then, There-being is not opposed to the World as a subject opposed to an object, but is simply the

Ibid. BT, p. 361. The German runs: Die formale Anzeige der Existenzidee war geleitet von dem im Dasein selbst liegenden Seinsverstandnis. SZ, p. 313. 59 Philipse, op. cit., p 56-57. (In other words Philipse feels that the contradiction or dilemma he feels Heidegger faces is linked to his project, both ontical and ontological and to the two kinds of interpretation he has heretofore stressed: one more objective (hypothetical) and a second, more subjective, (applicative) sort, the latter corresponding to Heideggers affirmation that everything passes thru Daseins project. Interestingly, Philipse seems to feel Heidegger could have restricted applicative interpretation to fundamental ontology and saved hypothetical interpretation for other fields of endeavour.). 60 Ibid. 61 Ibid, p. 63.



luminosity of the World/Being because it is the coming to pass of truth. With such a conception, the entire IdealismRealism problematic, and with it such things as the critical problem, dissolves.62 [Brackets mine.]

Let us try and unpack a few conclusions from this paragraph: Dasein is not a subject because it is no mere vorhanden object. It is the one and only Seiende that knows Being; it is the place of Truth, as Richardson says. In other words, due to its knowing Being, it is not related to Being as subject to object, but as transcending beings unto Being. In this description of Dasein, one cannot help but be reminded of Christ.63 Along other lines of argument, might there be equivocation, or at least two meanings of the term objectivity at work here? It is interesting to take a close look at what is meant by objectivity in Richardsons Heidegger approved words and Heideggers own words, from SZ, to follow. (For the moment we may take subject as meaning the same as object, i.e., as what Dasein is not.) We recall that Richardson said, approximately, that making everything truth dependent on There-being would amount to a subjectivism if There-being were a subject, but its not. Here Dasein is neither a subject nor an object because it is not like other Seiende insofar as it is the only Seiende that knows other Seiende and, what is more important, Sein too. But this abstention, as it were, this being neither a subject nor an object, is due to its noetic qualities, its being more than an object as knowing Being. But, and this is crucial, when Heidegger speaks projectively about Daseins knowing not being objective, this is said to be due to Daseins Vor-struktur, due to its life project, (given that all knowing passes by Daseins Vor-struktur as deciphered in fundamental ontology.) Ironically, our first sense, lets call it lack of objectivity 1, based on Richardsons remarks, results from Daseins apartness from other Seiende, whereas the second, lets call it lack of objectivity 2, also ironically results from Daseins involvement (Bewandnisganzheit) in the existentiell projects that make him what he is! And yet there are two objectivities here. Furthermore, when Richardson said there was no subjectivism because Dasein was not a subject (or an object), this not being a subject was due to Daseins not being
RICHARDSON, William, Heideggers Way Through Phenomenology to the Thinking of Being in Heidegger the Man and the Thinker, edited by Thomas Sheehan, Precedent Publishing, Chicago, 1981., pp. 79 93. 63 In other words Dasein is to other Seiende what Christ is to other men. As Christ is the noble stranger who is unlike other men and yet in this his own land, so Dasein is thrown into existence (Geworfenheit) and yet the world is his true home. Christ is not subject to being truthful but is the light of the world or the place of Truth, like Dasein. The comparison can go on. In an analogous vein, we might consider that: A. Daseins lack of objectivity 1 , as beyond other Seiende (or set apart from other Daseins too, for that matter) makes Dasein different from other beings. The Christ of the new testament is different from other men too as omniscent (Son of God) and sinless: lack of objectivity1 making him at the very least different from other men. B. Dasein is also thrown and totally engaged in his project, lack of objectivity 2, i.e. incapable of neutral interpretation. Christs unique task as saviour, destined to save mankind implies a total involvement, not resulting in his lack of objectivity 2, but at least in his thrownness. (The comparison should not be overworked but is interesting.).


like other Seiende. That much is clear. But when we speak of Daseins projecting, via its Vor-struktur, we are not just opposing Dasein to other Seiende (although other Daseins are Seiende, too). We are rather opposing Dasein to other Daseins too! Let us put this in laymans terms if only because it is particularly important as regards interpretation. When Dasein advances his interpretation, Auslegung, of a text, following Heideggers method, a subjectivism is thereby being fostered and an objectivism abandoned or said to be sought in vain (e.g., as it might suitably be in the sciences). The subjectivism fostered is one opposing each Daseins project to a fellow Daseins project (not merely to any Seiende). Both by integrating a fellow Daseins text into ones own and by (perhaps unannouncedly) adding something new, ones own project is advanced. Following up a bit further on this somewhat startling element, it reminds us of a similar situation in Heideggers treatment of Aristotle. This is a case in point where one Daseins project interferes with another Daseins project, in this case with both of them being philosophers. Heidegger ends up accusing Aristotle of assuming a Verfallen (a falling) attitude for two reasons. In other words, Philipse adroitly points out that in some sense, for Heidegger, Aristotle is beat if he does and beat if he doesnt. What we mean to convey in citing this colloquial expression is that Heidegger criticizes Aristotle for the prima facie fault that the key terms used in his Physics and Metaphysics have their etymological origin in Daseins productive comportment. (This is of course linked to a fallen comportment.) At the other end of the banality spectrum as it were, Heidegger also criticizes Aristotle for his preoccupation with the divine, i.e., commenting on the latters Metaphysics, Heidegger criticizes him insofar as that type of activity is felt by Heidegger to exceed the domain of Daseins rightful object of concern, his own factical destiny.64 Thus Aristotles approach would be fallen again. It all comes down to what Heidegger deems to be Daseins appropriate project. In establishing these two senses of objectivity and referring to Philipses assessment of Heideggers critique of Aristotle, we wish merely to point to what may amount to a tendency in Heidegger. That is what we might call the over and under tendency: Dasein is not an object because it is beyond beings (over) and Dasein is not objective because it has a project cast upon it (under), and, analogously, similarly,

64 Philipse, op. cit., p. 81. Although the critical tendency of Heideggers retrieval is not as clear in the Natorp essay (PIA) as it would become later, we may conclude that Heidegger wanted to destroy the Aristotelian notions of philosophy and of God, because they allegedly express an alienation. Whereas their origin lies in human concerns, Aristotle derived their content from the physical analysis of movement. This tension between origin (human) and content (nonhuman) supposedly explodes the Aristotelian conceptions. One might say that Heidegger used Aristotle to criticize Aristotle. Accepting the Aristotelian genesis of the idea of philosophy, he felt himself justified in rejecting its content, because the content allegedly contradicts the genesis. Heideggers retrieval of the Aristotelian notion of philosophy seems to be a prime example of internal criticism or deconstruction..


Aristotles metaphysical vocabulary is not suitable because it is borrowed from Daseins productive comportment. (under) and Aristotles metaphysical activity is not suitable for Dasein because it busies itself with divine substances, etc, domains of inquiry beyond Daseins task. (over) Speaking of a research area where objectivity seems to have gained a rightful place, in Section 32 of SZ, Heidegger speaks of the goal of objectivity in the sciences as Verlaufen, gone astray or as straying:
Nicht darum geht es, Verstehen und Auslegung einem bestimmten Erkenntnisideal anzugleichen, das selbst nur eine Abart von Verstehen ist, die sich in die rechtmige Aufgabe einer Erfassung des Vorhandenen in seiner Wesenhaften Unverstndlichkeit verlaufen hat.65 (SZ, p. 153).

Let us return now to our central topic of discussion: Heideggers theory of interpretation. It will be recalled that we mentioned earlier that Heidegger is ambiguous as to the universal reach of what we have called his projective theory. If asked if there are domains of science that escape (some) Daseins project, he will say no, they are all included. What the scienticist studies passes by some Dasein (whereas, assymetrically but understandably given Heidegger's critieria, what fundamental ontology studies is not subject to scientific criteria). Yet, on other occasions, he speaks of a formal element, independent of existentiell projects. Here are a few of Heideggers remarks on this:
Die Auslegen kann die dem auszulegenden Seiende zugehrige Begrifflichkeit aus diesem selbst schpfen oder aber in Begriffe Zwngen, denen sich das Seiende gem seiner Seinsart widersetzt.66 (SZ, p 150)

This would seem to refer to the active/passive aspect of interpretation. (We will recall that Heidegger spoke of adding something unannouncedly.) Here seemingly drawing from the entity itself describes a passive role and forcing the entity into concepts to which it is opposed to an active role. But there is more. Along these lines we recall that Heidegger even went so far as to suggest that we hide the active contribution that is made to the interpretation, which in turn ties in with what Philipse calls Heideggers applicative bias. On an issue also related to the active/passive aspect of interpretation, three pages later in SZ, Heidegger sends us back to the Sachen selbst . But how are these things themselves to be understood? Here is the text:

SZ, p. 153 ; BT, p. 194: The assimilation of understanding and interpretation to a definite ideal of knowledge is not the issue here. Such an ideal is itself only a subspecies of understanding - a subspecies which has strayed into the legitimate task of grasping the present-at-hand in its essential unintelligibility [Unverstndlichkeit].. 66 SZ, p 150 ; BT, p. 191: In such an interpretation, the way in which the entity we are interpreting is to be conceived can be drawn from the entity itself or the interpretation can force the entity into concepts to which it is opposed in its manner of being..



da ihre erste, stndige und letzte Aufgabe bleibt sondern in deren (Vor-struktur) Ausarbeitung aus den Sachen selbst her das wissenschaftliche Thema zusichern. (Parenthesis mine.)67 (SZ, p. 153)

Does this refer to the Sachen selbst before or after their constitution by Dasein? Two options are presented here. Heidegger means one of them. There is a projective/receptive ambiguity. Philipse sets out the choices:
Does Heidegger mean by the entity itself the things themselves beings as they manifest themselves to us independently of any existentiell project and fore-structure? Or does he imply that things themselves are constituted by such projects, so that a river, for instance, is in itself a different phenomenon for and within the projects of, say, early Greek civilization and modern technological society?68

Philipse fudges a little. Of course the latter choice seems most in keeping with Heideggers projective theory but it might be the former if Heidegger were to dare to assert that it was just natural that Dasein grasp things the way they are! .la vie est belle! how easy that would make things. But that will not do as a way for Heidegger to avoid the horns of the dilemma: by saying that it just happens to be Daseins character to reveal things as they are in themselves. The reason being that it would then make Heideggers understanding receptive rather than projective.69 The violence of interpretation The next element in our examination of Heideggers treatment of interpretation in SZ, 63 involves his at first startling conviction that interpretations must be gewaltsam, or violent. (Philipse calls this fact counterintutive.) As we might expect, this fits into Heidegger's Dasein analytic. Here is the Heidegger text in question:
Die Seinsart des Daseins fordert daher von einer ontologischen Interpretation, die such die Ursprnglichkeit der phnomenalen Aufweisung zum Ziel gesetzt hat, da sie sich das Sein dieses Seiende gegen seine eigene Verdeckungstendenz erobert. Die existenziale Analyze hat daher fr die Ansprche bzw. Die Gengsamkeit und beruhigte Selbstverstandlichkeit der alltglichen Auslegung stndig den Charakter einer Gewaltsamkeit. 70 (SZ, p. 311)

SZ, p. 153 ; BT, p. 195: (Our first, last and constant task is) rather to make the scientific theme secure by working out these forestructures in terms of the things themselves.. 68 Philipse, op. cit., p. 57. 69 Ibid. Philipse goes on to say that the problem here is that much of Heideggers conceptual apparatus is based on some rather dubious assumptions. For example, that concepts, as they are adequate, simply originate in experiencing entities. He traces this back to errors Heidegger is alleged to have inherited from historical figures. But this is beyond the scope of our work. 70 SZ, p. 311; BT, p. 359: Daseins kind of Being thus demands that any ontological interpretation which sets itself the goal of exhibiting the phenomena in their primordiality, should capture the Being of this entity, in spite of this entitys own tendency to cover things up. Existential analysis, therefore, constantly has the character of doing violence [Gewaltsamkeit ], whether to the claims of the everyday interpretation, or to its complacency and its tranquilized obviousness.



Philipse remarks: when Heidegger argues in section 63 that interpretations must be gewaltsam (violent), does he not presuppose an objective standard without which interpretations cannot be judged to be violent? 71 (N.B. Philipse will say that the ontological interpretation of Dasein is violent!) There are a few elements here that deserve to be looked at closely. We shall see that Philipse will eventually accuse Heidegger of being illogical in saying that all interpretations are violent because if they are all violent, then none of them are for there is thence no criterion for telling which ones are and which ones are not violent. But attention: by the objective standard without which interpretations cannot be judged to be violent we should not be led to think that objective standard means non-violent interpretations. Philipse means that the very criterion Heidegger offers us is a violent interpretation, (for that matter, a radically violent interpretation) i.e., the ontological interpretation of Dasein. Following Philipse here:
Heidegger suggests that we have such an objective standard at our disposal in the case of the ontological interpretation of Dasein. He says that this interpretation is violent because it has to destroy the concealing self interpretation due to Verfallen (falling) in order to reveal the ontological structure of Dasein as it really is. 72

The structure of Sorge (care) envelops us in this everyday fallenness. Violent ontological interpretation will wrest us out of it. It is especially worth noting here how the violent interpretation is to extirpate us both from individual (Daseins) self-concealment and from the (philosophical traditions shortcomings).73 Philipse again:
Violence is done, then, to the alienating self-interpretations of the philosophical tradition, and ultimately to Daseins own tendency to cover things up, but not to the ontological structure of Dasein as it is, or to Heideggers own interpretation of this structure, which is assumed to be the objectively adequate one.74

In other words, it is the especially violent ontological interpretation of Dasein at work here. But Heidegger will go on to extend it to every interpretation. Why? Because they all share in understandings projective structure. The SZ passage:
Dieser Charakter zeichnet zwar die Ontologie des Daseins besonders aus, er eignet aber jeder Interpretation, weil das in ihr sich ausbildende Verstehen die Struktur des Entwerfens hat.75 (SZ, pp. 311-312)

(We might venture to say at this point that the main reason why Philipse criticizes Heideggers characterizing all interpretations as being violent is quite simply because he
op. cit., p. 57. Ibid, pp. 57-58. 73 This is a technique Heidegger uses on occasion and understanding it is particularly helpful. Just as the violent ontological interpretation destroys both individual Daseins covering up and the philosophical traditions shortcomings, so an analytic of time as the exstatic horizon destroys both the individual notion of time as presence and the traditons notion of time as Vorhandenheit, presence. 74 Ibid, p. 58. 75 SZ, pp. 311-312 ; BT, p. 359: While indeed this characteristic is specially distinctive of the ontology of Dasein, it belongs properly to any Interpretation, because the understanding which develops in Interpretation has the structure of a projection..
72 71 Philipse,


rejects Heideggers projective theory of understanding. Philipses accusing Heidegger of illogicality in attributing violence to all interpretations is merely a consequence of such an extension.) To delve into Philipses reasons for rejecting Heideggers projective theory of understanding we need to go back to some remarks Heidegger made about what is going on in interpreting. Clearly, for Heidegger, it is Daseins ownmost project that is at stake. That project grows out of Daseins facticity. Philipse seems to feel that interpretation, i.e., other than applicative interpretation whose role he limits, should seek to re-establish the facticity of the Dasein of whoever the author is ones interpreting, rather than ones own. To see Heideggers projective theory at work in elucidation, we need only recall Heideggers remarks (cfr. n 13, supra) on interpretation in the 1950 Holzwege, Nietzches Wort Got is tot,:
Jede Erluterung mu freilich die Sache nicht nur den Text entnehmen, sie mu auch, ohne darauf zu pochen, unvermerkt Eigenes aus ihrer Sache dazu geben. Diese Beigabe ist dasjenige, was der Lai.e., gemessen an dem, was er fr den inhalt des Textes hlt; stets als ein Hineindeuten empfindet und mit dem Recht, das er fr sich beansprucht, als Willkr bemngelt. Eine Rechte Erluterung versteht jedoch den Text nie besser als dessen Verfasser ihn verstand, wohl aber anders. Allein dieses Andere mu so sein; da es das Selbe trifft, dem der erluterte Text nachdenkt.76 (HW, p. 197)

Here again we see expressed Heideggers conviction that we must get on with our projecting interpretation, because objectivity is impossible anyway. Referring to the extra which the layman experiences as something read into it, and which he censures as whimsical with the right which he claims for himself, Heidegger seems to be saying that his layman is judgmental because he blithely feels things could be done better, whereas, in fact, objectivity in the interpretation predicament Heidegger is coping with is always vain. Returning to the basic question of why Heidegger opted for a projective theory of understanding, there are a few lines of argument we would like to mention that shed some light on this surprising doctrine: First of all, there are two meanings of the existenziell Entwurf. Distinguishing them is helpful. This will occupy us for some pages. Additionally: disagreeing with Brentano and Husserl, Heidegger may have given too much priority to Stimmung over perception. Philipse feels that the two of them should have been Gleichursprunglich, put on an equal footing. Another element is that, as it stands, Heideggers interpretation theory leaves itself open to the liar paradox, similar to what is found in the writings of Nietzsche and Marx;

76 HW,

p. 197 ; Philipses translation, Philipse, op. cit., p. 49, Of course an elucidation (Erlauterung) does not have to derive the matter (die Sache) from the text only. It must also add something of its own, out of its matter (aus ihrer Sache), and it has to do so covertly (unvermerkt), without boasting about it. It is this extra which, if compared to what he considers to be the content of the text, the layman experiences as something read into it, and which he censures as whimsical with the right which he claims for himself. However, a real elucidation never understands a text better than its author understood it, although it understands it differently. And this different manner must be such, that it touches the same matter about which the elucidated text is reflecting..


Finally: Husserl identifies similar theories, labelling them skeptical theories in the strict sense. Logische Untersuchungen, Prolegomena, Chapter seven, Psychologism as a Sceptical Relativism77 Two meanings of the existenziell Entwurf As is the case with a number of the existentialia, Heidegger has a tendency to use the term Entwurf in a number of ways without always sorting them out. The expression, as introduced in SZ, section 31, is basically intended to describe Daseins future-directedness. Philipse remarks:
Because it is in a sense its possibilities, Dasein always pro-jects a possible course of life into the future. The term Entwurf expresses the familiar fact that we understand ourselves partly in terms of our possibilities of future existing and, according to Heidegger, such an understanding is a potentiality-for-being itself.78

Given Daseins Geworfenheit, meaning that we are not the authors of the plot, that we have not chosen when and where we are born, we are in any case future bound. (We might call this Entwurf one.) Whereas we might say that Entwurf one merely means that we see ourselves as future bound, might one say, Entwurf two stresses our future thrown project is always in terms of a transcendental framework established by Dasein's projecting - whether it be familiar or scientific. One might say that we are just accentuating different aspects. But what emerges is intriguing in that via this concept Philipse questions Heideggers transcendental assumptions. Commonsensically, while nobody would disagree with the gist of Entwurf one, that Dasein is future bound, there is much more involved with Entwurf two. We project ourselves into the future through a range of possibilities tied to a cultural context we are thrown into. In the following passage, Philipse will do two things: stress the thrownness aspect of Entwurf two and, most importantly, introduce an examination of the related transcendental stance Heidegger opts for in SZ:
There is a second sense of Entwurf which, Heidegger argues, is linked up with the first. We always project our life into the future within a space of possibilities that is inherent in the cultural matrix into which we were thrown. Heidegger suggests that this possibility space, and indeed the entire matrix of significant relations which he calls world, is also projected by Dasein, instead of admitting that the possibility space belongs to an existing culture and is, for that reason, largely independent of individual Dasein. Heidegger identifies this second projection (Entwurf) of a possibility space with a transcendental framework in the Kantian sense.79 (Brackets and underlining mine.)

Let us remember that all along here we have been asking why Heidegger has a projective theory of understanding. The implication here is that Entwurf two, as we have
in the Logical Investigations, (Translated by John Findley, 2 volumes, Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1970), Prolegamena, Chapter seven, Psychologism as a Sceptical Relativism. Section 32. The ideal conditions for the possibility of a theory as such.The strict concept of scepticism, (p. 136): We may distinguish (without attempting a clarification) between false, nonsensical, logically and noetically absurd, and finally sceptical theories. The last covers all theories whose theses either plainly say, or analytically imply, that the logical or noetic conditions for the possibility of any theory are false. 78 Philipse, op. cit., p. 327. 79 Ibid.
77 Husserl,


labelled it, indicates a tending towards a sort of transcendental option in SZ. If we emphasize the underlined sentence above, it is fairly clear that Philipse wants to say that Heidegger would have been better off had he admitted that the possibility space is part of a real world and not something projected by Dasein in the context of Entwurf two. Heidegger's weak transcendentalism If we try to trace some of these elements, we see that there would (quite naturally!) be no Entwurf two if there were no Entwurf one and there would be no Entwurf at all if there were no projecting Dasein.80 Why is Dasein the being that we are so central ? (The answer seems written into the question.) Philipse will say that the reason Dasein needs to be so central in Heideggers whole schema is because Heideggers philosophy in SZ is an example of a weak transcendentalism. (This one argument, an hypothesis for explaining the centrality of Dasein, is one of a number of arguments supporting Philipses accusation of transcendentalism.) On a number of occasions Philipse shows us how and why certain transcendental arguments have two parts:
It is first argued that specific conditions are necessary for encountering entities (1), and then it is argued that these very same conditions are necessary for entities in order to be. (2) Sein und Zeit is a treatise of transcendental philosophy because Heidegger holds that a global framework of referential relations, the world in his special sense, is a transcendental condition both of understanding entities as tools or as objects of science (1) and for the very being of tools or of objects of science (2). As the world is an existentiale of Dasein, the ontology of Dasein is basic to all other ontologies.81 (underlining and numbering mine)

Situating Heideggers transcendentalism, Philipse notes that Kant had argued that his transcendental position was the only way to solve the problem as to how synthetic a priori propositions are possible. But this is not a question Heidegger posed in SZ, nor is it stressed in his subsequent 1929 Kant book. Something else must have motivated Heideggers transcendental turn in SZ. (Philipse will propose one possibility, then reject it, turning to what he feels is the answer.) Before developing such existentialia as Befindlichkeit or Entwurf, Heidegger remarks, in sections 15-18, that phenomenology has shown him that tools cannot be met with or used without an a priori global framework of referential relations, an equipmental context that he then calls the world.82 But Philipse feels that the extensive conclusions Heidegger draws from his analysis are not warrented. While a boat and a net refer to the sea and may be used to catch fish and the fish may be used to feed people, which refers to human projects, whyever do we need an a priori general framework of interrelations that is purported to be a transcendental condition for
Should one see all perception as culture conditioned, one might propose a contrary situation: an Entwurf two that is interpretative and represents a globality Dasein directs itself in. Thus, if there were no Entwurf two there would be no Entwurf one. 81 Ibid., p. 322. 82 Ibid.


encountering those tools, i.e., boats and nets, and, moreover, for them to be there? (One suspects that the answer is going to be we dont.) On a more general level, seemingly sharpening his description of Heidegger as a transcendental philosopher, Philipse defines these conditions: The transcendental philosopher must hold that the transcendental conditions for the possibility of x have an ontological status different from xs ontological status. This is indeed what Heidegger claims.83 Philipse shows his empirical side, in asking why all of this is necessary. Cant we just say that there are tools because human beings use tools and dispense with the a priori framework? We note that, dissatisfied with what he describes as Heideggers answer to why he has chosen a sort of transcendentalism, Philipse will go on to supply an answer, a rationale, of his own. The scientific world view vs. the manifest image But this rationale will have quite another provenance in terms of what we might call philosophical motivation. It is fairly commonly acknowledged that Heidegger often tended to adopt rather antinaturalist attitudes. The hypothesis here is that Heideggers reason for adoption of a weak transcendentalism is that it provided him with an antinaturalist (meaning 'anti-naturalist world view') answer to a longstanding philosophical problem he identified with. (Philipse alleges that since the scientific revolution there has been a long-running dispute as to whether the modern, scientific worldview is compatible with our everyday, commonsensical view. Philipse calls it the problem of the manifest and the scientific image.84 Advocates of the manifest image hold that the commonsense, familiar view of the world is real and the eighteenth century scientific view a mere construct. Advocates of the scientific image hold that we now know the commonsense, familiar view of the world dupes us and the eighteenth century scientific view is the real world. Those failing to see the way clear to compatibility are incompatibilists. In Philipses view, Heidegger felt this problem, endorsing the incompatibility thesis and weighing in heavily for the everyday, commonsensical view, because of his own particular philosophical motivations of course. The very way Heideggers SZ describes the two worlds can be shown simply: Sections 15 -18: the an sich in-itself world, signified by Bedeutsamkeit (significance or meaningfulness) and Vertrauheit (familiarity). The way things are in themselves Heidegger calls Zuhandenheit readiness-to-hand.85 Sections 19-21 & 69b: the scientific worldview berspringt (skips) the real world. N.B., which is held to be a projektion. In other words, at contrapositions with some self effacing character who supposes that the way things really are is the way science describes them for us and
Ibid; cf footnote 87 (chp 4) p. 521 ; cf. SZ, 18, pp. 85 & 88. Ibid, p. 323. 85 A number of short sentences, italicized by Heidegger, show the importance of this doctrine to him: SZ, section 15, p ; 71: Zuhandenheit ist die ontologische-categoriale Bestimmung von Seiendem, wie es an sich ist.
84 83


that the way they seem to us in our daily lives constantly dupes us, Heidegger sees it quite the other way around. (Nor should we forget, moreover, that all understanding, projection, passes by Dasein.) Unreal, scientific worldviews, unlike the familiar, prescientific worldview, are consequently impoverished and derivative, based on projected transcendental frameworks, the framework of the world as mathematical86. Seemingly they are unjustifed on the basis of the other, familiar worldview of things since they are based on projects. As project-based, they are optional, rejectable. Philipse mentions that Heideggers transcendental argument, as Philipse traces it of course, fits in with his post-monotheist question of Being. The latter expression refers to the later Heideggers work. Seemingly, Philipse feels that man as described by Heidegger II, waiting for, listening for Being, is in no position to reject the scientific phase of Beings donation and does not have the heft for overcoming it. He just has to wait, to see it through. As was mentioned, although Heidegger does not raise Kants problem of the synthetic a priori, there remain certain similarities between his and Kants transcendentalism. Heidegger, like Kant, held that the an sich world was the home of religion and ethics, dear to both of them. Both saw sciences as secondary and as based on phenomenal frameworks. But here the resemblance stops for our purposes. Kant was a transcendental idealist who thought that the phenomenal world was based on a transcendental schema because he embraced what we would now call an informationprocessing perception schema. (This of course refers to Kants basic, epistemological schema in The Critique of Pure Reason.) Perceptual input, caused by an an sich world affecting our senses, is processed by a transcendental structure which just happens to always belong to the transcendental knower. This transcendental structure adds new elements in processing sensory data (i.e., the categories). The resulting phenomenal world retains the characteristic elements the transcendental structure has added to the affecting, perceptual input. This is held to be sufficient reason for a priori judgments that are also synthetic as containing elements from the phenomenal world. This alleged solution to the problem of a priori synthetic judgments only functions if there is a transcendental subject supporting the phenomenal world ; this view amounts to transcendental idealism. The transcendental subjects empirical, phenomenal world is not the an sich (in itself) world the transcendental subject dwells in and is affected by. Nor can the an sich (in itself) world be developed out of a transcendental schema.87 Realizing that we experience neither a subject first nor a world first but rather are in a world, Heidegger, from the beginning, opted for this in-Sein (in-being) schema. Consequently, SZ embraces neither a transcendental idealism (subject first) nor an information processing theory (world first, as Philipse characterizes Kant), but rather puts Dasein in an everyday life world. But how is it then possible that SZ should

86 87

Philipse, op. cit., p. 323. Ibid, pp. 323 4.


embrace any transcendentalism at all if there is no transcendental subject?88 (Recalling that one of the characteristics transcendentalism was said to be typified by was first laying out the conditions for encountering beings, (stage one), and then specifying them as the very conditions for these beings being (stage two), Philipse will quite simply say that what he calls weak transcendentalism just means a collapsing of the two conditions, beings being known and beings being, into one.)89 Philipse says that a trivial answer to this question consists in saying that being just means being encountered by Dasein.90 The two stages are collapsed: i.e., sliding from being encountered to being tout court. Philipse defines it in still another way:
Weak transcendentalism identifies the conditions for encountering entities with the conditions for entities being there by simply redefining the verb to be this is what Heidegger is doing in Sein und Zeit. He seems to hold that being (Sein) is nothing but the significance that Dasein projects on preexisting entities.91

Now there is nothing surprising in the view that only humans lend significance to things but Heideggers view involves more. In fact Heidegger advances the Neo-Kantian notion that singular things cannot be known accurately, as objects for science, for example, (i.e., Philipses example of everyday objects) without Daseins projecting a global framework on them all.92 Let us unpack this somewhat. Indeed, the idea of a global framework is crucial to Heideggers anti-naturalism here, but in fact it is key to his setting himself up so as to be against any ism. What Heidegger does is to contrast any ism as being a project to his SZ described, everyday life world (Zuhandenheit), which he presents as being the an sich world. In other words, reflecting on the ramifications of the counter situation, Daseins existence in a familiar an sich world would be absurd if it were merely a projection too (!) and, accordingly, if its project structure were as optional as sciences project structure is held to be. (Yet, against expectations, at least the first conjunct is what Philipse is going to say turns out to be the case: i.e., that Daseins existence is merely a projection too.) That same familiar an sich world seems to make sense in contrast to an optional project structure, like sciences. We have already mentioned Heideggers view that sciences world is a transcendental projection in contradistinction to the one Dasein is claimed to really live in. (This stands opposed to the commonplace enough view that science is characterized by exactitude and everyday life, and our perception of it, by inaccuracy.) But does what Heidegger says in section 31 of SZ about Verstehen accord with what we have attempted to present briefly here, i.e., proposing the familiar as the an sich world? (As a background question, we might ask ourselves whether this familiar world described in SZ might not itself be a projection?):

88 Ibid, p. 324: How can one be a transcendental philosopher without being a transcendental idealist ? If phenomenal entities are not constituted by a transcendental subject, what might it mean to say that the subjective condition for encountering them are also the conditions for these entities to be ?. 89 Op. cit., p. 57. 90 Ibid. 91 Ibid. 92 We might ask whether the science example is ontic or ontological here.


Warum dringt das Verstehen nach allen wesenhaften Dimensionen des in ihm Erschliebaren immer in die Mglichkeiten ? Weil das Verstehen an ihm selbst die existenziale Struktur hat, die wir den Entwurf nennen. Es entwirft das Sein des Daseins auf sein Worumwillen ebenso ursprnglich wie auf die Bedeutsamkeit als de Weltlichkeit seiner jeweiligen Welt. Der Entwurfcharakter des Verstehens konstituiert das In-der-Welt-sein hinsichlich der Erschlossenheit seines Da als Da eines Seinknnens. Der Entwurf is die existenziale Seinverfassung des Spielraums des faktischen Seinknnens. Und als geworfenes ist das Dasein in die Seinsart des Entwurfens geworfen.93 (SZ, 31, p. 145)

Dasein facing Angst This passage emphasizes over and over that projecting being is Daseins way of being. If so, how can the everyday world fail to be a projection too? And, if it is one, how can it stand in contradistinction to the projected, scientific worldview? (Questions to keep in mind.) Let us recapitulate: Heideggers argument seems to be that the scientific worldview is the result of one or the other of Daseins optional projections. But in contrast, the meaningful, familiar world of daily life (sections 15 -18) is the an sich world, the home of Dasein. But, in fact, if we compare what Heidegger said above on Verstehen, in SZ 31, we see that projections range is universal, as an existenziale. Thus our familiar world of daily life may turn out to be a projection too! (On a heuristic level and in anticipation, we might point out that whereas the just cited remarks from SZ, section 31, p. 145, refer to Entwurf, projecting, taken generally, the following citation on Daseins Angst refers to that particular situation.) This emerges in a few key passages, dealing particularly with Angst. Angst is said to sink our meaningful world into itself:
Die innerweltlich entdeckte Bewandnisganzheit des Zuhandenen und Vorhandenen is als solche berhaupt ohne Belang. Sie sinkt in sich zusammen. Die Welt hat den Charakter vlliger Unbedeutsamkeit. 94 (SZ, 40, p. 186)

Let us for once translate Heidegger into our own words: The innerworldy, revealed, total involvement of the ready-to-hand and the present-at-hand is as such totally without consequence. They sink into one another together. The world takes on the character of being totally meaningless. Which world are we referring to here ? In fact, it is necessarily not a world of projection but rather one resulting from the breakdown of projection in the face of Angst. Philipse puts it: In this latter sentence (the same one) Heidegger uses the term world in the sense of the totality of beings, and not in the sense as defined in section 18 of Sein und Zeit, where he said that the very

SZ, 31, p. 145 ; BT, p. 231: Why does the understanding-whatever may be the essential dimensions which can be disclosed in it-always press forward into possibilities ? It is because the understanding has in itself the existential structure which we call projection. With equal primordiality the understanding projects Daseins Being both upon its for-the-sake-of-which and upon significance, as the worldhood of its current world. The character of understanding as projection is constitutive for Being-in-the-world with regard to the disclosedness of its existentially constitutive state-of-Being by which the factical potentialityfor-Being gets its leeway [Spielraum]. And as thrown, Dasein is thrown into the kind of Being which we call projecting. 94 SZ, 40, p. 186 ; BT, p. 231, Here the totality of involvements of the ready-to-hand and the present-athand discovered within-the-world, is, as such, of no consequence; it collapses into itself ; the world has the character of completely lacking significance.".


worldliness of the world consists in being a significant whole of referential relations.95 If we turn to that section 18 passage, we see again the crafting of a projected world:
Das Worin des sicherweisenden Verstehen als Woraufhin des Begegnenlassens von Seiende in der Seinsart der Bewandnis ist das Phnomen der Welt. Und die Struktur dessen, woraufhin das Dasein sich verweist, is das, was die Weltlichkeit der Welt ausmacht."96 (Heideggers italics) (SZ, 18, p. 86 )

Might there be a contradiction between the teachings of sections of 15 -18 and sections 31 - 40 of SZ? Basically, what we are saying is that there is a waffling going on here between the notions of world as projection and world as totally meaningless and perhaps some other, so far undefined world. In other words, if, as we just said, the meaningful world collapses, sinks into itself, then, in Heideggers sense of a projected world, no world is left standing ; minus relations, we have just meaningless Seiende left. Angst seems to break down Daseins projective endeavors and reveals that it is only Daseins projecting that made its world meaningful. And this extends to the everyday world too. We see this in another citation from section 40, measuring Angst:
Was beengt ist nicht dieses oder jenes, aber auch nicht alles Vorhandene zusammen als Summe, sondern die Mglichkeit von Zuhandenen berhaupt, das heit die Welt selbst. Wenn die Angst sich gelegt hat, dann pflegt die altgliches Rede zu sagen es war eigentlich nicht". Diese Rede trifft in der Tat ontisch das, was es war. Die alltgliches Rede geht auf ein Besorgen und Bereden des Zuhandenen. . Wenn sicht demnach als das Wovor der Angst das Nichts, das heit die Welt als solche herausstellt, dann besagt das wovor die Angst sich ngstet, ist das Inder-Welt-sein-selbst.97 (SZ, 40, p. 187)

We dread our very existence in the world, with the risk that all might come to naught, i.e., that our project-born Being-in-the-world might amount to nothing. Recalling section 40 again: "Die innerweltlich entdeckte Bewandnisganzheit des Zuhandenen und Vorhandenen is als solche berhaupt ohne Belang." .... "Here the totality of involvements of the ready-to-hand and the present-at-hand discovered within-the-world, is, as such, of no consequence;".. We are saying simply that before Angst, Dasein is stripped of its projective Verstehen and that indicates that any meaningful world, by the very fact that it is destructible, depends on Daseins projecting. Further evidence of this is found in another of Heideggers remarks that might be interpreted as saying that not only would the projected world not exist without Dasein but also that the an sich world would not exist without Dasein either:
Philipse, op. cit., p. 325. SZ, 18, p. 86 ; BT, p. 119: The "wherein" of an act of understanding which assigns or refers itself, is that for which one lets entities be encountered in the kind of being that belongs to involvements; and this "wherein" is the phenomenon of world. And the structure of that to which [woraufhin] Dasein assigns itself is what makes up the worldhood of the world." (Heideggers italics). 97 SZ, 40, p. 187 ; BT, p. 231-2: "What oppresses us is not this or that, nor is it the summation of everything present-at-hand; it is rather the possibility of the ready-to-hand in general ; that is to say, it is the world itself. When anxiety has subsided, then in our everyday way of talking we are accustomed to say that 'it was really nothing'. And what it was, indeed, does get reached ontically by such a way of talking. Everyday discourse tends towards concerning itself with the ready-to-hand and talking about it. So if the "nothing"-that is, the world as such- exhibits itself as that in the face of which one has anxiety, this means that Being-in-the-world itself is that in the face of which anxiety is anxious.".
96 95


Allerdings nur solange Dasein ist, das heit die ontische Mglichkeit von Seinsverstandnis, gibt es Sein. Wenn Dasein nicht existiert, dann ist auch nicht Unabhangigkeit und ist auch nicht An-sich98 (Heideggers italics). (SZ, 43, p. 212)

In a subtle shift in perspective, we note that Heidegger also says that whereas Seiende do not depend on Dasein to exist, Sein does:
Sein -nicht Seiendes- gibt es nur sofern Wahrheit ist. Und sie ist nur, sofern und solange Dasein ist.99 (SZ, 44, p. 230)

In the above citation, Seiende not depending on Dasein to exist does not contradict there being no an sich world without Dasein, for Heidegger goes on to add that such talk just would simply make no sense given that eventuality. There would be nothing the an sich nature would be opposed to. What have we gleaned for the wider perspective from this look at Angst? If the familar, everyday world (Vertrauenheit) is Daseins projection too, since it is destroyed in Angst, then Zuhandenheit as the way beings really are, constituting the an sich world, is no longer feasible. Nor is it any longer feasible to hold that sciences world view, in contradistinction, is a projection and optional because its contrapostion is missing. Because both are projections. In fact, only projected worlds are left here. (Remember that Heidegger needed an an sich world of familiarity (Vertrauenheit) to contrast to the projected world of science, to buttress his anti-naturalism.) If that an sich world is destroyed in Angst, then the consequent collapse of anti-naturalism implies the collapse of the raison dtre of the transcendentalism seen in SZ.100 And the subsequent collapse of transcendentalism threatens the raison dtre of Daseins projecting worlds. (In the next few pages, we deal with what I take to be the crux of Philipses critique of Heideggers transcendentalism and projective theory of understanding. Some close analysis will be necessary here to bring out the succinct points.) The feasibility of a comprehensive scheme Accordingly, the other major problem involving transcendentalism has to do with what Philipse calls the feasibility of The Very Idea of a Comprehensive Scheme.101 The very intelligibility of a Dasein being able or liable to project both ready-to-hand and present-at-hand worlds is questioned. (He has already pointed out that a
SZ, 43, p. 212 ; BT, p. 255: "Of course only so long as Dasein is (that is, only as long as an understanding of Being is ontically possible) is there Being. When Dasein does not exist, independence is not either nor is the in-itself.". 99 SZ, 44, p. 230 ; BT, p. 212: "Being (not entities) is something which there is only in so far as truth is. And truth is only in so far and so long as Dasein is. ; We might also note that Sheehan, in Martin Heidegger, (pp. 288 - 297) points out that there would still be Vorhandenheit without Dasein ! 100 We recall Philipses defintion of transcendental: The transcendental philosopher must hold that the transcendental conditions for the possibility of x have an ontological status different from xs ontological status. Ibid, p. 322. (The example cited is the claim that a transcendental framework is needed for humans to use tools.). 101 Philipse, op. cit., p. 326.


comprehensive framework cannot exist because its very comprehensibility rules out our knowing what is in and what is out of the framework. (Philipse eliminates what we might call escape routes or other philosophical paths Heidegger might have opted for.) In this connection, Heidegger has rejected any Husserlian type transcendental idealism with Seiende or entities created by a transcendental ego. In a view that is quite diametrically opposed to that, as mentioned earlier, Heidegger tells us that Seiende are not dependent on Dasein, but Sein is (at the end of section 44). What does Heidegger mean here by the Sein that is dependent on Dasein? Philipse conjectures:
I interpreted this obscure claim by supposing that what Heidegger means by saying being (Sein) here is the significance that Dasein supposedly bestows on entities by projecting a global framework.102

Philipses realism is all too apparent. He would like to be shown how Dasein could ever bestow significance on entities (i.e. making a Sein out of Seiende thanks to a projecting structure) without their already existing. For Philipse, Dasein and the entities must both be in place prior to projecting any encompassing frameworks or structures. And what is more, he feels that Heidegger himself, in saying that the world lacks all significance when Dasein ceases projecting significant frameworks,103 admits as much, i.e., admits that there is something left over when projecting ceases. Remember the role of Angst. Such admissions as it were, coerced by the truth, realists are wont to say allegedly undermine both Heideggers contention that all Vorhandenheit depends on Daseins projecting schemes, as well as Heideggers supposed antinaturalism. In other words, Philipse lays out what he thinks is the case on the status of these various worlds and then accuses Heidegger of having after all said as much too. N.B. Just above, the argument was that Angst destroyed projecting as well as the claim that Daseins everyday, Zuhanden world was the an sich world as opposed to projected science worlds (Vorhandenheit). Philipses conclusion there, one that would not have pleased Heidegger, was that ALL of Heideggers worlds here are projected worlds. Philipses conclusion here refers to Angst:
If Heidegger cannot avoid saying such things, (that a world, albeit a meaningless world, survives Angst) he destroys his claim that being-present (Vorhandenheit) is always due to the projection of a transcendental scheme, thereby demolishing the very basis of his antinaturalism. (English parenthesis mine)104

(A proviso here: below we will show that for the Heidegger of SZ, the world of Zuhandenheit may stretch as far as to include nature itself, as a tool for Dasein. This of course reduces the range of Vorhandenheit, making the SZ schema more understandable.) Why would that destroy his claim that being-present (Vorhandenheit) is always due to the projection of a transcendental schema? The world that has the character of completely lacking significance in fact ends up amounting to a surviving, an sich world.

102 103

Ibid. Philipse, op. cit., p. 322. 104 Ibid.


And why then is the very basis of Heideggers antinaturalism thereby demolished ? The answer is that such a world would consitute another an sich world besides the familiar, vertrauen world of Zuhandenheit and it has been Philipses allegation all along here that the contrast between the an sich world and projected world of science is the raison dtre of SZs transcendentalism. Continuing on as to the consequences of a world that has the character of completely lacking significance and results in a surviving, an sich world, Philipse draws conclusions questioning the solidity of Heideggers dismissal of the problem of the external world, which was supposed to be feasible because Dasein is thrown into the world:
Furthermore, if Heideggers transcendental view implicitly presupposes a nive realism regarding Dasein and other entities, his assertion that the problem of the external world is a pseudoproblem that has to be rejected is disingenuous:105

Why does the external world problem arise here? Again, if a meaningless world survives Daseins suspension of projecting, it is a world beyond Daseins familiar world and it becomes presumptuous to declare that Daseins being thrown into the world entails his familiarity with it. Disqualifying Heideggers well known solution, Philipse reiterates his tendency to link what he sees as Heideggers an sich world shortcomings with problems historically associated with Kants Ding-an-sich. ln fact, Heidegger endorses one of the traditional solutions to the problem.106 Which problem and which solution ? Philipse spells it out, associating Heidegger with historical figures: Heideggers transcendental philosophy is as incoherent as the transcendental views of Kant, Husserl or Quine, and it is incoherent for similar reasons.107 Philipses mention of Kant puts us on the trail. In fact, in a long and detailed footnote (chapter 4, n. 99) that amounts to a delineation of Philipses assignment of Heidegger vis--vis classical epistemological categorizations, e.g., realist, idealist, transcendental, naturalist, etc., Philipse again refers back to SZ, section 44:
This (alleged incoherence) is also true if one endorses other interpretations of Heideggers claims that (a) entities do not depend on Dasein whereas (b) being depends on Dasein. Claim (a) might be taken as internal to the framework of presence-at-hand (Vorhandenheit )108 (English parenthesis mine)

In other words, Seiende are what the Vorhandenheit existential makes them out to be: just there, with the exception of (Zuhandenheit ) involvement with Dasein.
hence Heidegger supposedly is an empirical realist as far as science is concerned.109

From within the transcendental framework of Vorhandenheit, Dasein experiences a cleavage between Vorhandene entities and Zuhandene entities.

105 106

Ibid, p. 326-7 Ibid, p. 327 107 Ibid. 108 Philipse, op. cit., Notes to Chapter IV, Critique, n. 99, p. 523. 109 Ibid.


He is also a transcendental idealist, because the transcendental framework on which scientific facts depend is a projection of Dasein (SZ, sec. 69b) and because the transcendental temporality of Dasein is more basic than the time of physics (SZ, sec. 69c and 78-81).110

This seems to be Philipses essential position:

If one now asks what the status of entities is from the transcendental point of view, one might either reply that this question is illegitimate because questions about entities can only be raised within a projected transcendental framework. However, if transcendental questions about entities are illegitimate, the very notion of a transcendental framework that organizes or synthesizes something else becomes incomprehensibe, because the notion of something else drops out of the picture. This is precisely my critique.111

Thus, if the transcendental framework bars questions from outside, it must be all-inclusive, but that defeats the very idea of a framework, if there is nothing to frame in or to frame out, if everything is inside it.
Or one might reply that Heidegger is also a transcendental realist concerning entities after all. But in that case he cannot argue that the notion of purely present things is only valid within the framework of Vorhandenheit, and his antinaturalism collapses. The inconsistencies in Heideggers transcendental theory are similar to the traditional problem of the Ding an sich that was raised with regard to Kants transcendentalism, and there is no satisfactory answer to these problems.112

What makes a transcendental philosopher? We recall that Philipses transcendental philosopher must hold that the transcendental conditions for the possibility of x have an ontological status different from xs ontological status.113 Thus Heidegger the transcendental realist posits entities beyond the transcendental framework, so that there is some world beyond the Vorhandenheit schema and Heideggers antinaturalism collapses. Why? Because purely present things implies a ding an sich situation and Zuhandenheit was thought to hold a monopoly on that. One might put it this way: if the transcendental philosopher is a transcendental realist he posits entities with a status other than his own, and outside of the Zuhandenheit schema (which, as we after all recall in the Angst problematic, was said to be the real world). To link what has been said about the Kantian Ding-an-sich problem and its resemblance to this Heideggerian element, we finish this section by analyzing an interesting remark Philipse makes about the second sense of Entwurf. Whereas the first was future-projecting, this second one involves what the first involves and more:
There is a second sense of Entwurf which, Heidegger argues, is linked up with the first. We always project our life into the future within a space of possibilities that is inherent in the cultural matrix into which we were thrown. Heidegger suggests that this possibility space, and indeed the entire matrix of significant relations which he calls the world, is also projected by Dasein, instead of admitting that the possibility space belongs to an existing culture and is,
110 111

Ibid. Ibid. 112 Ibid. 113 Philipse, op. cit., p. 323; cf. SZ, Sec. 18, p. 85.


for that reason, largely independent of individual Dasein. Heidegger identifies this second projection (Entwurf) of a possibility space with a transcendental framework in the Kantian sense.114 (underlining mine)

In coming to our conclusions in this section on interpretation as projection, lets take a still closer look at this second projection (Entwurf), a possibility space with a transcendental framework in the Kantian sense. A couple of explanatory notions borrowed from analytic philosophy will hopefully shed some light on the why and wherefore of Heideggers transcendental frameworks. We have already looked into reasons accounting for what we called Heideggers transcendental turn in SZ. His reasons were not the same as Kants since Heidegger does not raise the a priori synthetic problem in that work. Yet he affirms that the meaning of being projected is a priori, forming an all-encompassing meaning-laden horizon, a sine qua non for encountering entities. This understanding of project (Entwurf ) goes further than the existentiale project, with Entwurf two embracing as it does the idea that we constantly live in projecting towards our future. Why did Heidegger extend this framework ? (Philipse suggests that, due to their descriptivist phenomenological methods, neither Husserl nor Heidegger explained their motivations and that they have to be interpreted as to what their methods were. Philipses hypothesis is, (as we have already mentioned above in other connections), that Heidegger took the transcendental turn because he wanted to solve the problem of the manifest image and the scientific image, to use Wilfred Sellars terminology, and that he solved it in an antinaturalist way.115 Is the scientific world view incompatible with the manifest image? This problem, pitting the old, manifest image against the new, scientific image, is held to have emerged with the scientific revolution of the seventeenth century. Charicaturing in Aristotelian terms, and commonsensically, people are said to live in a world that they are used to and that pleases them because, among other things, it offers them a host of colors, smells and sounds. (Basically, the world is meaningful AND pretty much as we perceive it to be.) But the philosopers and physicists of the seventeenth century scientific revolution called that nive worldview radically into question. Developing a new terminology, they said that the world as it is in itself lacks the meaning and secondary qualities with which traditional and/or Aristotelian thought had credited it.116 Instead, material substances have only the primary, calculable properties the new physics (of that time) now credited them with. This, in turn, is because material substances are made up of masses of tiny particles lacking in sensible qualities. Thus the material world is a senseless mass of such corpuscles ; sense, meaning and (now secondary) qualities are projected by the knower in knowing. (Thus, - and this is key 114

Philipse, op. cit., p. 327. p. 132. 116 Of course, an Aristotelian style response might be to ask what you mean by color in the first place. Isnt it assumed that color exists differently in the object than in the knower. An imaginary knower is interposed. Its the false notion that there would be a knower interposed who would know as one should know, i.e., supposedly know the colors as they are in things.
115 Ibid.


the old, manifest image is incompatible with the new, scientific image. This is Philipses incompatibility thesis.) So, if one accepts the incompatibility element, theres a choice to be made. Which world image is correct or most fundamental ? (Just as an indicator, Descartes position, was that the manifest image is helpful but that we are basically duped by it.) As Philipse puts it: The philosopher-scientists of the seventeenth century opted for the primacy of the scientific image. Physics would characterize the material world as it really is. If physics contradicts common sense, common sense must be mistaken. I call this position classical naturalism.117 (Thus naturalism does not mean taking the world as we naturally experience it.) Needless to say, naturalism gives rise to various problems and various versions attempt to respond to them. For, example, some mitigated versions would hold that biological systems are composed of but not reducible to inorganic systems ; others would hold that human consciousness emerges from but is not reducible to biological systems, and so on. By the end of the nineteenth century, the consensus was that every conceivable variety of solution to the problems raised by classical naturalism had been tried and abandoned. Philipses basic thesis is that by the SZ period Heidegger had become convinced that classical naturalism had to be abandoned. (Heideggers term for it was die Ontologie der Vorhandenheit.)118 Since he was an incompatibilist, and seemingly shared the exasperation felt at the time, he opted for the common sense world of daily life - (Alltglichkeit) as basic. (Since it is far from our intention to discourse on the history of epistemology, our mention of some of these positions will be the sketchiest and only insofar as their destiny has ramifications for Heideggers stances.) Evidently, from the common sense point of view, the colors of things are properties of them and, normally, visible. But for classical naturalism, on the other hand, material things cannot have secondary qualities like color. Where are colors then? (Galileo, for example, thought they were impressions caused in the perceiver by dissimilar physical processes.) But if the perceiver is material too and colors cannot exist in matter, we are in a contradiction whose only solution is a dualism. Thus incompatibility plus classical naturalism yields to (for example Cartesian) dualism. We thus have the paradoxical conclusion that the knower must be of a different order from the known material order since it can know color (for example). While this idea of a mental or intellectual order pleases those of a more pious bent it is dissatisfying for scientists who want to include the knower in their field of research. This has led to reductionisms. The principle of immanence states that secondary qualia are sensations in mente rather than in re, whereas those things, referring to in re, simply have the power to cause our sensations. This principle has further consequences than the Cartesian style dualism we just mentioned. Given this principle, if colors are actually mental sensations, perception must be projective, because of course one doesnt see colors as mental sensations but as qualities of things in the world. The principle of immanence has as a theoretical consequence that we have immanent sensations that are projectively
117 118

Philipse, op. cit., p. 133. Ibid.


interpreted119 as belonging to real things. But if our seeing is a projection, how do we know that there is an extra-mental world ? For our classical naturalist, our sensations have been caused by certain physical goings on but we do not perceive these goings on. Rather we perceive our own projected sensations, which are held to be caused by the goings on. So there is an external world problem here. (Ironically, classical naturalism, in wanting to be objective, ends up isolating the subject.) Furthermore, classical naturalism, plus empiricism, began with a corpuscular materialist theory and ends up putting matter in jeopardy. If we dont perceive material substances accurately but only our own impressions, we have to prove the existence of a world that is supposed to cause our impressions. There are a variety of solutions. Once can either adopt a Berkeleian subjective idealism or a Husserlian transcendental phenomenological idealism, or, finally, a Humean empiricism. Kant attempted to refute idealism by proving the existence of a noumenal, an sich world but instead ended up with a subject-dependent phenomenal world. Again, ironically, presuming that this an sich world might be the cause of sense data runs up against Kants own epistemic rules in the Critique of Pure Reason,120 i.e. that causality can only be referred to the area of phenomena. Some pragmatists have satisfied themselves in concluding that belief in the existence of a noumenal, an sich world is the best solution available but we will never be able to prove its existence. Bringing our discussion back around to Heidegger, for that is the only reason we have ventured into epistemological considerations here, we might say that in SZ he rejected the very assumptions that led to the problem. As we indicated earlier, in confronting the manifest image vs. the scientific image Heidegger acknowledged the incompatibility thesis, meaning that the cost of rejecting ontological dualism, (keep in mind the role Dasein plays in SZ) and the connected external world problem, is rejecting classical naturalism. This is fairly obvious. In SZ, Heidegger opted for the manifest image as being fundamental. (I do not say more fundamental because it is not a matter of degree.) The familiar, Vertrauen, Zuhandenheit world is presented as the real, an sich world.) Since Dasein is basically being-in-the-world, its world is a meaningful framework of ordinary life. World is a Dasein existentiale. So the very notion of a Dasein without a world-to-be-in doesnt make sense.121 For Heidegger, world first emerges from an analysis of the way we use tools Zeuge. The way tools are Zuhandenheit, ready-tohand, is basic to our everyday life (Alltglichkeit). In daily living, we use tools and handle things ; and this using tools and handling things necessitates a general, meaningful framework (Bewandnisganzheit ) or total involvement. In sharp contradistinction to this, the scientific image or worldview, typified as seeing a world as a mass of unrelated Seiende, comes about due to a lack or gap in our daily use of tools and in our dealings with others.

119 120

Ibid. p. 134. KANT, Immanuel, Kritik der reinen Vernunft. Hamburg, Felix Meiner Verlag, 1976. 121 cf. SZ, Section 43a.


Dasein adopts a new Seinsstand In fact, Heidegger proposes three solutions to explain why the transition may take place from his formulated, familiar, vertrauen world to the scientific Vorhandenheit worldview. We may ask ourselves whether any or all of them succeed. Already possessed of the familiar vertrauen worldview, Dasein adopts a new one, a new Seinsstand Why? Heidegger offers us some possibilities: 1. It is due to a simple standing back or abstention from our usual vorhanden, vertrauen involvement with things. 2. It is due to a deficiency or breakdown in the routine governing our daily use of tools. 3. Things are quite simply said to turn themselves to us in a new, revolutionary way as it were (Umschlag). In sharp contradistinction to the familiar world, the scientific image or worldview typified as seeing a world as a mass of unrelated Seiende, comes about due to a breakdown in our daily use of tools (2) and in our dealings with others, since the world is really a meaning laden structure. Heidegger indicates as much in section 13 of SZ:
Das in-der-Welt-Sein ist als Besorgen von der besorgten Welt benommen. Damit Erkennen als betrachtendes Bestimmen des Vorhandenen mglich sei, bedarf es vorgngig einer Defizienz des besorgenden Zutun-habens mit Welt.122 (SZ, 13, p. 61)

Thus the scientific worldview is the result of a new attitude toward being, a Seinsstand. This Vorhandenheit presence is secondary vis-a-vis our familiar, daily, life world, passing over it:
Der aufgezeigte Fundierungzusammenhang der fur das Welterkennen konstitutiven Modi des In-der-WeltSeins macht deutlich: im Erkennen gewinnt das Dasein einen neuen Seinsstand zu der im Dasein je schon entdeckten Welt.123 (SZ, 13, p. 62)

But our next question is, put plainly, how do these proposed explanations for the transition from the ordinary, everyday attitude to the scientific discovery attitude stand up? How feasible are they ? As Philipse points out, Heideggers very way of posing the problem has a decidedly Kantian flavor. This may give us a hint of things to come. The title reads: Which of those conditions implied in Daseins ontological constitution are existentially necessary for the possibility of Daseins existing in the way of scientific research ? What in our daily tool use makes for this revolution from praxis to theoretical study ? The first possibility, our (1) above, is tried and rejected. Could it be that the
SZ, 13, p. 61 ; BT, p. 88: "Being-in-the world, as concern, is fascinated by the world with which it is concerned. If knowing is to be possible as a way of determining the nature of the present-at-hand by observing it, then there must first be a deficiency in our having-to-do with the world concernfully.. 123 SZ, 13, p. 62 ; BT, p. 90: We have now pointed out how these modes of Being-in-the world which are constitutive for knowing the world are interconnected in their foundations ; this makes it plain that in knowing, Dasein achieves a new status of Being [Seinsstand] towards a world which has already been discovered in Dasein itself..


scientific attitude shows up when we simply abstain from using tools? This cannot be because scientific research has its own way of measuring, testing and manipulating, using tools. Or could it be that the scientific attitude shows up when we are prevented from using tools because they are broken or maladapted, our (2) above? Thats impossible because we find that tools are broken by a close up inspection or circumspection (Umsicht) similar to our familiar dealings with things (Zuhandenheit). What Heidegger finally decides upon appears to be rather sterile. Unable to pinpoint a reason why involved concern becomes theoretical research, he ends up saying: The understanding of being by which our concernful dealings with entities within-the-world have been guided has changed over.124 (This pretty much amounts to saying that we understand tools differently (now) because that we understand them differently.) But this last solution, our (3) above, can have a meaning that is not a mere tautology if we understand that our Seinsverstandnis, in this case in the context of Vorhandenheit, presupposes a network or, as Philipse describes it:
Heidegger assumes that our understanding of being implies a global framework of implicit categories and relations, which we project onto beings. Only because we project such a global framework will individual entities become manifest to us as tools or as physical objects. For instance, we cannot understand something as a hammer in isolation.125

Kant's influence on SZ In fact, Philipses further contention is that this global framework of implicit categories and relations is fundamentally Kantian. Even if Heidegger did not pose the question of the synthetic a priori as Kant had, once again his antinaturalism motif is at work here, motivating this projecting. But this accusation of being tautologous (understanding tools differently because we understand them differently) may be overcome within the transcendental context if we see that Seinsverstandnis only takes place within an ever expanding framework of contexts and relationships. Not only can we only understand a knife in terms of meat or bread to cut, but this relationship is open ended. It is a pro-jecting by Dasein that is finally made feasible by Daseins timestructure of Sorge and Sein-zum-Tod, (care) and (being-towards death).126 This projecting is not only existential but scientific as well. Heidegger shows us that his weak transcendentalism is a transcendentalism after all at these junctures. Any science requires its transcendental framework. And this framing involves not only our knowing the objects thus concerned but also their being, or sense of being Seinssinn. The very object of the science is projected and facts can only be known in the given science in terms of projecting. Retrospectively, Heidegger confirms this Kantian interpretation of this element of SZ by the fact that he was to

124 Ibid. p. 136 ; SZ, section 69b, p. 361: Das Seinsverstandnis, das den besorgenden Umgang mit dem innerweltlichen Seiende leitet, hat umgeschlagen 125 Ibid. p. 137. 126 Ibid.


interpret Kants a priori structures in terms of his own Seinsverstandnis, in Kant und das Problem der Metaphysik.127 Heideggers Copernican turn Calling Heideggers holistic, projective understanding of being as determining how Seiende appear to us (in the given science or regional ontology), Heideggers Copernican turn, Philipse offers a few reasons why this understanding is, in the final analysis, an antinaturalist resolution of the manifest image vs. scientific image standoff. There is no beginning with neutral just there facts here. Projection is always involved. So if facts are heavily theory-laden, the gulf between the manifest and the scientific image (incompatibilism) is commensurately widened. One result would be that scientific projections, i.e. what provides scientific knowledge, would enjoy no privilege over religious or mystical explanations or worldviews. Having claimed that the vertrauen world of daily existence is the an sich world, for Heidegger we are held to skip it (berspringen) in projecting a or the scientific worldview. So obviously the scientific world is other than the an sich world. Since the an sich world is fundamental, other, scientific worldviews are alleged to draw from it, to be parasitic in relationship to it in their dependence on it. Philipse feels that even though Heidegger at times appears to give science its due, his deepest feelings (and efforts) harbor an anti-scientism. As it were: the already prevailing scientific worldview deprives the world of meaning and we must one and all make our decision to oppose it. In this connection, Philipse remarks: As Heidegger says in his second book on Kant, Die Frage nach dem Ding, philosophical quesitioning has the objective of preparing us for a decision.128 There is one area here in which Philipse acknowledges that Heidegger differs from Kant. Whereas Kant held that his transcendental categories were necessary (apodictic), Heidegger, while admitting that projecting is not always voluntary, seems nonetheless to express himself as if the transcendental categories and projections of science were optional and designed by our projecting. Furthermore, while Heidegger is a weak rather than a strong transcendental idealist and unconcerned with Kants reasons (linked to synthetic a priori knowledge), his transcendentalism nonetheless resembles Kants. Just as Kant wanted to save room for faith and morals, pertaining to the an sich world, so Heidegger placed primal, fundamental meaning (Bedeutsamkeit) in the familiar an sich world (Alltglichkeit). The reader will recall that we were led from interpretation to projection and thence to transcendental frameworks and thence to Vorhandenheit and Zuhandenheit. Before ending this chapter section dealing with interpretation, we would like to take a closer look at the relationships of Vorhandenheit and Zuhandenheit to one another, as well as to what constitutes projection and what constitutes real world in SZ. It will be recalled that on various occasions Philipse spoke of Vorhandenheit as involving frameworks or projections. But the question we would like to ask here is whether or not
127 128

HEIDEGGER, Martin, Kant und das Problem der Metaphysik. Philipse, op. cit., p. 138.


he ever spoke of Zuhandenheit as involving frameworks or projections ? The answer will prove to be nuanced. Philipse and Olafson on Zuhandenheit In a critical review of Philipses book, Heidegger's Philosophy of Being, Frederick Olafson has something rather unflattering to say about each of the four leitmotifs developed by Philipse. Addressing himself to the third leitmotif, involving what Philipse calls Heideggers transcendentalism, Olafson remarks:
When one turns to Philipses third leitmotif, any reader familiar with this background will be astonished to learn that Heidegger himself is to be treated as a transcendental philosopher and Dasein as a transcendental subject (p. 140). On the basis of what he concedes is a very imperfect analogy with Kants conception of the categories as a priori structures of a self that is conceived in abstraction from its world, Philipse wants to portray Dasein as harboring its own a priori framework of significance which it projects onto things in the world (p. 132 ff.). This framework is the instrumental-functional ordering of the object domain that Heidegger calls Zuhandenheit (readiness-to-hand). There is just one difficulty about this thesis. Heidegger never says or implies that Zuhandenheit is projected on the world by Dasein; and what he does say the whole conception of Dasein and its world as strictly coaeval and coordinate with one another is radically inconsistent with any such claim.129

Does Philipse in fact refer to a framework, the instrumental-functional ordering of the object domain that Heidegger calls Zuhandenheit (readiness-to-hand) as Olafson accuses him of doing. Perhaps he does a bit further on in his work (p. 136). By sheer process of elimination, Philipse indirectly refers to Zuhandenheit here: Or is it rather the case that the theoretical attitude, which takes entities as purely present objects (Vorhandene) without instrumental significance, emerges when tools turn out to be unusable or damaged, not properly adapted for the use we had decided on ?130 In other words, the hidden premise here may be expressed as follows: if tools are without significance in the Vorhandene attitude, they indeed had it as Zuhandene ! But doesnt Philipses justification of his stance come from elsewhere ? Then what is his justification for it ? In fact, we notice that Olafson has not taken up Philipses analysis of Daseins Angst. Ironically, Olafson asks just the right question: What, after all, would be the character of the entities on which this scheme would be projected before it is imposed upon them ? (Or, what would a (Zuhandenheit) world be like bereft of Daseins projections (although obviously not for the reasons Olafson had in mind). Heideggers statement on Angst answers Olafson:
Die innerweltlich entdeckte Bewandnisganzheit des Zuhandenen und Vorhandenen is als solche berhaupt ohne Belang. Sie sinkt in sich zusammen. Die Welt hat den Charakter vlliger Unbedeutsamkeit.131


Cf. Olafson, Frederick, Philipse on Heidegger on Being, pp. 480 481, in Inquiry, vol. 42, 1999, pp. 475 487. 130 Philipse, op. cit., p. 136. 131 SZ, 40, p. 186 ; BT, p. 231, Here the totality of involvements of the ready-to-hand and the present-athand discovered within-the-world, is, as such, of no consequence; it collapses into itself ; the world has the character of completely lacking significance."; Also see notes 72 & 77.


Philipse again on this text: In this latter sentence (Die Welt hat) Heidegger uses the term world in the sense of the totality of beings, and not in the sense as defined in section 18 of Sein und Zeit, where he said that the very worldliness of the world consists in being a significant whole of referential relations. (underlining and parentheses mine ; cf. note 72 supra.) Quite plainly we are saying that, for Philipse, whereas Heidegger tells us that the familiar world (Zuhandenheit) is the world as it is in itself (an sich) and that the world of science and theory (Vorhandenheit) is a projection, at times Heidegger talks (drops his guard as it were) as if the Zuhandenheit world were a projection too. And what is more, Heidegger talks as if there is a real, physical, albeit meaningless, world behind the two projections (Zuhandenheit and Vorhandenheit) ! Olafson argues against what he sees as Philipses transcendental, Kantian Heidegger: Heidegger altogether rejects the idea of a Kantian thing-in-itself 132. Seemingly, what Philipse means by an an sich world in SZ is simply one that is not projected. At this point in his criticism, seeking to disassociate both the notion of an an sich and a vorhanden world from Zuhandenheit, Olafson sends us to SZ, section 16, saying it is equally clear that those entities cannot be present-at-hand (vorhanden) since he (Heidegger) explicitly states that Vorhandenheit derives from readiness-tohand (Zuhandenheit). Olafson cites this Heidegger text:
Die Seinsart dieses Seiende ist die Zuhandenheit. Sie darf jedoch nicht als bloer Auffassungscharakter verstanden werden, als wrden dem zunchst begegnenden Seienden solche Aspekte aufgeredet als wrde ein zunchst an sich vorhandener Weltstoff in dieser Weise subjectiv gefrbt.133 (SZ, 16, p. 71)

Called upon to support the origin of Vorhandenheit in Zuhandenheit, the text rules out any question of our talking a zuhanden character into things. But as if to underline the complexity of the relationship of Vorhandenheit to Zuhandenheit, let us see what Heidegger has to say a few lines further on:
Zuhandenheit ist die ontologisch-kategoriale Bestimmung von Seiende, wie es an sich ist. Aber Zuhandenes gibt es doch nur auf dem Grunde von Vorhandenem. Folgt aber- diese These einmal zugestanden hieraus, da Zuhandenheit ontologisch in Vorhandenheit fundiert ist ?134

This remark admittedly complicates things: although Zuhandenheit is the way things are in themselves an sich, there are only, gibt es doch, Zuhandene because of Vorhandene ! What was primal (for Dasein) only exists because of what is just there. However, returning to Olafsons critique of Philipse on Zuhandenheit:

Olafson, op. cit., p. 481. 16, p. 71 ; BT, p. 101: The kind of Being which belongs to these entities is readiness-to-hand. But this characteristic is not to be understood as merely a way of taking them, as if we were talking such aspects into the entities which we proximally encounter, or as if some world-stuff which is proximally present-at-hand in itself were given subjective colouring in this way.. 134 Ibid. Readiness-to-hand is the way in which entities as they are in themselves are defined ontologicocategorically. Yet only because of something present-at-hand is there something ready-to-hand. Does it follow, however, granting this thesis for the nonce, that readiness-to-hand is ontologically founded on presence-at-hand ?.
133 SZ,



The decisive consideration, however, is Heideggers statement, which Philipse acknowledges, that readiness-to-hand defines what the things in the world are in themselves (p. 323).135

Olafsons surely refers to Philipse's straightforward remark (one whose context is interesting):
My hypothesis is that Heidegger endorsed this incompatibility thesis (between the scientific and manifest images) and that he wanted to save the significance of the world by relegating science to a secondary domain. He first argued, in sections 15 18 of Sein und Zeit, that the way in which entities are in themselves an sich is what he calls readiness-to-hand (Zuhandenheit). Because this mode of being is characterized by significance (Bedeutsamkeit) and familiarity (Vertrautheit), the world of things as they are in themselves is familiar and meaningful.136 (English italics mine)

Olafson continues, stressing that Zuhandenheit is not a projection, referring to SZ, section 16, p. 71 and supplying his own understanding of projection:
There can, therefore, be no question of any such meaning being projected upon entities that are already zuhanden (ready-to-hand). The concept of a projection, in Heidegger, is in any case not to be understood as the super-adding of meanings to things in the world ; it is our characteristically human way of being out ahead of ourselves (sich-vorwegsein) within the matrix of instrumentality and possibility that is our world.137

However, for Philipse, the status of Zuhandenheit is somewhat more complicated than what is described above. Remember that in SZ, section 40, the Zuhandenheit world loses all significance facing Angst. Any number of consequences follow from that same section. If we may be permitted to use a familiar expression, Philipse might be said to accuse Heidegger of having a sort of realism in the wings:
Should we not suppose that both Dasein and other entities must be present in the first place, and that this presence is an empirical condition for the possibility of the transcendental projection of an encompassing framework ? If Heidegger cannot avoid saying such things, he destroys his claim that being-present (Vorhandenheit) is always due to the projection of a transcendental scheme, thereby demolishing the very basis of his antinaturalism.138

Aside from the role of Angst, demolishing the familiar world but leaving some meaningless world, or Vorhandenheits status as always being a projection being lost under the weight of this accusation, two other consequences seem to result from this section 40 text: 1. The familiar, Zuhandenheit world is a projection too! (We recall that this was Olafsons central criticism of Philipse in this area.) 2. If there is some, an sich meaningless world left over when Dasein ceases projecting, then the projective nature of Vorhandenheit (e.g., scientific frameworks) is not as complete as Heidegger held it out to be. So, there is some just there physical world beyond projecting, bringing us back to Philipses accusation of realism, as mentioned above.
135 136

Olafson, Ibid., p. 481. Philipse, Ibid., p. 323. 137 Olafson, op. cit., p. 481. 138 Philipse, op. cit., p. 326.


Having at least exposed this disagreement on the respective statuses of Zuhandenheit and Vorhandenheit, let us turn now to a related, last problem before returning to one reason for our examining all of these topics, i.e., a closer look at projection (Entwurf) and interpretation or hermeneutics (Auslegung). The reader will recall our mentioning that Heidegger complicates matters a bit in nuancing the priority of Zuhandenheit: Aber Zuhandenes gibt es doch nur auf dem Grunde von Vorhandenem.139 Although Zuhandenheit is the way things are in themselves an sich, there are only, gibt es doch, Zuhandene only because of Vorhandene. How is this to be understood? Most commentators present the primal nature of Zuhandenheit.140 But Kisiel, as is his wont, points to an evolution in the development of both terms, leading up to the final version of SZ.141 We conclude from this that while the Zuhandene are primal and, as tools, go to make up Daseins familiar world, the Vorhandene are a sine qua non condition for the existence of Zuhandene in the first place. This idea of, as it were, a back-up Vorhandenheit may seem to acquiesce in a realism of sorts. Or else, we may side with Kisiel and opt for an evolution in the respective roles of the two notions in the period leading up to SZ. But some clarification may come from another area relating to Philipses work, i.e., his treatment of what he
SZ, 16, p. 71 ; BT, p. 101. Kontos in Dune phnomnologie de la perception chez Heidegger , makes some interesting remarks on the instrumental context aspect of Zuhandenheit: (p. 36) Le Dasein, dans son commerce avec le monde, rencontre dabord des outils (Zeug). La proccupation qui utilise en exerant une activit rencontre des outils. Loutil a la forme dun fait pour, il renvoie une uvre, une tournure et une finalit, il sinscrit dans un contexte instrumental. Ainsi, un outil nest en toute rigueur jamais seul SZ, p. 68). (The manner of expressing this last point is fascinating.) Lunicit est exclue comme caractre ontologique de loutil, en ce sens que je ne peux jamais rencontrer un outil, cest dire qu un outil ne peut pas se manifester sur base de sa unicit. Il se rencontre dans un milieu dj ouvert, dans un rseau de renvois , dans lequel il peut fonctionner comme fait pour. And, leading into Vorhandenheit: Le mode dtre de loutil, grce auquel il se manifeste de lui-mme sappele Zuhandenheit . Cette premire rencontre dans le monde ambiant est oppose au connatre et la Vorhandenheit. Le connatre est un mode driv de l tre-dans et prsuppose une dficience dans son commerce avec les tants. Le connatre nest pas un mode fondamental de ltre-auprs, puisque les tants ne se manifestent pas davance un Erfassen. ; CARMAN, Taylor, in HEIDEGGERS ANALYTIC: Interpretation, Discourse and Authenticity , Cambridge University Press, 2003, corroborates Kontas: (p. 13) Indeed, one of the central tenets of Being and Time is precisely that being, in whichever grammatical form, means something fundamentally different for different kinds of entities Existenz or being-in-the-world (In-der-Welt-Sein) for human beings, availability, (Zuhandenheit), for things defined by their use, and occurentness, (Vorhandenheit) for objects, properties, and relations. The only unity Heidegger claims for the meaning of being has to do with its general intelligibility in terms of some temporal framework, or horizon.. 141 Kisiel, in The Genesis of Being and Time, in its Genealogical Glossary of Heideggers Basic Terms, 1915 27, provides us with background on Zuhandenes: (p. 511) (the handy, ready-to-hand) First defined in SS 1923 but clearly distinguished from things on hand only in SS 1925, where handy things are understood as their underlying presence. (SS = summer semester) ; and Vorhandenheit (p. 508) (prepresence, on-handness, presence at hand) - First used terminologically to describe the already there in advance in which the around-world is disclosed, and so not yet distinguished from the handy (GA 63:97 ; also November course 1924). In fact, so unresolved is this term in November 1924 that even the facticity of the I am, its that it is, is described in terms of its being on hand. The more subtle analysis in SS 1925 of the levels of immediate presence first yields the clear distinction in modes of encounter and disclosedness between the handy (das Zuhandene) and the on-hand things (das Vorhandene) against the background presence of the environing world..
140 P. 139


calls Heideggers Neo-Hegelian leitmotif, involving what most authors would call Heidegger II. In fact, in our view, the answer may lie in seeing SZ in perspective, by means of later, Heidegger II, works. Philipse remarks:
According to the phenomenological theme (the SZ period), the totality of beings is carved up into ontological regions. Each of these regions should be explored by a proper regional ontology, and the mistake of traditional metaphysics was that it applied categories developed for the regions of artifacts or of nature in the sense of occurentness (Vorhandenheit) to the region of Dasein. This notion of the regionality of being is lacking in Heideggers later Neo-Hegelian theme. As a consequence, the Neo-Hegelian overcoming of metaphysics cannot be identical to Heideggers destruction of metaphysics in Sein und Zeit, for the latter notion is essentially informed by the idea of the regionality of being.142

Philipse offers an example to illustrate this difference. It will shed light on the respective provenances of Zuhandenheit and Vorhandenheit. The difference can be shown by comparing the idea of Zeug (equipment or tool) as it appears in SZ with Heideggers later views on technology. Armed with the regional ontology of SZ, it would be a travesty to intepret Dasein in using vocabulary having its origin in tools or artifacts, as if we were saying that man is just a sophisticated machine. (Daseins thrown existence as the being who knows being makes him different from any other Seiende.) But, on the contrary, it would not be wrong to analyze artifacts, or nature for that matter, in terms of tools or raw material. Contrarily, it would be acceptable, for one of SZs main teachings is that things in the world, primarily are tools (Zeuge), and that the scientific image of things as just meaninglessly there (as opposed to their presence in the manifest image) is an abstraction, a projection.143 Zeuge do not belong to Daseins ontological region and so it is permissible to view things in the world as Zeuge. However, by the time we get to Die Frage nach der Technik (1953), things have changed radically. As Philipse puts it:
According to this lecture, the allegedly universal view of everything as raw material or products should not be destroyed by limiting it to its proper domain. (This would take in Heideggers censure of Greek metaphysics, seeing it as modelling the coming to be of substances on Hergestellen (production).) On the contrary, it is suggested that this universal Entbergung (disclosure) of beings is a Geschick (fate), which is uns geschickt (sent to us). This fate is a danger that humans alone cannot avert. It seems that according to the later Heidegger even the view of specific entities in the world, say trees, as raw material, is somehow fatal or dangerous. The reign of technology should not be overcome by limiting its scope, but by substituting a new fundamental attitude for it, although, of course, humans cannot refrain from using equipment and exploiting natural resources. This new fundamental attitude will be as holistic as the reign of technology.144 (parenthesis mine).

Vorhandenheit and Zuhandenheit's evolving roles What do we glean about Zuhandenheit and Vorhandenheit from all of this? It will be recalled that in our earlier discussion, what seemed odd about the relationship between Zuhandenheit and Vorhandenheit was the following: if Zuhandenheit is primal and involves our familiar tool environment, how can Vorhandenheit both take up the
142 143

Philipse, op. cit., p. 166. Cf. n. 106. 144 Philipse, op. cit., p. 167.


rest, i.e., mere presence, including nature, and nonetheless be Daseins projection (Entwurf) ? Especially when we read what Heidegger said just above: Aber Zuhandenes gibt es doch nur auf dem Grunde von Vorhandenem. (SZ, . 16, p. 71) Leaving any interpretation of this passage in abeyance, we can at least hazard an answer to our question. In our view, Philipse has provided it. In Heidegger I, by the SZ stage, Zuhandenheit extends to nature. Remembering what we said just above: But, on the contrary, it would not be wrong to analyze artifacts, or nature for that matter, in terms of tools or raw material. In other words, and this is the essential element, Zuhandenheits extending to nature means that what is Vorhandenheit is an abstraction (read projection). Why an abstraction? Because it is abstract for Dasein. Additional arguments: Brentano and Husserl, the liar paradox and skepticism The reader will recall that in asking basic questions about interpretation or Auslegung (our main topic of investigation), and which is an active mode of projecting, we asked why Heidegger opted for a projective theory of understanding? Returning this question again, we suggested some lines of argument for looking at Heideggers doctrine of interpretation. The first was: There are two meanings of the existenziell Entwurf. Distinguishing them is helpful. The next and second item had to do with what Heidegger inherited from his teachers: disagreeing with Brentano and Husserl, did Heidegger give too much priority to Stimmung over perception? Philipse feels that both elements should have been treated as being of equally primitive origin: Gleichursprnglich. We turn to that now: Philipse voices his conviction that Heidegger would have been better off had he based the presuppositional nature of interpretation on Befindlichkeit (i.e., finding oneself in a situation) rather than on Verstehen, since the former has its roots in a shared form of life the individual is not responsible for. (This goes back to his saying in connection with Enwturf II that Heideggers suggestion that the entire matrix of significant relations is projected by Dasein is mistaken. (It rather belongs to a common, a shared existing culture and is inherited by Dasein.) In the case of what Philipse calls applicative interpretations it is projected. He goes on to say that he feels there Heidegger went too far in reversing the priority of intentionality and emotional experience or Stimmung. According to Brentano and Husserls commonsensical theory, emotions or emotional experiences are based on acts or perception or imagination or cogitation. And you dont have the former without the latter. Repeating, in SZ 29 & 32, Heidegger reverses that order, insisting that our Zuhandenheit world is fundamentally revealed to us in our moods, whereas more objective perception is secondary, derivative. (Remembering and fitting in here the Vorhandenheit world of science discussed earlier.) Philipse wants to say that Heidegger could have avoided the lack of objectivity his projective theory is accused of had he made mood and perception Gleichursprnglich. (But this in a way asking too much of Heidegger; it is wanting to make of Heidegger something other than Heidegger.) A third item should be mentioned. In fact, generally speaking, Heideggers interpretation theory leaves itself open to the liar paradox. What does that mean? When one says, as does Heidegger, that every interpretation is based on some


Daseins Worumwillen, its will to be itself, its ownmost project, the objection can be raised that the interpretation theory itself, globally, can be taken or left, ad libitum, since it is nothing but some Daseins project and necessarily not our own at that. (This model is taken from analysis of Marx and Nietzche: in Marxs case, one can object that if truth is nothing but a product of class interest and struggle, the same goes for the truth of Marxs theory. In Nietzches case, one can object that if truth is nothing but the will to power then my own will to power is sufficient to refute or annihilate Nietzches theory.) The rest is obvious: applying this to Heidegger there will be as many projects as there are Daseins. The fourth and last item we had mentioned has to do with Husserl. In the Prolegomena to the Logical Investigations, Husserl labels various types of skeptical theories. He says that Heideggers theory of interpretation is a skeptical theory in the strict sense insofar as its content contradicts necessary (constitutive) conditions for the possibility of theories of interpretation in general.145 CHAPTER ONE CONCLUSION Having studied some of the basic areas in Heideggers interpretation theory as developed in SZ, with Philipse we may say we feel that we have found certain areas of weakness in it. If there is any one notion that stands out as especially pertinent to his study of medieval texts it is what we have called his applicative version or theory of interpretation. This we said might have some rather startling consequences as applied. Now, in Chapter two, we shall look at his exegetical skills. Seemingly we must make an effort to distinguish his work as an exegete of medieval texts from the use he makes of that exegesis, i.e., insofar as he fits it into his SZ or GP schema. In this next, Chapter Two, we shall study his preliminary remarks situating medieval ontology vis vis his own work before looking at his exegesis: c) (Thomas Aquinas, Duns Scotus and Suarez)" (or alpha, beta and gamma) in Chapter Three.

Philipse, op. cit., p. 58 ; cfr. Husserl, in the Logische Untersuchungen or Logical Investigations, (Translated by John Findley, 2 volumes, Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1970), Prolegamena, Chapter seven, Psychologism as a Sceptical Relativism. Section 32. The ideal conditions for the possibility of a theory as such.The strict concept of scepticism. Husserl identifies similar theories, labelling them skeptical theories in the strict sense: We may distinguish (without attempting a clarification) between false, nonsensical, logically and noetically absurd, and finally sceptical theories. The last covers all theories whose theses either plainly say, or analytically imply, that the logical or noetic conditions for the possibility of any theory are false. (p. 136).



CHAPTER TWO: Heideggers Thesis on Medieval Ontology: to the Being of a Being Belongs Essence and Existence, Preview and Preliminaries
CHAPTER TWO INTRODUCTION In Chapter one we took a look at Heideggers interpretation theory as developed in SZ. Chronologically situating the texts we use, we will recall that SZ was completed in Spring 1926. Soon after that Heidegger moved to Marburg and delivered summer courses there. Those courses were entitled Die Grundbegriffe der Metaphysik. Its second chapter, or 'Thesis', as Heidegger calls it, is itself divided into several parts: "a) Preview of the traditional context of inquiry for the distinction between essentia and existentia" and "b) Preliminary outline of esse (ens) essentia and existentia in the horizon of the ancient and Scholastic understanding of them." In this chapter, we shall only analyse sections a and b, leaving section "c) The distinction between essentia and existentia in Scholasticism (Thomas Aquinas, Duns Scotus and Suarez)" (or alpha, beta and gamma) to Chapter Three. We might add that Heidegger's mention of Giles of Rome at the end of the Aquinas section is anything but a detail. An introductory, procedural remark: after presenting three 'interpretational problems at work', the order of presentation of Heidegger's text that we follow here in section a) is that of a quasi-commentary, that is to say following Heideggers presentation of the first ten pages or so of GP, Chapter II or Thesis II, Preview and Preliminary outline. We hasten to add that if the reader gets the impression that there is a discussion of a medieval author here and then another one in the alpha, beta, gamma section it is for the simple reason that we are following Heideggers text closely and that he chose to provide an explanation of a general character before plunging into more detailed textual analysis of each of the three authors texts. A further procedural remark: we feel that since these are lecture notes and due to Heideggers style of delivery, i.e., often interrupted with asides and comparisons with other thinkers, only a very close commentary-like procedure enables us to follow the train of his thought.


Accordingly, in the section entitled: Preview of the traditional context of inquiry for the distinction between essentia and existentia146, at the outset of Heideggers second thesis or chapter, there seems to be three interpretational problems at work. The first involves the consequences of Heideggers very frequent tendency to relate medieval positions to Kant, (conceivably because he considers his students to be very likely better versed in Kant than in medieval texts). Heidegger may be said to want to do two things: 1. Use Kant as a pedagogical stepping-stone back to the middle ages in his lectures; Once he has used Kant, comparing his vocabulary to that of the medieval authors, thus permitting him to expose medieval doctrinal positions and attitudes as he deems best, Heidegger, secondly, has the announced intention of relegating Kant to the philosophical tradition, i.e. showing that he too is heavily dependent on his predecessors in a tradition beginning with Aristotle and culminating in Heidegger himself (inasmuch as the Heidegger of 1927 sees himself as ushering in a radical new beginning). He intends to do this by showing that these various medieval positions, and Kant in his dependence on them, failed, among other things, to grasp Heidegger's own Ontological Difference, held to be more fundamental. Procedurally, at least his first goal is thwarted for two reasons: Kant gets in the way of Heideggers exposition of medieval teachings on essentia and existentia. For example, Heideggers use of Kantian expressions such as Realitt confuse things for often we simply do not know if we are dealing with a Kantian doctrine or a medieval one. Given that Heideggers stated goal is to analyze medieval teachings on essentia and existentia, he points out that Kants Realitt plays the role of essentia on occasion, and then proceeds to substitute realitas for essentia (!) in dealing with medieval texts. This is extremely confusing for the exegete/reader does not know what terms are being examined. 2. A second procedural problem involves Suarez. On occasions, early on in the preliminary outline, Heidegger states that henceforth he will refer to Thomas (Aquinas); yet almost immediately thereafter he cites Suarez. This evidently increases the difficulty of the exegetes task. This tendency is further complicated by Heidegger's frequent tendency to describe medieval positions using what turns out to be Suarez's vocabulary, but without providing references as to the source of his terms. Although, Heidegger early on reverts to 16th century Suarezian vocabulary, one he presumably is more familiar with, prima facie, it is at least his planned, his alleged, intention to follow a chronology in presenting first, alpha, Thomas, then, beta, Scotus and finally, gamma, Suarez. 3. A third problem that ends up being procedural involves Giles of Rome. Almost at the outset of his treatment of Thomas a further complication arises because Heidegger opts for analysis of the older Thomistic School, itself a Suarezian

BP, pg. 77 ; GP, p. 107.


expression, and in fact identifies Thomass position on essentia and existentia with Giles of Romes. In other words, as Heidegger describes it, and surprising as it might seem to some Thomists, the sine qua non of maintaining the real distinction position allegedly is holding Giles duae res position! This stance will be brought in as a measuring stick in discussing Scotus and Suarez. Therefore the Thomist not convinced of the Aegidian interpretation of Thomass doctrine on essentia and existentia may be left wondering if the Thomas whos held up to comparison with Scotus and Suarez, and then held up for criticism via phenomenological clarification, is Thomas at all! Any judge of a philosophical, or any other, text, for that matter, is at a distinct disadvantage without the texts geneology. This would be particularly true in assessing nd Heideggers introductory remarks to his 2 Thesis in Grundprobleme. Accordingly, throughout our analysis we should keep it in mind that the Grundprobleme volume is a transcription of class notes of lectures Heidegger delivered to his students at Marburg in the summer of 1927, immediately after his completion of SZ. In this context, the sections preceding the in-depth analysis of the old Thomistic School, John Duns Scotus and Suarez are entitled: a) Preview of the traditional context of inquiry for the distinction between essentia and existentia and b) Preliminary outline of esse (ens), essentia, and existentia in the horizon of the ancient and Scholastic understanding of them. They might be characterized as embodying the meandering style of a professor attempting to link the subject hes introducing to something the students know better, Kant, as well as advancing various philosophical and/or theological subjects or controversies that marked the medieval period in the fond hope of arousing the students interest in the more technical medieval issues they are soon to delve into. Heidegger introduces his ontological difference In an effort to provide the flavor of Heideggers method of introduction and also garner an appreciation of certain aspects of his attitude toward medieval authors, controversies and doctrines, we shall examine a few of his remarks. In an extremely intricate citation, Heidegger introduces his own ontological difference, Kant's way of expressing the essence/existence distinction and, finally, attempts to explain to his hearer's why the notion of essence was introduced. Note to readers: given the compIexity of Heideggers text, coupled with its lecture style and in order to gain a coherent grasp of it, we cite the text of these one or two paragraphs seriatim, only interrupting it with our attempts at explanation.


We can also characterize the new problem with reference to the ontological difference. This difference has to do with the distinction between beings and being. The ontological difference says: A being Seiendes is always constituted by a specific constitution Seinsverfassung of being. Such being is not itself a being.147

Let us recall, in a word, that Heideggers ontological difference divides all that is into Being and beings. While the Being domain requires lots of explanation, the beings sides sine qua non requirement is simply that it be reserved to things, Seiende. Here Heidegger mentions the resemblance between his own Being configuration, wherein each Seiende has a different Seinsverfassung (n.b. every thing not just a thing) and the three medieval doctrines at hand, each of which variously teaches that every natural substance has its own essence. Just as the Seinsverfassung is not a being, so neither are essence or existence beings in their own right. (In fact, conversely, Heidegger will say that essence and existence are Seinsverfassung). As he has shown in SZ and as he will again show in the 'phenomenological clarification', the final part of Thesis II, what is most essential, in another sense of essential, and this, in his view, is missed by the medieval authors, is that the Seinsverfassung of Dasein is fundamentally different from that of other Seiende in that Dasein is the being who's task and destiny it is to know Being. What is different about Dasein's Seinsverfassung is its existential projection.
But here what it is that belongs to the being of a being remains obscure.148

By 'here' Heidegger may mean that while these medieval authors teach that every natural substance has its own essence those medieval authors failed to see the gulf between Dasein and Vorhandene and hence treated Dasein like another being, with a Seinsverfassung akin to other vorhandene Seiende. (Of course, such an interpretation is a bit anticipative.) Blanchette on Heidegger's Ontological Difference To help us try to understand why Heidegger opts for placing essence/existence on the Sein side of his ontological difference, we shall have recourse to a few contemporary, North American authors. Oliva Blanchette deals with the question in a 1999 article.149 (We note that it is absolutely essential to point out here that Blanchette translates Sein as be and Seiende as being.) Explaining simply: the essence/existence distinction is always spoken of as regards finite substances, men, trees, dogs, etc. Heidegger proposes an ontological difference, between Being and being, as we put it, or as Blanchette put it, between be and being. But in our GP passages here, what is initially surprising for both Blanchette and ourselves is that in characterizing the essence/existence relationship Heidegger says that it falls on the Being (Sein) side of the divide:
147 148

BP, pg. 78 ; GP, p. 109. Ibid. 149 BLANCHETTE Oliva, "Suarez and the Latent Essentialism of Heideggers Fundamental Ontology" in The Review of Metaphysics, Vol. 53, Sept 1999, pp. 3-19.


Thus the distinction between reality and existentia, or between essentia and existentia, does not coincide with the ontological difference but belongs on the side of one member of the ontological difference. That is to say, neither realitas nor existentia is a being ; rather it is precisely the two of them that make up the structure of being. The distinction between realitas and existentia articulates being more particularly in its essential constitution.150

Why are essence and existence on the Sein side of the ontological difference whereas, as elements composing objects they might be expected to lie on the Seiende side. The simple explanation is that they are not things, but principles of things. The Seiende side is reserved to things and they dont qualify as such. Let us just inject Philipses view on this: Philipse:
Entities are not dependent on Dasein, Heidegger declares at the end of Section 44 of Sein und Zeit, but being is. I interpreted this obscure claim by supposing that what Heidegger means by being (Sein) here is the significance that Dasein supposedly bestows on entities by projecting a global framework. One might wonder how Dasein can bestow significance on entities unless these entities already exist and are perceived by Dasein. Should we not suppose that both Dasein and other entities must be present in the first place, and that this presence is an empirical condition for the possibility of the transcendental projection of an encompassing framework.151

There are two elements at work here. Philipse is alluding to his theory that what Heidegger means by Being is merely being meaningful for Dasein and that such remarks establish the transcendental nature of his work. But what does Heidegger say immediately after what was cited above? Heidegger:
Thus we see that the ontological difference is not as simple intrinsically as it appears in its plain formulation, but what ontology aims at, that which differs here, being itself, reveals an ever richer structure within itself. The second thesis will lead to the problem we discuss in Part Two under the heading of the basic articulation of being, namely, each single being's being determined in regard to its being by essentia and possible existence.152

What Heidegger is alluding to is that if the essence/existence distinction falls on the Being side because they go together in composing beings153, it is neither exhaustive nor enough to explain the richness of beings. His own distinction between Daseins Werheit, whoness and Existenz will enrich the configurations. This solution is spelled out at the end of his Medieval chapter. Heidegger questions whether essence and existence are sufficient and speaks of the necessity of restricting and modifying the second thesis.
150 Heidegger, op. cit., pg. 78 ; GP, p. 109; Although we shall see that in analyzing St. Thomas as an Aegidian, Heidegger will affirm that for them, essence and existence are each a res ! (Additionally, we would be remiss in not saying that we do not see what help there is in substituting realitas for essentia. Presumably Heidegger does it to align his exegesis with Kantian resemblances he feels exist and that he wants to stress, but it certainly complicates the analysis.). 151 Philipse, op cit. p. 326, n. 98. 152 Heidegger, op. cit., pg. 78 ; GP, p. 109. 153 One might suggest here that in saying that essence and existence together compose beings, Heidegger is, perhaps unconsciously, speaking of essence/existence as if they composed things as form and matter do in an Aristotelian or other medieval configuration.


If the Dasein exhibits an ontological constitution completely different from that of the extant at-hand,154

We ask if it is completely different?

and if to exist in our terminological usage, means something other than existere and existentia (einai),155

Heidegger is speaking of each Daseins destiny.

then it also becomes a question whether anything like Sachheit, thingness, whatness, reality, essentia, ousia, can belong to the ontological constitution of the Dasein.156

Here again, we contend that Daseins whoness doesnt prevent its having a whatness too.
Sachheit, thingness, whatness, reality, realitas, or quidditas, is that [120] which answers the question Quid est res, what is the thing? Even a rough consideration shows that the being that we ourselves are, the Dasein, cannot at all be interrogated as such by the question What is this? We gain access to this being only if we ask: Who is it?157 The Dasein is not constituted by whatness butif we may coin the expressionby whoness. The answer does not give a thing but an I, you, we.158

Blanchette, in addressing this GP passage, rather fascinatingly surmises that at this stage Heidegger was positing a new sort of essence of be that was over and above the essence a substance would have in the traditional, medieval sense. (I shall momentarily adopt Blanchette's vocabulary with a view to explaining his position.) This is Blanchette's explanation:
"In asserting this point, Heidegger is initially following a certain parallel with the idea of essence and existence as referring to a structure in being as being, etwas Seiende. Then however he goes one step further when he adds that (Blanchette quoting Heidegger): "the distinction between reality and existentia; or between essentia and existentia, (that is another problem) does not coincide with the ontological difference."159 (BP 78; GP 109) (parentheses mine)

(We have mentioned Heideggers substituting reality and existentia for essentia and existentia, presumably to align medieval vocabulary with Kants.) However we agree with Blanchette that it is not in itself surprising that Heidegger feels that the essentia and existentia distinction does not coincide with his own ontological difference. But, as mentioned, what is surprising is what Heidegger says next.
154 155

Heidegger, op. cit., 119. Ibid. 156 Ibid. 157 Ibid. pp. 119- 120. Doesnt it all after all depend on what sort of science youre after? Heideggers is more an existential, ethical and psychological endeavor. 158 Ibid. , pp. 119 -120 ; GP, p. 169. 159 Ibid., p. 14


Blanchette explains it:

According to the late medieval Scholastic thesis, the distinction between essence and existence belongs on what would have been the side of being with regard to the ontological difference according to Heidegger. For Heidegger, however, it belongs on the side of be, not of being. (Blanchette quoting Heidegger; naturally Blanchette paraphrases GP using his own vocabulary.) "The two of them," namely essence and existence, he writes, "make up the structure of be (die Seinsstruktur). The distinction between realitas and existentia articulates be (das Sein) more particularly in its essential composition," (BP 78; GP 109) or at least so it seemed at first when Heidegger was still relating his basic problematic of late medieval scholasticism. 160 (English parentheses mine)

Blanchette then gives his version of why Heidegger places the two on the be side of the ontological difference. (We shall trace his reasons then supply another authors reasons as well as our own.) Blanchette:
We see in this why Heidegger thought of the ontological difference as calling for a completely new departure in philosophy beyond all metaphysics of being as being, that is, understood in the Suarezian sense of essentia realis. We see also how this new departure had to be conceived in terms of a structure of be: (Blanchette quoting Heidegger) In this difference the question is about the distinction between be and being. (Blanchettes terminology) The ontological difference says being is always characterized through a determinate be-composition (eine bestimmte Seinsverfassung). This be itself is not being, so that what belongs to the be of being remains in the dark.161 (Again, Blanchette paraphrases GP using his own vocabulary.)

Interestingly, Blanchette seems to feel that in Heideggers striving toward a new determination he was approaching a position that would have placed him near Aegidean style medieval realists. Blanchette explains:
In the context of the late medieval distinction between essence and existence, one is tempted to start thinking of the determination of be, which is supposedly different from the determination of being as being as another kind of essence, which is already understood as a determination of being. Essence is the principle of determination for a being. It is that which limits or determines its existence or its act of being. (And this is Blanchettes main thesis.) If the determination of be is different from the determination of being, does it not follow that be had or is a different essence from the essence of the being we start from in positing the ontological difference. If Heidegger wants to insist on be as different from the determination of being as being in the concrete, he has to start thinking of it, as he did, as of another structure, like the one of the late Scholastic adversaries of Suarez who were positing essence and existence as two different things, each composed of its own essence and its esse, an esse essentiae and an esse existentiae. (in the manner of Aegidean style medieval realists or Henry of Ghent, for example) Heidegger of course did not pursue this course of reconstruction for very long. He saw that one could not pursue this sort of reconstruction without once again reifying be as well as essence, as the late scholastics had done. 162 (parentheses and underlining mine)

What position is Blanchette attributing to Heidegger here? When Heidegger says that the essence/existence distinction falls on the Sein side of his ontological difference he seems to be saying, even if he does not ultimately approve of the procedure as a
Ibid. Ibid., p. 14-15 (Blanchette uses BP, Hofstadters GP translation, but adapts it using his be/being configuration.) 162 Ibid., p. 15-16
161 160


way of configuring Being, that it is something that the medieval authors who describe it hold to be a configuration obtaining in the case of all finite substances, i.e. all those for which essence is not to be identified with existence, each and every Seiende (it is also true that such a characterization would even appy to immaterial substances for Aquinas, for one). In other words, Heidegger is saying that there are two ways to describe each substance, its whatness or quiddity and its way-of-being . according to the medieval arrangement, of course. What Blanchette says here below resembles and brings us around to examining the views of Norea, the author we shall study next. Blanchette:
He (Heidegger) abandoned most talk of a structure on the side of be in the ontological difference, but he did not abandon speaking of be as somehow the essence of being without reference to the determinate essence of any particular being, except perhaps to the determinate essence of Dasein in its temporality.163

Blanchette's last remark is of course key. Heidegger ever and always has Dasein in mind as a determinate essence that is unlike all others.

Norea and Suarez's contribution In compatibility with our view on Heideggers reason for placing essence and existence on the Being side of the ontological difference, let us see what Norea adds as to the way Being is divided into Seiende and Dasein and their ways of being:
Under the heading of Being we find now two ways of being: those things-at-hand articulated into a whatness and a way of being (Wie des Seins), and the being of Dasein we ourselves are, articulated into Whoness and Existenz164

(Recall that for Heidegger Being only exists because of Dasein.) Returning to our problem, in short, not only does the essence/existence distinction or composition belong on the Sein side of the ontological difference; the articulation of Dasein into whoness and existenz does too! On the Sein side because whoness and Existenz belong to every Dasein, but precisely not as essence/existence belong to every Seiende, every vorhanden object, other than Dasein. (Of course someone with an anthropological, scientific bent might object that Daseins uniqueness does not prevent its having a HUMAN ESSENCE TOO. Its being a who does not prevent its being a what too!165) In this connection, Carlos Norea explains why Dasein is not vorhanden (Norea begins by citing Heideggers GP):
Christian ontology is equally related to ancient ontology in spite of apparently significant differences. Although creation out of nothing leaves out the material cause of production, creation itself is interpreted in some sense in regard to production (BP, pg. 114; GP, pg.162.) The final proof of the inadequacy of the Scholastic distinction of


Carlos G., "Heidegger on Surez; the 1927 Marburg Lectures," International Philosophical Quarterly 23: 407-424 (1983), pp. 414. 165 One is reminded of Charles DeKonninck, who reportedly remarked: when I jump up and down I dont make waves in the universe.

164 Norea


being into essence and existence is to ask whether every being can be interpreted in the horizon of production as something at hand, available for use, made up of essence and existence. In particular, the important question is whether the being of Dasein can also be interpreted this way. It is obvious, Heidegger claims, that Dasein cannot be interrogated by the question What is this? since Dasein is not a thing but a person. To interpret Dasein does not consist in explaining its whatness but its whoness (nicht durch die Washeit, sondern durch die Werheit) (BP, pg. 120; GP, pg. 169.). The concept of essentia itself becomes problematic when we try to apply it to Dasein, because Dasein is not another being which it experiences. The analysis of the ontological difference becomes therefore more complicated. 166

The reason then why the essence and existence configuration is on the Sein side is that it is ontological; we might even go so far as to say that the essence and existence pair happen to apply to all Seiende except Dasein. However Heideggers point is that this Seiende configuration is not inclusive of all Being. As Norea says, the analysis of the ontological difference becomes therefore more complicated. Under the heading of Being we find now two ways of being: those things-at-hand articulated into a whatness and a way of being (Wie des Seins), and the being of Dasein we ourselves are, articulated into Whoness and Existenz.167 (Of course, one has to ask the question: what are we after?; Heidegger is out to interpret Daseins existential destiny: Aristotelians, and perhaps the medieval philosophers we mention here, merely want to ask what the nature of man is.) Heidegger stresses Kants principle: being is not a real predicate Regarding the GP text, lest we miss the forest for the trees, so to speak, we must keep in mind that if the second thesis or chapter is on the medieval essence/existence distinction, the first GP thesis or chapter is about Kant. There Heidegger provides a detailed analysis of the Kantian principle that being is not a real nd predicate. We will look at a few of his remarks on Kant in this 2 chapter and then refer st briefly back to the 1 chapter. Looking at the same key phrase again (below), notice that Heidegger says that we can see the new (essence existence) problem in terms of his ontological difference. In other words, he couches his discussion of Kant and his remarks on being not being a real predicate and what Kant means by realitas in terms of his ontological difference:
We can also characterize the new problem with reference to the ontological difference. This difference has to do with the distinction between beings and being. The ontological difference says: A being is always constituted by a specific constitution of being. Such being is not itself a being. But here what it is that belongs to the being of a being remains obscure. (We have already offered some interpretation in connection with Blanchette.) Following Kant's example, until now we have the expression "being" in the sense of existence, actuality, that is, as the way in which something actual or existent is.168 (parenthesis mine)

There are a number of things worth noting here. We will see that Heidegger wants to show that the order of existence is not the order of Kants Realitt. His
166 Norea, 167

op. cit., pp. 413 - 4. Ibid. 168 Heidegger, op. cit., pg. 78 ; GP, p. 109.


identifying Kants Realitt with the order of essence, with the quid sit or what the thing is fits in somewhat with Thomistic usage. However, his identification of existence, actuality, as the WAY something actual or existent is is not the same as the Aristotelian or Thomistic question of existence, the an sit, which asks if the thing is,169 but would seem to correspond more to the quia in Thomistic usage, which asks how the thing is. However, returning to Heideggers references to Kant:
Now, however, it will appear that the constitution of the being of a being is not exhausted by the given way of being, if by this we mean actuality, extantness, existence.170

Heidegger talks as if heretofore we have been satisfied with a discussion of existence and now we shall bring in the notion of essence, although he will later complain that more attention was paid to essence than existence in medieval thought. Seemingly his insistence on essence here may simply be a pedagogical device:
Rather, it will be made clear that it belongs to every being, in whatever manner it may be, that it is such and such. The character of the what, the what-character or as Kant says, Sachheit [thingness, somethingness] reality, belongs to the ontological constitution of a being. Reality is no more something that is, something real, than are existence and being something that exists and is.171

(In the simplest of terms, Heidegger is marrying Kants notion of reality with existence to show that neither, alone, is a being. This is the case with essence and existence for most medieval authors, aside from Giles of Rome, to name an exception.) At this juncture, it might be helpful to ask what Heidegger had to say in Chapter 1 about the notion of Realitt in Kant:
Kant says that existence is not a reality. This means that it is not a determination of the concept of a thing relating to its real content or, as he says succinctly, not a predicate of the thing itself (Beweisgrund, 76). A hundred actual thalers contain not the least bit more than a hundred possible thalers (Critique of Pure Reason B627) 172 (parentheses mine)

Since our ultimate goal involves analysis of medieval essentia and existentia doctrines, and at the risk of getting ahead of ourselves, we note that Heideggers remark on the Realitt or Sachheit173, the what-character may come to be seen in subsequent parts of our analysis174 as having an analogue in the Thomistic view that the essence of

In other words, the question an sit or is it gets a yes or no answer; the question 'quia' or how is it tells the way something is. 170 Heidegger, op. cit., pg. 78 ; GP, p. 109. 171 Ibid. 172 Ibid, pg. 38 ; GP, p. 51. 173 Cf. STONE Abraham Dean, On Husserl and Cavellian Skepticism with Reference to the Thomistic Theory of Creation, Doctoral Thesis, Harvard U., 2000, p.161: RealitatThis is, of course, nothing more than the Latinate equivalent of the Dinglichkeit (or Sachheit), and, as we saw above, Kant very consciously uses it in exactly that sense. 174 Cf. The Aquinas Section, beginning pg 84..



Socrates: 'Socrates is a rational animal', expressed in the definition, is not a proposition and does not declare the existence of some substance.175 Also relating to this paragraph, as we have noted, Heidegger arranges his terminology so as to have Kants Realitt end up being identified with medieval essence. His argument would presumably run something like this: since existence adds nothing to Realitt for Kant, given his doctrine that existence is not a real predicate and given that existence is not a being on its own for the medievals, but only transits from potency to act, thus Realitt can be identified with medieval essence. Heidegger, as it were, acts on this presumption and often substitutes realitas for essentia. (Let us say quite simply now that we do not feel it helpful to do what Heidegger does and that we do not wish to identify our descriptions of medieval essentia and existentia doctrines with Heideggers Kant compatible realitas and existentia descriptions.) Continuing with this same Heidegger text:
Thus the distinction between reality and existentia, or between essentia and existentia, does not coincide with the ontological difference but belongs on the side of one member of the ontological difference.176

Prima facie this just means that essence and existence belong on the Being side of the ontological difference since neither of them is a thing, a Seiende:
That is to say, neither realitas nor existentia is a being ;177

Perhaps we should not seek anything overly abstruse in this declaration. Heidegger simply wants to say that if neither essence nor existence constitute a being taken alone but rather go to make up, to compose, any given finite being, they cannot fall on the Seiende side of the Ontological difference and, so, logically must fall on the Being or Sein side. But Heideggers central reason for placing them on the Being side is that they express the configuration for any substance whose essence is not its existence, i.e., that is composed of essence and existence. (Noting once again here that Heidegger substitutes Realitt for 'essentia' or 'Wesen'.)
rather it is precisely the two of them that make up the structure of being.178

One might have thought that Heidegger would say that the two make up the structure of a being. Apparently Heidegger wishes to say something more, to the effect that the essential Seinsverfassung of every material substance so composed is a characteristic of Being.
The distinction between realitas and existentia articulates being more particularly in its essential constitution.179
175 McInerny, Ralph, "Being and Predication", pp. 165-228 in Being and Predication. Thomistic Interpretations, Washington, DC, The Catholic University of America Press, 1986. 176 Heidegger, op. cit., pg. 78 ; GP, p. 109. 177 BP, Ibid. 178 BP, Ibid. 179 BP, Ibid; Should we 'resubstitute' essentia for realitas and reread the phrase: (The distinction between essentia and existentia articulates being more particularly in its essential constitution we can appreciate


Here below Heidegger begins by pointing out that not only did great controversy surround the topic of how to express the relationship between essentia and existentia in the medieval tradition, but that, in his estimation, no solution proved satisfactory. (The controversys fame, then, may be one reason for its notoriety today.)
"The traditional discussion of the second thesis, that essentia and existentia, or possible existence, belong to each being, lacks a solid foundation and a sure clue."180

Heidegger will suggest that the proper approach, via the ontological difference, was lacking. So any effort, any configuration, had its success coefficient reduced. Heidegger feels that essentia and existentia became an issue via the ontological argument.
"The fact of this distinction between essentia and existentia has been well known since Aristotle and taken for granted as something self-evident. How this distinction between the two is to be defined is open to question in the tradition. In antiquity this question is not even raised."181

(It might seem odd that the distinction between essentia and existentia is alleged to be well known since Aristotle and yet neither he nor his contemporaries nor his disciples ever considered how the distinction between the two is to be defined.)182 Continuing his transition from his injection of discussion of his ontological distinction into a traditional discussion of the distinction between essentia and existentia, phrases such as lack of a solid foundation and a sure clue may provide rhetorical devices that suit Heidegger for he is convinced that the what vs. the how or way-of-being question arose out of controversy over the ontological argument:
"The problem of the distinction and the connection - of the distinctio and the composition - between the what character of a being and its way of being, essentia and existentia, first becomes urgent in the Middle Ages, not against the background of the basic question of the ontological difference, which was never seen as such, but rather within the same context of inquiry which [79] we encountered in characterizing the Kantian thesis."183

Here two telling aspects of Heideggers attitude reveal themselves. First of all he points out that the problem of the distinction and composition of essence and existence was not seen against the background of the Ontological difference, but rather within the context of the ontological argument. (Heidegger seems to assume that his Ontological
that a Thomistic version of this might read: it is essential to every finite substance to exist by participation in being and not essentialiter.). 180 BP, Ibid. 181 BP, Ibid. 182 In Part B we shall have cause to ask whether this question is raised in the discussion of the Thomistic thesis; it will, hopefully emerge from later discussion that Aquinas analysis of the distinction between essentia and existentia is based on his commentaries on Aristotles Posterior Analytics, Bk II and Metaphysics, V, 7, in both of which the question is indeed raised and an answer proposed. 183 Heidegger, op. cit., p. 78-9.


difference might have occurred to them. Additionally, were we dealing with Heidegger II one might say that such 'a donation of Being was not yet given'.) Here we might say that Dasein, the one being who knows Being, was not yet adequately conscious of its own uniqueness'. A second aspect concerns Heidegger as medieval historian. As mentioned, he considers the ontological argument the context of inquiry and path of access, if you will, to the controversy as to how essentia and existentia relate to one another. (That argument is, of course, related to the commonplace, quasi-universal medieval observation that in God his essence and existence are the same, his essence is his existence.) But what is particularly of interest to us here is the fact that Heidegger presumes that medieval authors' reasons for delineating the essentia and existentia distinction as they did are to be sought in theological controversy. This is no mean assumption in itself in that it runs up against the compunctions of many medieval philosophers. While it is indubitably the case in the medieval period that minor, shall we say, philosophers often even overtly adopted philosophical positions because of theological motivations, Heidegger assumes that it is the case here across the board. For him, it is not a charge to be proved but an assumption. Heidegger goes on to characterize the ontological argument:
"To be sure, we are not now dealing so much with the question of the knowability and demonstrability of God's existence as with the still more original problem of the distinctness of the concept of God as an infinite being over against the being that is not God, the ens finitum."184

(One wonders why 'the distinctness of the concept of God' is more 'original' or ursprnglichere than the problem of demonstrating God's existence. In the case of the ontological argument it might be said to be co-original with demonstrating God's existence. For if we should fail to demonstrate God's existence, questions as to 'the distinctness of the concept of God' would prove moot.) Returning to the BP text:
"In the description of the Kantian thesis we were told that existence belongs to God's essence, to the essentia dei. This is a proposition that Kant, too, does not dispute. What he contests is solely that human beings are in a position to posit absolutely a being such that existence belongs to its essence, that is, to perceive it immediately, in the broadest sense to intuit it."185 (Italics mine)

Heidegger presents us with one phrase taken from Kant's treatment of the ontological argument, from the Critique of Pure Reason. Just in passing, it is a formulation that strongly resembles St. Thomass own rejection of Anselm's ontological argument. (See both texts below.)186 (It might be well at this stage to make a few remarks as to
184 185

Ibid., p. 79. Ibid. 186 Summa theologiae, Prima Pars, Q 1, art. 3.: I answer that, a thing can be self-evident in either of two ways: on the one hand, self-evident in itself, though not to us; on the other, self-evident in itself, and to us. A proposition is self-evident because the predicate is included in the essence of the subject, as "Man is an animal," for animal is contained in the essence of man. If, therefore the essence of the predicate and subject be known to all, the proposition will be self-evident to all; as is clear with regard to the first principles of demonstration, the terms of which are common things that no one is ignorant of, such as being and non-being, whole and part, and such like. If, however, there are some to whom the essence of


Heidegger's treatment of Kant and the ontological argument. It is dealt with extensively in the first 'thesis' or chapter of GP. Both Aquinas and Kant reject a version of the ontological argument that may be said to resemble Anselm's. Yet their reasons for rejection are different insofar as their views on epistemology, predication, etc. are different. Dealing with the two thinkers, vis--vis the ontological argument seemingly would be the topic of a major work in its own right. For that reason, we prefer to dwell on the aspects of predication involved in attributing essentia and existentia to finite substances, encyclopedic in their own right. In fact, if certain elements of the predication problem are elucidated (akin to the snowball effect had by what is called basic research in science) solutions as to applications like the ontological argument will appear.) Having briefly described the ontological argument, Heidegger proceeds in pointing out that whereas it dealt with a being who's essence is its existence, our topic at hand is of course (for the whole Thesis Two for that matter) the relationship of essence and existence in beings for which the two are not the same:
God is a being who, by his essence, cannot not be. The finite being, however, can also not be. This means that existence does not necessarily belong to what the finite being is, its realitas. Now in case such a possible being (ens finitum) or its reality is actualizedin case this possible existsthen, viewed externally, possibility and actuality have manifestly come together in this being. The possible has become actual, the essentia is actual, it exists. Thus the question arises, How is the relationship of the what-character of an actual being to its actuality to be understood? We are now dealing not only with the Kantian problem, with actuality in general, but with the question of how the actuality of a being relates to its reality. We see that this ontological problem, too, which leads us back in Part Two to the basic problem of the articulation of being, is oriented in the tradition toward the problem of God, toward the concept of God as the ens perfectissimum.187

We point out that Heidegger shows in GP Thesis One that, unlike predecessors, like Descartes, for Kant Realitt meant Sachheit or, for the moment, our essentia;
the predicate and subject is unknown, the proposition will be self-evident in itself, but not to those who do not know the meaning of the predicate and subject of the proposition. Therefore, it happens, as Boethius says (Hebdom., the title of which is: "Whether all that is, is good"), "that there are some mental concepts self-evident only to the learned, as that incorporeal substances are not in space." Therefore I say that this proposition, "God exists," of itself is self-evident, for the predicate is the same as the subject, because God is His own existence as will be hereafter shown (3, 4). Now because we do not know the essence of God, the proposition is not self-evident to us; but needs to be demonstrated by things that are more known to us, though less known in their nature--namely, by effects." (Italics mine) and from the Critique of Pure Reason, (Meiklejohn trans.), Chap. 3, The Ideal of Pure Reason, Section 4, Of the Impossibility of an Ontological Proof of the Existence of God: Against these general considerations, the justice of which no one can dispute, one argument is adduced, which is regarded as furnishing a satisfactory demonstration from the fact. It is affirmed that there is one and only one conception, in which the non-being or annihilation of the object is self-contradictory, and this is the conception of an ens realissimum. It possesses, you say, all reality, and you feel yourselves justified in admitting the possibility of such a being. (This I am willing to grant for the present,.although the existence of a conception which is not self-contradictory is far from being sufficient to prove the possibility of an object.)* Now the notion of all reality embraces in it that of existence; the notion of existence lies, therefore, in the conception of this possible thing. If this thing is annihilated in thought, the internal possibility of the thing is also annihilated, which is self-contradictory." (Italicized sentence mine) 187 Heidegger, op. cit., pg. 79 ; GP, p. 110.


Heidegger also substitutes actuality for existentia, bringing his usage around to Kantian formulations. Looking at the citation just above, this leaves us with what might, were it left unexplained, seem an odd configuration: how the actuality of a being relates to its reality. Unexplained it would seem at least curious in English for the simple reason that actuality might be seen as synonymous with reality making the phrase a tautology.188 Heideggers next remark seems somewhat enigmatic; of course, it is usually its proximity to and compromise with theology that vexes him most about medieval metaphysics (this is to be seen most particularly in GA, 29/30):
Aristotle's old identification of the prote philosophia, the first science, the science of being, with theologia receives renewed confirmation.189

Norea has some interesting things to say about this passage. Defending Suarez, he says that Heidegger accuses him of being responsible for subsequent metaphysics ending up as being reduced to 3 problems, i.e. to proving that God exists, that the human soul is immortal and that the world was created in time190. Norea says that such a systematic division of metaphysics into general and special ontology (psychology, theology and cosmology) was rather the work of Christian Wolff and his disciples. Interestingly, in vindicating Suarez, Norea quotes him to the effect that metaphysics deals with many matters the knowledge of which helps little or nothing to our knowledge of God (ad Deum cognoscendum vel nihil vel parum conducunt. (DM,I,1,II)191 On a new tack, Heidegger feels that his main task will be to show the interconnection via the three historical figures. What interconnection? Seemingly how the relationship of the what-character of an actual being to its actuality is to be understood. He introduces us to the three historical figures: (Thomas Aquinas, John Duns Scotus and Francesco Suarez) whose configurations he will deal with. (Giles of Rome does not appear here but will enter into the equation in the section on Thomas Aquinas.) Heidegger makes two or three remarks here that we shall take a closer look at:
We must now render this interconnection even more clear for ourselves in order to grasp the content of the second thesis in a correct way and to be in a position to extract what is philosophically decisive from the traditional discussion of this thesis in the Middle Ages. In elucidating the content of the thesis, we shall have to limit ourselves to essentials and give only an average characterization of the problem. We cannot give a full and detailed exposition of the historical course of discussion of this thesis of the relationship and distinction between essentia and existentia in Scholasticism (Thomas, the older Thomistic school, Duns Scotus, Suarez, the Spanish Scholastics in the age of the

GP, p. 111. In German, the phrase reads: wie sich die Wirklichkeit einer Seiende zu seiner Ralitat verhlt. 189 Ibid; GP, p. 111. 190 NOREA , Carlos, G, (1983), Heidegger on Suarez: The 1927 Marburg Lectures, International Philosophical Quarterly, pp. 407 424. Cf. Pg. 421. 191 Norea Carlos G., op. cit. pg. 422.

188 Ibid.,


Counter-Reformation). Rather, by characterizing the chief doctrinesthe views of Thomas Aquinas, Duns Scotus, and Suarez we shall try to give an idea of how the Scholastics handled these problems and how at the same time the influence of ancient philosophy is manifest in this treatment of the problem itself, in its approach.192

(It is evident that Heidegger typically seeks the geneology of philosophical developments, regarding the doctrines of one age as descendants of an earlier one. Breaking out of this mold in the case of St. Thomas, we shall have cause to ask whether major elements of his doctrine of predicating essence and existence, as presented in his commentaries on Aristotles Metaphysics and Posterior Analytics, might not be merely explanations of doctrines present in Aristotle, thereby calling the relevance of universal application of geneological models like Heidegger's into question.) One of the major themes of our treatment of Thesis two will be the predominant role Heidegger assigns to Suarez. Here already Heidegger singles out Suarez for praise on a few counts:
"Suarez belongs to the so-called late Scholasticism, which was revived in the Jesuit order in the age of the Counter-Reformation in Spain. Thomas was a member of the Dominican Order of Preachers, Duns Scotus of the [80] Franciscan Order of Friars Minor. Suarez is the thinker who had the strongest influence on modern philosophy. Descartes is directly dependent on him, using his terminology almost everywhere. It is Suarez who for the first time systematized medieval philosophy and above all ontology. Before him the Middle Ages, including Thomas and Duns Scotus, treated ancient thought only in commentaries, which deal with the texts seriatim. The basic book of antiquity, Aristotle's Metaphysics, is not a coherent work, being without a systematic structure." (Underlining mine)

Lets ask how Heidegger favors Suarez (1548-1617) and his formulation of the distinction? 1. Thomas and Duns Scotus are practically 13th century contemporaries; Suarez only joins the 'medieval figures' thanks to the sort of philosophy he does. Chronologically, he is a Renaissance, Counter-Reformation figure. Only a few decades separate the intellectually active periods of Thomas and Duns Scotus from one another but more than three centuries separate them from Suarez. So the great lapse of time gave Suarez more than just the 'benefit of hindsight' vis-vis the other two. If his style of organizing the Disputationes Metaphysicae is different, his age is too.193 2. Since, in Heidegger's opinion (echoing Jaeger), "the basic book of antiquity, "Aristotle's Metaphysics, is not a coherent work, being without a systematic structure" (cf. supra) and since "Thomas and Duns Scotus treated ancient thought only in commentaries" (cf. supra), they would both seem to be laboring under a double, exponentially detrimental disadvantage: the work they base their
192 Heidegger, 193

op. cit., pg. 79 ; GP, p. 111. (NB, we are not holding up Aquinas' position for comparison with either Suarez's or Heidegger's as 'one that should be followed'. That would involve a normative procedure that is not our role. No, we are simply saying that we can judge the accuracy of Heidegger's exegesis of Aquinas when and only when he says he is presenting Aquinas' doctrines. However, if and when Heidegger presents a view he describes as 'scholasticism' in general or, if and when Heidegger presents the vocabulary and views of Suarez and describes them as Aquinas', it is our role to point that out.)


commentaries on is itself disorganized and so, seemingly, necessarily, will be their results, i.e. due both to their commentaries' source and their own 'seriatim' commentary mode of treatment. 3. Of course a basic question is whether Aristotle's Metaphysics is indeed an unstructured work. Additionally, despite his favorable attitude towards Suarez, Heidegger seems to put a measure of reserve into his enthusiasm, hinting at the idea that too much systematization might not necessarily be an advantage: "Suarez saw this and tried to make up for this lack, as he regarded it, by putting the ontological problems into a systematic form for the first time".194 (Italics mine) (We needn't mention that the later Heidegger was anything but a systematic philosopher.) Earlier Heidegger told us that the controversy over how essence and existence are related emerged in the context of the ontological argument; he now invokes another theological motivation:
"This problem of the relationship between essentia and existentia has first a theological significance that does not interest us in its narrow sense. It concerns the problems of Christology and therefore is still discussed to the present day in the schools of the theologians and most prominently in the philosophical views of the individual orders. The controversy has not to this day been settled. But since Thomas is taken before all others to be the authoritative Scholastic as well as given ecclesiastical preference, the Jesuits, who side in their doctrine with Suarez, who himself doubtless saw the problem most acutely and correctly, have at the same time an interest in associating their view with that of Thomas."195

Heidegger is undoubtedly referring to the role of the real distinction (or lack of it) in distinguishing the human and divine persons/natures in Jesus Christ. (However this may be, Heidegger's attitude is clear. Despite Suarez's superior vision of the problem, Thomas has enjoyed an authoritative upper hand over Suarez.) Elsewhere, other remarks on Heidegger's part, two years later, express his preference for Suarez over Aquinas. In a note in his article, "Heidegger's God", Hemming remarks on this preference:
I might be accused of simply reading too much into the text (Suarezs Disputationes metaphysicae). That this is not so, however, is indicated by Heidegger's own comparison of Aquinas and Suarez in the 1929 lecture course published as volume 29/30 of the Gesamtausgabe. In 14 he says, "Thomas and medieval philosophy . . . are important only to a lesser extent for the development of modern metaphysics . . . direct influence . . . was exercised by one theologian and philosopher . . . the Spanish Jesuit Franz Suarez. 196 (parenthesis mine)

Referring to Heidegger's expressing his preference for Suarez over Aquinas, lets take our own look at Heideggers 1929 text, Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics:
Direct influence on the development of modern metaphysics was exercised by one theologian and philosopher who, in the 16th century, with quite theological intentions, set himself the task of interpreting Aristotles metaphysics anew: the Spanish Jesuit Franz Suarez. Suarezs significance as a theologian and philosopher is far


BP, pg. 80 ; GP, p. 112. pg. 80 ; GP, p. 113. 196 HEMMING, Laurence, P., "Heidegger's God" in The Thomist, 62, 3, (1998) 373-418, n. 51.
195 BP,


from being acknowledged to the extent merited by this thinker, who must be placed even above Aquinas in terms of his acumen and independence of questioning. His significance for the development and formation of modern metaphysics is not merely formal to the extent that under his influence the discipline of metaphysics took shape in a specific form.197

And, along these same lines, in this 1929 text, Heidegger comments on the alleged disorder in Aristotles Metaphysics are emphatic:
In contrast to other scholastics, Suarez indeed saw that the twelve books of Aristotle (Metaphysics) form a whole that is inherently disordered, although he did not realize that this book is not one written by Aristotle, but a compilation of treatises put together by his students. He sought to overcome this disorder by giving the main problems a systematic order. Independent discussion of the problem with respect to natural theology goes back to Suarez, whereas in Aquinas there was only an application of metaphysical thoughts, as well as the commentary on Aristotles Metaphysics. By contrast, Suarez first undertook an independent development of the metaphysical problem which was of particular interest especially for the beginning of modern philosophy, for Descartes.198

Here we see a technique Heidegger uses again and again. One cannot help asking: which metaphysical problem? Heidegger assumes that thinker A deserves credit for having come up with a theory that subsequently interested thinker B. But the mere fact that it interested thinker B does not prove that it was correct for either A or B. Without belaboring the issue, in this 1929 text Heidegger assumes a more aggressive tone, particularly towards Aquinas, but also towards medieval thought in general. We shall return to this. As regards the alleged disorder in Aristotles Metaphysics, one might merely suggest as a possibility that for doctrinal reasons both Aristotle and Aquinas saw an order therein that was lost on other commentators What seems nonsense to one etc Reverting to our main text, GP Continuing to trace historical and/or theological sources of the controversy on how essence is related to existence, Heidegger briefly mentions its origin in Avicenna's commentary (presumably on the Metaphysics of Aristotle):
"To begin with, the problem can be traced back to Arabic philosophy, above all to Avicenna and his commentary on Aristotle."199

Heideggers words set the tone of things to come insofar as one of Avicenna's doctrines will prove central to our discussion of Thomass position for, as Ralph McInerny says in an article on predication:

Martin, Finitude, Solitude and World. The Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics, (GA, Vol. 29/30) translated by William McNeill and Nicholas Walker, Indiana University Press, 1995. pg. 51. Authors note. To avoid confusion, we might point out here that the Grundprobleme text is translated as The Basic Problems of Phenomenology by Hofstadter. However, earlier on Caputo, translated some parts of that same Grundprobleme text and referred to them as coming from The Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics 198 Ibid. pg 52 199 BP, pg. 81 ; GP, p. 113.


"Furthermore, the doctrine that existence is an accidental predicate (and so too ens, if we consider the id a quo nomen imponitur) is not one that St. Thomas invented but appears in his writing on the authority of others, e.g. Hilary and Avicenna."200

Returning to GP and Heidegger's "a) Preview" and "b) Preliminary Outline" and the Predominant Role Suarez's Disputationes Metaphysicae plays in it In fact Heidegger has several goals here. In GP, it is not so much that Heidegger wants to hold Suarez's Disputationes Metaphysicae up, anachronistically, as a sort of model of everything medieval philosophy should have been but was not; rather he wants to erect it into a sort of archetype of scholasticism. More particularly here, he wants to delineate the series of 'pairs', pairs such as the pair 'infinite being/finite being' to be found in Suarez's Disputationes Metaphysicae and explain that while these pairs appear repeatedly in medieval thought, they play a further role in Suarez's Disputationes. In point of fact they divide that work into two parts:
which particular being is taken into consideration. The second part, disputations 28-53, deals with the being of specific beings. Within the universe of beings, Suarez fixes the basic distinction between ens infinitum, deus, and ens finitum, creatura."201 (underlining mine)

(Just in passing we note briefly that Heidegger mentions how innovative Suarez is in considering ens rationis as an object of metaphysics.) Heidegger continues, describing the object of metaphysics for Suarez:
"Although the investigation of being represents in general an essential task of metaphysics, nevertheless deus as the primum and principium ens is at the same time id, quod et est totius metaphysicae primarium objectum, et primum significatum et analogatum totius significationis et habitudinus entis (Opera omnia, Paris, 1856-1861, vol. 26, disp. 31, prooem): God, as the first and principal being is also the primary object of the whole of metaphysics, that is to say, of the whole of ontology, and the primum significatum, that which is signified first, that which constitutes the significance of all significances; the primum analogatum, that to which every assertion about beings and every understanding of being is traced back."202

As Heidegger understands Suarez, God may be the cause of the subject of metaphysics but is also the first metaphysical object of study.
"The ancient conviction runs thus: Since every being that is actual comes from God, the understanding of the being of beings must ultimately be traced back to God. (Heidegger is clearly transposing the problem into his vocabulary.) The prima divisio entis is that between ens infinitum and ens finitum. In Disputatio 28, Suarez reviews a series of formulations of this distinction"203 (parenthesis and italics mine)
200 McInerny, 201 BP,

op cit., pg. 227. pg. 81 ; GP, pp. 113-14.Might it be that this Suarezian configuration, separating infinite and finite being, fails as a model or archetype of medieval thought insofar as it varies from earlier Aristotelian commentary configurations, but, as it happens, resembles Heidegger's own Ontological Differenz! Or dare one take a step farther and say that Heidegger's own Ontological Differenz resembles it! 202 BP, pg. 81 ; GP, pg. 114. 203 Ibid.


Heidegger then presents a few of these pairs; they are all models or variations of ens infinitum and ens finitum. But rather than enumerating the varieties of 'finite' and 'infinite', what is of most interest here is how what we might informally call 'the universe of metaphysics' is divided up into these three configurations, generalizing: Suarez's configurations may be described thusly: Disputations 1-27, the first part, deals with being in general and its properties. (This then includes God). Disputations 28-53, the second part, deals with the being of finite beings. Now interestingly enough, within the universe of beings we find the distinction between ens infinitum, deus, and ens finitum, creatura'. (While infinite, God is a being. A point Heidegger insists on variously in his writings.) Heidegger's own configuration, the Ontological Difference, divides things similarly, i.e., distinguishing between Sein and Seiende. (Obviously Heidegger doesn't declare God to be among the Seiende, but he does say that if God existed it would be a thing. But, in contrast, notice that with Aquinas, we have a different configuration. Based on Aristotle, ens perfectum is divided into ens per se and ens per accidens, substance and its accidents. One is said to come to know that substance exists immaterially as well as materially, and so the subject matter of metaphysics is substance as such, or ens commune. God is not among these substances but pointed to as being their cause, whereas God is a being among beings for Suarez. Heidegger prefers this latter configuration and indeed it seems to correspond most closely to his own ontological difference. Henning and Caputo on Heidegger and Suarez In a recent work, Heidegger's Atheism (2002), Laurence Paul Henning says something along these lines regarding Suarez's attitude:
" with those who followed Aquinas the question of the nature of God comes to be worked out solely as metaphysics. Aquinas continues to maintain that nothing can be said (known) concerning the essence of God in itself: God and God's essence are known only in a very limited sense through God's effects (i.e., in creation). This means that insofar as Aquinas inquires into God through inquiry into being esse, being is still understood as creation or created being. It is only later positions (those for instance undertaken in Suarez's and Cajetan's reading of Aquinas) that produced 'Thomism' as a metaphysics."204

(While not necessarily agreeing on Cajetan, only Suarez interests us here for the moment.) We repeat, for Suarez (as for Heideggerif God existed) God is a being, a Seiende, one of the beings who are subjects of metaphysics. The conclusion imposing itself is not that abstruse. Heidegger's configuration is akin to Suarez's. An author supporting this view but going a bit further, to the point of actually seeing Suarez as the source of Heideggers distinction, is John Caputo; in a 1977 Thomist article he says:


HENNING, Laurence Paul, Heidegger's Atheism, University of Notre Dame Press, 2002, p. 198-9


In particular Suarez first made the distinction between metaphysica generalis (ontologia) and metaphysica specialis which exercised such a decisive influence on Wolff and Baumgarten, and through them on Kant and Hegel. General metaphysics deals with the concept of being in general, and special metaphysics with particular beings. Indeed I do not believe we would be too far astray in finding traces of this distinction in Heidegger's own "ontological difference." For this is a distinction between Being - which is to be met with only in Dasein's "understanding of Being" - and beings. Being is not any existing, particular being and must never be confused with such; Being is rather that upon which beings are projected in order to be understood in their Being. Being must be understood before beings, even as general metaphysics precedes special metaphysics.205

What is Caputos point here? What is it that Heidegger and Suarez share that is not shared in the, dare we say, Aristotelian-Thomistic configuration? Seemingly, for Suarez and Heidegger, what is important is distinguishing Being from beings. (Moreover it's one of the things thats most important for Heidegger. Among the beings, which one is the cause of the other or others, should one turn out to be the cause of the other, is not of paramount importance for him, although it may be for Suarez.) One might try combining Caputos words cited above: Being must be understood before beings (while this may be taken as Heideggers, not Suarezs injunction) with the configuration we find in Suarez's Disputations 28-53, part 2, dealing with the being of specific beings. As to whether knowledge of Being in fact precedes knowledge of beings, let us then compare those two configurations, i.e. Suarez and Heidegger, with the Thomistic procedure described here below (Thomas is explaining Aristotles procedure). It is just assumed here that, for Aquinas, knowledge of material substances precedes any we might come to have of immaterial ones.
In VI Meta, Lectio 1170: Second, he answers this question, saying that if there is no substance other than those which exist in the way that natural substances do with which the philosophy of nature deals, the philosophy of nature will be the first science, but if there is some immobile substance this will be prior to natural substance; and therefore the philosophy (of nature),206 which considers this kind of substance, will be first philosophy; And since it is the first, it will be universal and it will be its function to study being as being, both what being is and what the attributes are that belong to being as being. For the science of the primary kind of being and that of being in general are the same, as has been stated at the beginning of Book IV (cf. 533).207

CAPUTO John, The Problem of Being in Heidegger and the Scholastics, in the Thomist, 1977, 41, pp. 62-91, pp. 68-9. 206 The addition here of the phrase of nature is clearly erroneous. The 1995 Dumb Ox Books edition of John Rowans 1963 translation adds the following subordinate phrase which considers this kind of substance. But that doesnt solve the problem. The Latin text does not repeat of nature or naturalis because the very point is to distinguish metaphysics! This is the Latin text: Deinde cum dicit si igitur secundo solvit, dicens quod si non est aliqua alia substantia praeter eas quae consistunt secundum naturam, de quibus est physica, physica erit prima scientia. Sed, si est aliqua substantia immobilis, ista erit prior substantia naturali; et per consequens philosophia considerans huiusmodi substantiam, erit philosophia prima. Et quia est prima, ideo erit universalis, et erit eius speculari de ente inquantum est ens, et de eo quod quid est, et de his quae sunt entis inquantum est ens: eadem enim est scientia primi entis et entis communis, ut in principio quarti habitum est. (Underlining mine). Notice that there is no modifier naturalis in the Latin text. S. THOMAE AQUINATIS In duodecim libros Metaphysicorum Aristotelis expositio. Ed. M. R. CATHALA, R. M. SPIAZZI (2 ed.: Marietti, Taurini-Romae, 1971). 207 Thomas Aquinas, Commentary on Aristotles Metaphysics, translated by John P. Rowan, reprint, Dumb Ox Books, Notre Dame, Indiana, 1995; In VI Meta, Lectio 1170, p. 403.



Along these lines, St. Thomass In Boethius de trinitate commentary, explains that the sciences are distinguished as they abstract from matter. Thought is immaterial and science is of the necessary (non-contingent). So inasmuch as the objects of science are separated or abstracted from matter and motion the various theoretical sciences (subjects) are formally distinguished from one another.208 They are abstracted in three ways: in physics or the philosophy of nature we abstract from singular sensible matter but its definitions involve common sensible matter. Math defines objects without common sensible matter but develops its own sort of matter. But metaphysics prescinds from both proper and common sensible matter to define substances that either sometimes exist without matter or never exist in matter. Thus if some substance is immaterial, materiality does not pertain to substance as such, as substance. We are said to know by proof (the Physics unmoved mover) that immaterial substance exists. St Thomas again:
In IV Metaphysics, Lectio 5, (593): For nature itself, i.e. natural being, which has its own principle of motion, constitutes in itself one class of universal being. But not every being is of this kind, because it has been proved in the Physics Book VIII [256a3ff] that an unchangeable being exists. Now this unchangeable being is nobler than changeable being, with which the philosophy of nature is concerned. And since the consideration of common being belongs to that science which studies the primary kind of being, then the consideration of common being belongs to a different science than the philosophy of nature.209

Thus there are immaterial and material substances. So an all-encompassing, all inclusive science of substance, and what is said of it per se, cannot have as its subject just material substance or just immaterial substance. It will have to have as its subject a notion of being common to both, ens commune. Thus a distinction exists between things sometimes existing in matter and sometimes not (substance, act and potency) and, otherwise, substances never existing in matter (separated substances). (The premise being that if everything sometimes existed in matter, natural science would suffice in defining it, but it doesnt.) Therefore Metaphysics subject is ens commune but its first subject is immaterial substance, the primary kind of being. Next we shall examine a fairly long citation from a McInerny article on this, linking up with various points in our discussion:
"Since philosophy is the study of wisdom and wisdom is the knowledge of all things in their ultimate causes, philosophy is aimed from the beginning at whatever knowledge can be attained of God. However, given the debility of our knowing faculty, the ultimate object of human knowledge can never be the subject of a human science (the pedagogical preoccupation). In the study of natural things we are compelled to appeal to causes which are not themselves natural and we come thereby to see that not everything which is is material. Physics Book VIII [256a3ff]. This serves as a basis for seeking yet another science which will have as its subject, not being of a particular kind, but being as such. Proceeding horizontally, so to speak, this science will seek knowledge of what belongs to per se being

Thomas Aquinas, Expositio Super Librum Boethii De Trinitate, Brill, Leiden, 1955 ; On distinguishing the subject and the object of a science, cf. DEKONNINCK, Charles, Abstraction from Matter, I, II & III, in Laval Thologique et Philosophique, Part I in Vol. 13 (1957), pp. 133 - 196; Part II in Vol. 16, no 1 (1960) pp. 53 - 69; and Part III in Vol. 16, no 2 (1960) pp. 169 188. On the subject and object of a science, cf. V. 13 (1957) pp. 145 6. In short, the object of a science is a proposition, the conclusion of a demonstrative syllogism, which is a definition in perfect science. The subject of a science is what the science is about, man or man or nature, known at the outset and better known at the end. 209 Thomas Aquinas, op. cit., In IV Meta, Lectio 593, pp. 217-18.


after the fashion of properties of its subject. (cf. infra. In Metaphysics, V, 4) In what may be described as a vertical procedure, it will seek the cause of its subject, the efficient and, pre-eminently, the final cause of whatever is, of being as being.210 (parentheses and italics mine)

(In other words, one seeks the commensurately universal properties of ens qua ens since one asks what belongs to substance as substance, and as a universal effect, what its universal cause is. This effect to cause procedure saves the propter quid nature of the demonstration here.)
The success of that effort puts one in possession of sapiential knowledge par excellence. Thus, in order to be a theology, metaphysics must have as its subject being as being. Once more, in the Proemium to his commentary on the Metaphysics, it is St. Thomas who summarizes in magisterial fashion the doctrine concerning the unity of metaphysics and that summary makes it abundantly clear that, for one who understands Aristotle, Jaeger's "contradiction" (that Aristotle vacillated between metaphysics as ontology and metaphysics as theology) could never be seriously entertained"211 (McInerny then cites St. Thomass proemium.)212 (parenthesis mine)

Seeing the horizontal and vertical nature of metaphysics in the Thomistic configuration as described, there is one more element that is problematical vis--vis our glance at Suarez and Heideggers formulation seeing God as a being among others, albeit the cause of others (recalling Caputos remarks). That element involves the difficulty in the Aristotelian approach, with its verticality. How can it hope to have the unmoved mover or God as its object in a way that is scientific, given the structure of demonstration described in Posterior Analytics, Book II, that to demonstrate the characteristics of something and form a definition, there must be something known and something not known; simple substances are not amenable to that demonstrative schema. There must be another solution for simple substances. Sure enough, as Meta, 7, 17213 shows, there is an analogy between the usual procedure and that involving simple substances. Whereas in the former cases, we ask for the formal and or final cause, as in 'why are these bricks and stones a house?', in the case of simple substances we arrive at knowledge of their existence via material substance, in fact our knowing that there is no infinite regress of moved movers Accordingly, metaphysics can be said to have the prime mover as its subject, but via a negative judgment or separatio. Let us look at this abstactio vs. separatio issue in Thomistic metaphysics a bit more:
McInerny Ralph (1968), "Ontology and Theology in Aristotles Metaphysics", (233-240), Mlanges offertes la mmoire de Charles De Konninck, Presses de lUniversit Laval, 1968, p. 240. 211 Ibid. 212 Ibid. (McInerny cites St. Thomass proemium: "Ex quo apparet, quod quamvis ista scientia praedicta tria consideret, non tamen considerat quodlibet eorum ut subiectum, sed ipsum solum ens commune. Hoc enim est subiectum in scientia, cuius causas et passiones quaerimus, non autem ipsae causae alicuius generis quaesiti. Nam cognitio causarum alicuius generis, est finis ad quem consideratio scientiae pertingit. Quamvis autem subiectum huius scientiae sit ens commune, dicitur tamen tota de his quae sunt separata a materia secundum esse et rationem. Quia secundum esse et rationem separari dicuntur, non solum illa quae nunquam in materia esse possunt, sicut Deus et intellectuales substantiae, sed etiam illa quae possunt sine materia esse, sicut ens commune. Hoc tamen non contingeret, si a materia secundum esse dependerent." 213 In Meta, 7, 17.


First, how does Thomas view metaphysics? He takes the central question from Aristotle: are natural science and math the most universal considerations of substance? If being and being material are the same, the science of ens qua ens will be coextensive with the science of material being: Physics will be first philosophy. But Aristotle's demonstration of the unmoved mover causes that to be rejected. For it is at the end of natural philosophy that we come to know that not every substance that exists is material. In Book VIII of the Physics, Aristotle shows via the nature of moved movers that there must be a first, an unmoved mover. The result of the demonstration is that there is a first mover of every moved mover, which is itself immaterial. We might refer too to the immortality of the soul due to the immateriality of the intellect as described in De Anima, Bk III, 5. So if the human soul is the substantial form of the body and is immortal then, again, the immaterial exists. Thus the unmoved mover and the human soul's immaterial faculty imply that being and being material are not the same. While these are studied in the philosophy of nature, they stand as objects to be studied in a science of their own. The more central 'issue' of the two here involves the unmoved mover. Accordingly, we need a discipline whose subject matter is substance as such. How are we to get there? In his commentary on Boethius's De Trinitate, Thomas explains how the three kinds of theoretical sciences are to be distinguished. The three kinds of theoretical science are physics, mathematics and metaphysics. As to the method of these three theoretical sciences, Thomas insists on the role of the demonstrative syllogism procedure described in the Posterior Analytics. Theoretical science actually amounts to the conclusion of a demonstrative syllogism. In all cases, a conclusion follows necessarily from the premises in a well-formed syllogism. Yet that conclusion might just state a contingency. What is needed in a demonstrative syllogism is not just the necessity of the consequence but a necessary consequent, and so both premises must state necessary truths. The necessary cannot be otherwise; it is not subject to change. And so for these three sciences we have to do with immobile things, albeit the natures of mobile things. Another requirement of this object of speculative knowledge has to do with the nature of intellect. If thinking is not material then it is immaterial. Since knowing is the mind's, science is a type of knowing, and will share mind's nature. This gives us two characteristics of the object of speculation, the speculabile: it must be removed both from matter and motion. Given this, to the extent that there are formally different manners in which speculabilia are abstracted from matter and motion, there will be formally different speculative sciences. (By the way, this aids us in seeing why the Aristotelian procedure is ill-described by Werner Jaeger, who wished to display the failure of the Aristotelian project in that it had supposedly begun with a preoccupation with Platonic style immaterial substances and had ended up, in Aristotle's old age, with a focus on natural substance, even if he had failed to cut all bridges with his earlier fascinations. Thomas cites Aristotle's astonishingly brief layout of 2 of the 3 kinds of abstraction:


"Now we must not fail to notice the nature of the essence and of its formula, for, without this, inquiry is but idle. Of things defined, i.e. of essences, some are like snub, and some like concave. And these differ because snub is bound up with matter (for what is snub is a concave nose), while concavity is independent of perceptible matter."214

Applying this: natural philosophy's objects are defined as snub and the objects of mathematics as concave. Thus we see that the way natural things are abstracted from sensible matter is how the definition common to many things abstracts from the singularities of each. Now proper sensible matter qua singular is the principle of change in things, but it is the common definition that has the necessity science requires. Men may come and go but not what-it-is-to-be-a-man. Mathematical things, analogously with concave, are not defined with sensible matter. Lines and triangles do not have sensible qualities whether taken universally or singularly. That we define mathematicals without sensible matter does not mean that mathematicals exist apart from sensible matter. In that Boethius commentary, Thomas pointed to another basic in Aristotle's doctrine. Objects of thought are either simple or complex; complex means one thing is affirmed or denied of another. Knowledge of simples is stated in a definition, knowledge of the complex in a proposition. Reflecting on human nature without thinking of singular characters of this or that man is a matter of definition, not of assertion; one is not denying that human nature is found in singular matter. Similarly, defining mathematicals without sensible matter does not mean that mathematicals exist outside sensible matter. Both are cases of abstraction, where abstraction means thinking apart what does not exist apart. But the question of metaphysics pivots on the notion of separatio. To separate differs from abstraction insofar as separation is stated in a negative judgment, a proposition: S is not P, that this exists apart from that. The relevant separation for metaphysics is the negative judgment that to be and to be material are not the same.215 That is, there are things which exist apart from matter and motion not just are defined without, but exist without matter and motion.216 So what is the subject genus of metaphysics? "Subject" here means subject of the conclusion of a demonstrative syllogism. Discussing definition involves the middle terms of demonstrative syllogisms and the suggestion is that formally different modes of defining, with respect to abstraction from matter and motion, establish the formal difference between kinds of theoretical science. The subject of a demonstration in natural philosophy is defined without a singular but with common or universal sensible matter; the subject of a mathematical demonstration is defined without any sensible matter. So how can the subject of metaphysics be expressed? The possibility of the science depends on our knowing that some things exist apart from matter and motion. While mathematics does not presuppose the separate existence of its objects, metaphysics does. So why can't metaphysics deal just with what is separated from
Meta, D 1025a 28-32. Cf. McInerny "The Science we are Seeking"*, in Review of Metaphyics, Vol 47, pp. 3 18, 1993, p. 12 provides a working distinction between abstraction and separation: "To consider apart what does not exist apart is what abstraction in its narrower sense means, whereas to consider apart what exists apart is separation in the narrow sense of the term." 216 McInerny & Callaghan, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy online. We have relied heavily on these 2 authors in these few pages.
215 214


matter and motion, i.e., with a particular kind of being? But that is not the the subject Aristotle seeks. The methodological reasons can be found in chapter 17 of Book Zeta of the Metaphysics: the subject of a science must always be a complex entity. The subject cannot be just simple substances, for in such cases you either know them or you don't. As said above (cf. 194, supra), whereas knowledge of material substances involves seeking their cause, immaterial ones are known to exist inasmuch as they are causes, by necessity, of material ones. That is why the subject of the discipline is being as being, i.e. both material and immaterial. In wanting to know more about separate substances, why should we take as our subject all the things that are, ens qua ens? The quickest answer: in order to be a theology, metaphysics must first be an ontology. Separate substance, divine being, is not directly accessible for study, again cf. Meta, 7, 17. We come to knowledge of God in the proof of the Prime Mover. Interestingly, although seen as a sine qua non for there being any moved movers, the Prime Mover does not become a thematic object of inquiry in natural philosophy, but points beyond it. One reason is that such a being is not one of the types of substances which fall under the range of the science. Knowledge of it comes about indirectly. The same restriction is at work when the philosopher finally turns attention to the deity. How can he know more about the first cause of things? Since the Prime Mover is known through moved movers as his effects, any further knowledge of him must be through those effects. It is by describing as much about the effects as possible that one seeks to come to a knowledge of the first cause unrestricted by material substances' characteristics. That characterization is being as being. "The subject genus of metaphysics is being in all its amplitude in order to acquire a knowledge of the cause of being that will be correspondingly unbounded."217 It is only its subject matter, ens qua ens that permits this. Propter quid demonstration (from cause to effect) is valid in that one seeks the commensurately universal properties of ens qua ens since one asks what belongs to substance as substance, not as immaterial or material, but as such We attain knowledge of God or the unmoved mover exclusively via his commensurately universal effect, ens qua ens. Metaphysics is also theology, without conflict, just because its subject is ens commune.218 Returning to the question we posed a little earlier, what is it that Heidegger and Suarez share that is not shared in the, shall we say, Aristotelian-Thomistic configuration? (While we can no more delve into the vast structure of Suarezs metaphysics than we can study phenomenology in depth, a few things do emerge.) Heidegger prefers Suarez. Why? In Thomas, following Aristotle, we see an emphasis on the pedagogical element, the order of learning, moving from the most evident to the least, from sense to intellect, from material to immaterial, from effect to cause. This has an incidence on the subject order in metaphysics. Although in GA 29/30, Heidegger attributes to Suarez a similar movement from material to immaterial in the latter's view of Aristotles Physics (as being, mind you, a Suarezian innovation!). For Suarez beings are not Being, the general metaphysics precedes special metaphysics configuration
217 218

Ibid. Ibid, p. 238.


has priority. No doubt this appeals to Heidegger because it resembles his phenomenological insight that without Dasein there would be no Being, just beings. Or it may be, as Caputo hints, that Heidegger got the very idea from Suarez. Before returning to our examination of the GP text, we would like to take a look at something surprising Heidegger has to say about Suarezs views on the subject of metaphysics. As mentioned, this is in GA 29/30, the 1929 Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics. Heidegger has just explained that Suarez pointed out that the term metaphysics was not Aristotles but that he would find it suitable. (One point everybody seems to agree on.) Heidegger then goes on to show what he calls an original aspect in Suarez, i.e., areas that Aquinas did not touch on:
He explains the expression metaphysics in a sense that deviates from the explanation given by Aquinas, and brings in another point of view which is significant in the history of metaphysics: de his rebus quae scientias seu res naturales consequuntur.219 Metaphysics deals with that which follows after natural things, (..220). The Metaphysics is not concerned, then, with such books as come after those about physics, rather coming after is now taken in the sense of content: knowledge of the supersensuous is later than that of the sensuous. Suarez stresses the meta in the sense of post and understands this post in the sense of the stages of knowledge proceeding from the sensuous to the supersensuousthat which comes afterwards, that which exceeds the sensuous.''221

What can we say here? Clearly Heidegger sees as a Suarezian innovation something that is hammered home time and again by Aquinas in commenting on Aristotle. We merely cite what Aquinas mentioned earlier: In IV Metaphysics, Lectio 5, (593):
For nature itself, i.e. natural being, which has its own principle of motion, constitutes in itself one class of universal being. But not every being is of this kind, because it has been proved in the Physics Book VIII [256a3ff] that an unchangeable being exists.222

As McInerny summarizes: In the study of natural things we are compelled to appeal to causes which are not themselves natural and we come thereby to see that not everything which is is material. Physics Book VIII [256a3ff].223 But all that is hardly surprising when one reads what Heidegger has to say, in connection with Metaphysics, on the middle ages. One is reminded of Will Durant224:
SUAREZ, F., (Disp. Met. Prooemium. Opera Omnia. Ed. C. Berton (Paris, 1856ff.). Vol. XXV, p. 2.) et ideo metaphysica dicta est, quasi post physicam, seu ultra physicam constituta; post (inquam) non dignitate, aut naturae ordine, sed acquistionis, generationis, seu inventionis; vel, si ex parte objecti intelligamus , res, de quibus haec scientia tractat, dicuntur esse post physica seu naturalia entia eorum ordinem superant, et in altiori rerum gradu constitutae sunt." 221 GA 29/30, the 1929 Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics, pg. 53; additionally, Heidegger insists on the deficiency of the structure of Aquinas's Aristotle commentary on the Metaphysics: pg. 52: "Independent discussion of the whole area of the problem goes back to Suarez, whereas in Aquinas there was only an application of metaphysical thoughts, as well as the commentary on Aristotelian Metaphysics. By contrast, Suarez first undertook an independent development of the metaphysical problem which was of particular interest especially for the beginning of modern philosophy, for Descartes," etc. This is typical of Heidegger's attitude. Because a school of thought influenced a subsequent school it must needs have been superior to what came before it... 222 Cf. n. 187. 223 Cf. McInerny, op. cit., p. 240.
220 Ibid. 219


''because philosophizing proper as a completely free questioning on the part of man is not possible during the Middle Ages, since completely different orientations are essential during that period; because fundamentally there is no philosophy in the Middle Ages."225

Return to running analysis of GP, Heidegger's "a) Preview" and "b) Preliminary Outline" and the Predominant Role Suarez's Disputationes Metaphysicae plays in it Describing some of the formulations of this distinction between ens infinitum and ens finitum, Heidegger makes an interesting remark on 'God's aseity':
"In disputation 28, Suarez reviews a series of formulations of this distinction, all of which already surfaced in earlier philosophy and were even explicitly fixed in [82] ens a se and ens ab alio terminology. Instead of being divided into infinite and finite, beings can also be divided into: the being that is from itself and the being that is from another. Suarez traces this distinction back to Augustine; basically it is Neoplatonic. Consequently, reference is also made to God's aseity."226

We see that Heidegger feels that if a finite substance is caused by another then logically, so it would seem, an infinite substance would be self-caused. But, in an Aristotelian context, for any substance, finite or infinite, to be the cause of itself would be for that substance to be in act and potency vis--vis itself at the same time which, at least in Aristotelian terms, is impossible. Aquinas, for whom God is held to be uncaused, affirms this. In the Ente et Essentia he states: "Now being itself cannot be caused by the form or quiddity of a thing (by caused I mean by an efficient cause) because that thing would be its own cause, and it would bring itself into being which is impossible."227 Although Heidegger has pointed out that Suarez decided "in favor of the first classification of the universe of beings into ens infinitum and ens finitum as the most fundamental"228 he himself opts for another formulation as most philosophically penetrating:

224 Durant, Will, The Story of Civilization. The Age of Faith, Simon and Schuster, 1983. For Durant, one cannot speak of medieval philosophy for it is an affair of theologians. Accordingly, he jumps from Plato to Bacon! 225 GA 29/30, the 1929 Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics, pg. 45. 226 Heidegger, op. cit., pg. 81-2 ; GP, p. 114. 227 Aquinas, English translation: MAURER, Armand, On Being and Essence, P.I.M.S., Toronto, 1968, p. 56; De ente et essentia. Opuscula Philosophica, Marietti, Roma, 1954, p. 13. Cap 4, 7. "Nam non autem potest esse quod ipsum esse sit causatum ab ipsa forma vel quidditate rei, dico sicut causa efficiente, quia sic aliqua res esset sui ipsius causa et aliqua res se ipsam in esse produceret: quod est impossibile." Cf. also Aquinas, Summa contra Gentiles I, c. 22, 6. (Although it is a common occurance to find this equating of self-caused with uncaused even in literature on Aquinas.) 228 Heidegger, op. cit., pg. 82 ; GP, p. 115.


"We shall see that for a more penetrating philosophical understanding of this distinction, quite apart from any theological orientation and therefore also from the question whether or not God actually exists, the division into ens increatum and creatum is decisive."229

Two things are noticeable here: Heidegger seems to relegate the question of whether God actually exists to the theological domain, as if he were banishing natural theology in one fell swoop; his relegation is peremptory though since many medieval authors are quite careful to distinguish natural theology from sacra doctrina. Heidegger evinces an attitude that would lead us to think he feels the question of whether God actually exists is not important. One wonders what burning issue would be left in the creation question if the God question were eliminated. For if it is less important then let us assume that God does not exist. Then what sense would the created/uncreated issue have?230 But Heidegger's sentiment that the God question is not that central may have something to do with his placing God among the objects of metaphysics, the Seiende. Here below Heidegger summarizes the medieval thought procedure he is analyzing. Just below we shall ask ourselves what he means by a 'path one cannot progress on'? In short, in essence, might one say, he's pointing out that this ever present distinction emerges as some variation of a distinction between finite beings whose essence is not their existence since only in the divine are the two identified.
"Starting from this distinction, which is tacitly present everywhere, even where it is not mentioned, we shall understand the Scholastic problem and at the same time the difficulties as well as the impossibility of making progress on this path. The ens infinitum is necessarium; it cannot not be; it is per essentiam, actuality belongs to its essence; it is actus purus, pure actuality without any possibility. Its essentia is its existentia. Existence and essence coincide in this being. God's essence is his existence. Because essentia and existentia coincide in this being, the problem of the difference between the two obviously cannot emerge here, whereas it must necessarily obtrude itself in reference to the ens finitum. For the ens per participationem only receives its actuality. Actuality occurs only to the possible, to that which can be something, that which is according to its what, to its essence."231 (Italics mine).

In referring to a 'path one cannot progress on' Heidegger may be referring to the medieval formulation's failure to account for the fact that Dasein's essence is not a what but a who in his estimation. In short the medieval characterization is held up as treating human existence like factical existence. But more generally speaking, Heidegger is sometimes startlingly uneven in his assessments of medieval thought. Here he is critical but in this work's, BP's, introduction, pg 20, he praised medieval thinkers' grasp of philosophy.232
Ibid. Certainly for some Greek authors, like Plato, matter is eternal but not divine. However, obviously here I th am referring to the 13 century Franciscan vs. Thomistic debate on the demonstrablility of the creation of the universe, one heavy in ramifications. While for Franciscan and Thomistic debaters, the question of God's existence was assumed, for Thomists, the demonstrablility of creation, was not. Heidegger calls into question the importance of the former question: i.e., of God's existence. 231 Ibid., pg. 82 ; GP, pp. 115-6. 232 BP, Introduction, pg. 20: "It has been said that my work is Catholic phenomenology-presumably because it is my conviction that thinkers like Thomas Aquinas and Duns Scotus also understood something of philosophy, perhaps more than the moderns. But the concept of a Catholic phenomenology is even more absurd than the concept of a Protestant mathematics."; BP, p. 28.As to the cogency ' Christian philosophy', we agree. Compare this with his remarks in my note 200 above.
230 229


In the next section of this chapter we shall deal with Heideggers "b) Preliminary outline of esse (ens), essentia, and existentia in the horizon of the ancient and Scholastic understanding of them"233. A clear pattern will emerge in terms of Heideggers way of explaining the problem. Heidegger repeatedly 'offers Thomas but provides Suarez'. (In the upcoming paragraph Heidegger tells us that he will take his orientation from Thomas. In the very next paragraph he introduces a pair of basic concepts that are Suarezian and fundamental.)
"The point now is to outline the concepts that are continually used in discussing the thesisessentia and existentia but only as far as the understanding of antiquity or of Scholasticism reaches. For our explication of the concepts of essentia and existentia we shall not choose the purely historical path but instead take our orientation on this matter from Thomas, who himself takes up the tradition and passes it on after giving it further determination. Thomas deals with essentia in a small but important youthful work which is entitled De ente et essentia or De entis quidditate."234 (accentuation mine).

There is a certain element of irony in Heidegger's claiming to eschew the purely historical path to follow Thomas. Presumably he means that theres something advantageous in following Thomas. Whatever the case may be, he immediately begins using Suarez both as a reference and as a criterion. In fact in what follows, Heidegger seems to be preparing his audience for the centrality of the Suarezian doctrines he will introduce. His train of thinking here runs something like this: if De ente et essentia of course deals with essentia and existentia, it also deals with esse and ens (he notes their universality); esse and ens are his immediate target:
"Before we discuss the concept of essentia, let us introduce a brief orientation about the concepts esse and ens. They form the presupposition for all subsequent philosophy."235

Of the two, Heidegger will first concentrate on ens. These somewhat selective choices are in reality paving the way to his introduction of a fundamental Suarezian distinction. Heidegger is steering the discussion to a Suarezian turn. (Note that he often says "as Scholasticism says".) In summary, and also ironically, Heidegger is taking his 'orientation on this matter from' Suarez and not Thomas!236 Heidegger continues:
"The concept of ens, as Scholasticism says, (this mirrors Suarez's feeling that most of his predecessors accepted this distinction) conceptus entis, must be taken in a twofold way, as conceptus formalis entis and as conceptus objectivus entis. In regard to the conceptus formalis, the following is to be noted. Forma, morphe, is that which makes something into something actual. Forma, formalis, formale do not mean formal in the sense of formalistic, empty, having no real content; rather, conceptus formalis is the actual concept, conception in the sense of the actus concipiendi or conceptio." (parenthesis mine)237

233 234

Heidegger, op. cit., pg. 83 ; GP, p. 116. Ibid. GP, p. 116-7. 235 BP, pg. 83 ; GP, p. 117. 236 There is even further irony in that Suarez is not a medieval but a renaissance figure. 237 BP, pg. 83 ; GP, p. 117.


How does Suarez himself describe this conceptus formalis entis? We refer to Jean-Paul Coujou's 1998 translation of Disputationes Metaphysicae, I, II & III:
Disputation II, Section I: "Definition de concept formel et objectif, et de leur diffrence. "En premier lieu, nous prenons titre de supposition, la distinction commune entre le concept formel et le concept objectif. On appel concept formel l'acte lui-mme, ou, ce qui est identique, le mot par lequel l'intellect conoit une chose, ou une raison commune. On lui donne le nom de concept, car, il est peu prs quivalent une conception de notre esprit ; et on l'appelle formel, soit parce qu'il constitue la forme ultime de l'esprit, soit parce qu'il reprsente formellement l'intellect la chose connue, soit, parce qu'en ralit, il est l'achvement formel et intrinsque de la conception de l'esprit; c'est en cela que rside, pour le formuler ainsi, sa diffrence par rapport au concept objectif."238

(We note in passing that in describing both concepts, formal and objective, Heidegger makes reference to Hegels taking concept in the sense of formal concept. However, as we have indicated, Heidegger mistakenly attributes this Suarezian expression to Aquinas, whereas it does not exist in Aquinas's writings; thus, in our view, introducing yet another, modern, philosopher, and his concepts, complicates the task here even further.) Continuing on, how is Heidegger, in turn, going to describe the conceptus objectivus entis?
"But what does conceptus objectivus entis mean? The conceptus objectivus entis must be distinguished from the conceptus formalis entis, the understanding of being, the conceiving of being. The objectivum is that which, [84] in apprehending and in grasping, is thrown over against, lies over against as the graspable, more exactly, as the grasped objectum, that which is conceived as such in the conceiving, the conceptual contents or, as is also said, the meaning. The expression conceptus objectivus is often equated in Scholasticism with the term ratio, ratio entis, corresponding again with the Greek. Conceptus, concipere, belongs to the logos ousias, the concept of being, the ratio or intentio intellecta. Intentio would have to be taken here more exactly as intentum intellectum, that which is intended in the conceiving intention."239

In Coujous translation, how does Suarez himself describe this conceptus objectivus entis?
Disputation II, Section I: "Definition de concept formel et objectif, et de leur diffrence. "Nous appelons concept objectif la chose ou la raison, qui, proprement ou immdiatement, est connue ou reprsente au moyen du concept formel ; par exemple, lorsque nous concevons un homme, l'acte que nous faisons pour le concevoir dans notre esprit s'appelle le concept formel, par contre, l'homme connu et reprsent par cet acte, dsigne le concept objectif. En fait, la dnomination du concept lui correspond extrinsquement par rfrence au concept formel, au moyen duquel nous affirmons que l'on conoit son objet; pour cette raison, on l'appelle, avec raison, objectif ; car on ne traite pas d'un concept, qui est, en tant que forme, l'achvement intrinsque de la conception, mais d'un concept en tant que et matire auquel s'applique la conception formelle, et vers laquelle tend directement toute

Francesco, Disputes Mtaphysiques, I,II & III. Texte intgral prsent, traduit et annot par Jean-Paul COUJOU, Vrin, Paris, 1998, p. 199 ; Disputationes Metaphysicae, Disputatio, II, Section I: " 1. Conceptus formalis et obiectivus quid sint, et in quo differant. Supponenda imprimis est vulgaris distinctio conceptus formalis et obiectivi; conceptus formalis dicitur actus ipse, seu (quod idem est) verbum quo intellectus rem aliquam seu communem rationem concipit; qui dicitur conceptus, quia est veluti proles mentis; formalis autem appellatur, vel quia est ultima forma mentis, vel quia formaliter repraesentat menti rem cognitam, vel quia revera est intrinsecus et formalis terminus conceptionis mentalis, in quo differt a conceptu obiectivo, ut ita dicam." (bold mine) 239 Heidegger, op. cit., pp. 83-84 ; GP, p. 118.



l'acuit de notre esprit ; voici la raison pour laquelle certains, le tirant d'Averros, l'ont appel intention intellectuelle, et d'autres, raison objective."240

Having in turn seen Heidegger's and Suarezs own description of both the formal and objective concepts of being, can they be described in a simple way? If the conceptus formalis entis involves all that surrounds knowing a being, the conceptus objectivus entis would seem to be the result of that process, i.e. what we know. How does Coujou further define them?
Le concept formel (conceptus formalis entis) dsigne le mot au moyen duquel lintellect construit sa reprsentation dun tant ou dune raison gnrale (DM II, 1, 1).en tant quaboutissement formel et intrinsque de llaboration intellectuelle. Le concept objectif (conceptus objectivus entis) correspond ltant ou la raison qui est immdiatement connue ou reprsente par la mdiation du concept formel (DM II, 1, 1); La denomination dobjectif est lgitime par le fait que ce concept na pas pour objet premier la formalit dune reprsentation, mais quil sidentifie la matire de lobjet sans laquelle toute reprsentation est prcisment sans objet. 241

The next element of interest is Heidegger's description of quidditas, thingness, or Sachheit. We shall cite a few lines because, as usual, Heidegger meanders through the possible variants in terminology, exposing their respective involvements and implications:
We must formulate more exactly this concept of reality or, as Scholasticism says for the most part, essentia. Thingness is sometimes designated as quidditas, a formation derived from quid: quia est id, per quod respondemus ad quaestionem quid sit res.242

(We shall see later in another context the centrality of quid sit as one of the 4 questions possible, or 4 kinds of questions possible, as described in Posterior Analytics, II, Chaps 1-7.) Heidegger continues:
The quidditas is that to which we return, in the case of a being, when we answer the question raised about this being: What is it, ti estin? Aristotle formulates more exactly this what, which defines the ti estin, as to ti en einai. Scholasticism translates this as quod quid erat esse, that which each thing already was in its thingness, before it became actual.243 (accentuation mine)

op. cit., pp 199-200 ; Disputationes Metaphysicae, Disputatio, II, Section I: " 1. Conceptus formalis et obiectivus quid sint, et in quo differant. "Conceptus obiectivus dicitur res illa, vel ratio, quae proprie et immediate per conceptum formalem cognoscitur seu repraesentatur; ut, verbi gratia, cum hominem concipimus, ille actus, quem in mente efficimus ad concipiendum hominem, vocatur conceptus formalis; homo autem cognitus et repraesentatus illo actu dicitur conceptus obiectivus, conceptus quidem per denominationem extrinsecam a conceptu formali, per quem obiectum eius concipi dicitur, et ideo recte dicitur obiectivus, quia non est conceptus ut forma intrinsece terminans conceptionem, sed ut obiectum et materia circa quam versatur formalis conceptio, et ad quam mentis acies directe tendit, propter quod ab aliquibus, ex Averroe, intentio intellecta appellatur; et ab aliis dicitur ratio obiectiva." (bold mine) 241 COUJOU, Jean-Paul, Le vocabulaire de Suarez, Ellipses, Paris, 2001, pp. 17-18. 242 Heidegger, op. cit., pg. 85 ; GP, pp. 119. 243 Ibid., pg. 85 ; GP, pp. 119-20.

240 Coujou,


Unlike the conceptus formalis entis and the conceptus objectivus entis, the expression quod quid erat esse occurs often in Aquinas: De Ente, C.1, #3, In Sent. II, L. 2, n. 12., De Unitate, C.1, #3, In de An. II, L. 2, n. 236. We shall make strategic mention of De Libera and Michons translation of the phrase, as it appears in De Ente, C.1: et cest aussi ce que le Philosophe appelle frquemment ce que ctait dtre quelque chose, cest dire ce par quoi quelque chose a dtre [un] quelque chose.244 No question of tense is evoked in this French version. Quite simply, as the translation shows, erat refers to that by which a thing is what it is. There is no talk In the De Ente text about what a thing was before it comes to be or to what it is in imagination before coming to be. This is more important than it might seem for in his phenomenological clarification Heidegger claims that there is a reversal of look and form in Greek ontology in Heidegger, having of course to do with production and, hence, Dasein's imagination. Heidegger:
Any thinga window, a tablewas already what it is before it is actual, and it must already have been in order to become actual. It must have been with regard to its thingness, for it could become actualized only so far as it is thinkable as something possible to be actualized.245

In the simplest of terms, what Heidegger says is obvious as applying to artifacts but not natural substances. Heidegger says theres a reversal of look and essence in Greek ontology. But is there... in Aristotle's case?246 (In the following analysis, two pairs of correlatives, look and essence then natural substance and artifact will be in constant mention.) Heidegger on the productive origin of essence Although it is a bit premature in an ordered examination of Heidegger's text, in this connection, lets take a further look at this issue, involving what Heidegger calls something being imagined or what a thing had been as it involves essence in Greek ontology speaking in basic terms here for a moment. Further on in this Chapter or Thesis II, in his phenomenological clarification of the origin of key terms like essence (or its Greek equivalent of course) from Greek ontology, Heidegger's interpretation will be designed to reveal the horizon of Daseins productive comportment as he feels it is involved here. Morph, coming from the domain of spatial figure, indicates a shaping process which provides a thing with its specific eidos. In this GP subsection, entitled

Thomas dAquin, Dietrich de Freiberg, Ltre et lessence, (dition bilingue) traductions et commentaires par Alain De Libera et Cyrille Michon, Seuil, Paris, 1994., p.73 ; latin text: Et hoc est quod philosophus frequenter nominat quod quid erat esse, id est hoc per quod aliquid habet esse quid. Ibid. p. 72. 245 Heidegger, op. cit., p. 85, GP, p 120. 246 We single out Aristotle because he had the broadest influence on medieval discussions of essence and existence.



b) Return to the productive comportment of the Dasein toward beings as implicit horizon of understanding for essentia and existentia Heidegger will claim that there is a reversal in Greek ontology. (Notice that just as Heidegger took a certain liberty, permitting himself to refer, generally, to what Scholasticism says here, in similar fashion, he says: Greek ontology says.) A preliminary remark. While agreeing with Heidegger that the etymology of the term morph is the domain of shaping artifacts or that of production, we wonder whether Heidegger, in talking about Greek ontology, takes into account Aristotles procedure in the Physics and De Generatione et Corruptione, i.e., we refer to Aristotles famous dictum that the order of our knowledge of things is often the opposite of the order of their coming to be', i.e., the order of things in reality. In other words, Aristotle alleges that we take the word morph from art, where explaining change is more evident, and subsequently we apply it to the realm of nature, where explaining change is less evident. A prime example of this is Aristotles explanation of accidental and substantial change. To wit we know by analogy that there is a subject of substantial change in analyzing accidental change. One is reminded of Aristotle's bed example in the Physics. Wood is a natural substance. The artificial form the wood takes on to form a bed is analogously related to the wood as the substantial form of wood is related to the prime matter composing that wood. Aristotle:
"For as the bronze is to the statue, the wood to the bed, or the matter and the formless to any thing which has form, so is the underlying nature to substance, i.e. the 'this' or existent."247

Now the reason for bringing up these Aristotelian examples is merely to show that his 'Greek ontology', in any case, begins with an analysis of the more proximate or more evident (quoad nos) accidental change or artificial production (Herstellen) only to move on, via analogy, to an analysis of natural, substantial change. (Thus there is no reversal of look and form here.) There is an order of perception ... perception of natural substances ... for example, and an order of imagination aimed at production; the two are neither reversed nor collapsed into one by Aristotle, but what is first in re is second in the order of our knowledge. In producing, some preconceived idea, or look must needs precede the coming to be of the accidental form, morph, but not in the order of perception where the look is garnered from the form and not the other way around.


Aristotle's Physics, Book I, Chap 7, b191a 9 12; cf also McInerny, Ralph, St Thomas Aquinas, University of Notre Dame Press, Indiana, 1982. pp. 41-42: No more than Aristotle would Thomas presume to prove that there is such a thing as substantial change, that is a change whose term is a substance....The matter or subject involved in accidental change is itself a substance. If the matter of substantial change were in turn a substance then any form acquired by the change would relate to that substance as an accidental form, and then the change would be an accidental and not a substantial one. If substantial change is change, it requires a subject. And if it is substantial change its subject cannot be itself a substance. It was to get at this feature of substantial change that the term "prime matter" was devised. The form that prime matter takes on, since it is constitutive of a substance and not merely the state of a substance, is called substantial form. Thus, by analogy with the principles of accidental change, we can speak of the principles of substantial change. It is on this basis that Thomas will say that physical or natural substances ... are composed of form and matter." (underlining mine)


A procedural note: given the compIexity of Heideggers text, and in order to gain a coherent grasp of it, we cite the text of these one or two paragraphs seriatim, only interrupting it with our attempts at explanation .... Heidegger's BP:
"Among the concepts that are characteristic for essentia, we mentioned morphe, eidos (forma), to ti en einai (that which a being already was, the essence) or the genos, and, in addition, phusis (nature), horos, horismos (definitio), and ousia (essentia). We begin by considering the morphe concept. What determines the thingness, Sachheit, in a being is its figure {Gestalt}. Something takes this or that shape, it becomes such and such. The expression is drawn from the sphere of sensory intuition. Here we first think of spatial figure. But the term should be freed from this restriction.What is intended is not just spatial figure but the whole characteristic form impressed on a being from which we read off what it is.248 (Accentuation and arrangement of Heidegger's text mine.)

(Is Heidegger referring to form in the Aristotelian sense or perhaps in the Platonic? He may be equating them and that may be a source of the problem.)
We gather from the shape and impressed form of a thing what the case may be with it. Forming and shaping lend its own peculiar look to what is to be produced and has been produced. Look is the ontological sense of the Greek expression eidos or idea. In the look of a thing we are able to see what it is, its thingness, (Sachheit) the peculiar character impressed on it.249

This repetition of 'impressed', being stamped or 'Geprgtheit' stresses the idea of the thing as having a stamp, and thus of course being an artifact. Heidegger continues:
If we take a being as encountered in perception, then we have to say that the look of something is based on its characteristic form. It is the figure (read form) that gives the thing its look.250

This is the usual order; this is the conventional view of the order of perception at its simplest: form gives look in perception. And, of course, the order of production at its simplest is: look gives form, i.e., the form of something that you make. This reversal just seems based on the truism that we imitate things already made and ultimately we imitate nature, in fact, when we design things; so, we can fairly say that for Heidegger, the passive aspect of perception has dropped out. Heidegger's remark reflects it:
With regard to the Greek concepts, the eidos, the look, is founded, grounded, in the morphe, the form.251

Whence come these Greek concepts? Are they subject to what Heidegger will say next about ontological ones? Perhaps they are the same ones; indeed they embody the conventional order of perception. But a reversal is coming. How does Norea put this?:
The Greek morph, an expression taken from the sphere of a spatial figure in sensible intuition, leads us to a forming and shaping process which has lent its particular eidos to a being.252 (underlining mine)
248 249

BP, pg. 106. Ibid. 250 Ibid. 251 Ibid. 252 Norea Carlos G., op. cit. pg. 412.


Norea expresses what we might term an Aristotelian version of the real order of things. But Heidegger sees a reversal:
For Greek ontology, however, the founding connection between eidos and morphe, look (Aussehen) and form (Geprge), is exactly the reverse.253

We note in passing that Heidegger has substituted stamp for form. Let us look at what has happened here. Originating in the sphere of spatial figure in sensible intuition, shape expresses the a quo of the term morphe. Now it comes from a shaping process. But to what shaping process is it leading us? A subtle shift on Heidegger's part has moved us, and as it were would compell us in this direction, from the domain of artifact to nature and natural change and finally to natural substance. This shift can be achieved because Heidegger ignores, or glosses over the distinction between the term morph's a quo nomen imponitur ad significandum and the ad quod nomen imponitur ad significandum. (We are saying that in this case that the distinction between the a quo nomen imponitur ad significandum of form and its ad quod nomen imponitur ad significandum recapitulates the Aristotelian procedure of taking 'a quo' morph as observed in production, the more familiar to us, and applying it to nature, 'ad quod' that which is less familiar to us, but first in the order of existence.) In other words, Heidegger is accusing the Greeks of oversimplifying here, i.e., of applying the production model to nature (ontology) but the Greeks are innocent as charged, or at least Aristotle is, for he distinguishes the a quo and ad quod of morph, as it is taken from descriptions of artificial, substantial change and imposed, by analogy, on natural substantial change and coming-to-be. Additionally, were Heidegger correct here, there would need have been a radical discontinuity between Greek etymology and ontology. Indeed his remarks imply that.
The look is not grounded in the form but the form, the morphe, is grounded in the look.254

While, of course, Daseins productive behavior does have something to do with the origin, the a quo, of these two terms (our chosen terms), (hul meaning wood (as for example for construction) and morph shape) thus recapitulating the progression of our knowledge from the more manifest to the less, Heidegger seems to goes a step further, suggesting a reversal:
This founding relationship can be explained only by the fact that the two determinations for thingness, the look and the form of a thing, are not understood in antiquity primarily in the order of the perception of something. In the order of apprehension (i.e. perception) I penetrate through the look of a thing to its form. The latter is essentially the first in the order of perception.255 (Underlining mine)

Cit. Pg. 106; GP, p. 149: "Fur die griechische Ontologie aber ist der Fundierungszusammenhang zwischen eidos und morphe, Aussehen und Geprage, gerade umgekehrt: nicht das Aussehen grundet im Geprage, sondern das Geprage, die morphe grundet im Aussehen" author's italics. 254 Op cit, p.106. 255 Ibid.

253 Op.


This is the usual, standard version, i.e., the form precedes the look; the look depends on the form. Heidegger muses:
But if the relationship between the look and the form is reversed in ancient thought,256

Now we would do well to ask ourselves why ancient thought or ontology would reverse the order of precedence, of causality in knowing, of look depending on form? (If there's no a priori knowledge in Aristotle's ontology, all knowledge originates in sensation. And so in knowing, the order of form giving look would seem to be paramount.) How can it be that Verfallenheit, embodied here by the order of production, as Daseins usual order of things, is invoked here while at the same time the perceptional order is one operating in the opposite, form causes look configuration order?In fact, there seems to be a sort of dialectic at play here. Heidegger says that ancient ontologys being modeled on production is a good thing on the one hand but not on the other; productions a nave kind of setting apart, a letting-stand-on its own of things. (For Heidegger, Kant's seeing Being as perception is key as signaling progress in relation to the earlier, medieval formulation, and in fact a 'further' objectifying.) However and here we are merely trying to express Heideggers thought on this: ancient, naive objectifying does not go far enough for in seeing Seiende in terms of herstellen, there is a failure to see that (in keeping with Heidegger's own ontological difference) there are two modes of being on the Being side, Washeit and Werheit. What something is may be alright for use objects and natural substances but 'who we are' is the measure of Daseins Existenz.257 But here again we might respond, at the risk of repeating ourselves, Daseins being a Who does not prevent its being a What too.258 So in seeing Daseins productive mode of behavior as the clue to explaining perception, knowledge and then essence, a point should be made. The clue here is not so much seeing this as Daseins Verfallenheit, i.e. treating everything as one would non-Dasein, but rather stressing that production is a setting apart, a releasing, a setting-free for others use. (Otherwise confusion may result from seeking a compatibility or fil conducteur between fallen behavior and Heideggers insistence on a reversal, i.e. look giving form, in Greek ontology. Heidegger continues:
the guiding clue for their interpretation (i.e. ancient and medieval ontology) cannot be the order of perception and perception itself. We must rather interpret them with a view to production .259

256 258


, Op cit. Pg. 414. Norea says something similar in this connection: " Dasein cannot be interrogated by the question What is this? To Christian philosophers the fact that human beings are conscious of natural objects and not vice versa, and the fact that humans have the unique ability to freely choose and to a certain extent define themselves-two themes abundantly explored by St. Augustine-does not exclude Dasein from the metaphysical level of abstraction in which both human beings and other beings are equally comprehended and questioned under the general concept of being as such in its double aspect of essence and existence." op cit. pg. 423. Norea speaks there of Christian philosophers and Christian philosophy. While agreeing with his main point we do not see the need to refer to Christian philosophy. 259 BP, pg. 106; GP, p.150.

257 Norea


We have come to expect the conclusion Heidegger has drawn here. But what exactly is the final form of the reversal Heidegger describes here? Heidegger continues to insist on Greek ontologys reliance on look giving form, providing examples:
What is formed is, as we can also say, a shaped product. The potter forms a vase out of clay. All forming of shaped products is effected by using an image, in the sense of a model, as guide and standard. The thing is produced by looking to the anticipated look of what is to be produced by shaping, forming.260

But the last part is key. Heidegger seems to feel that in contradistinction to an Aristotelian art imitating nature, nature as the subject of Greek ontology, imitates art:
It is this anticipated look of the thing, sighted beforehand, that the Greeks mean ontologically by eidos, idea. The shaped product, which is shaped in conformity with the model, is as such the exact likeness of the model.261 [107]...

What is Heidegger suggesting? Thus, the shaped product conforms with the model anticipated and provides an element of reliability, of permanence. This Heidegger takes to be behind eidos for the Greeks. But this contradicts what he said earlier on:
With regard to the Greek concepts, the eidos, the look, is founded, grounded, in the morphe, the form.262

Quite simply, why would Greek concepts go one way and Greek ontology another? In what remains of Heideggers Preliminary outline of esse (ens), essentia, and existentia in the horizon of the ancient and Scholastic understanding of them", and before looking at his analysis of the three medieval figures in the next chapter, lets take a look at some of the salient points he brings up that we have not concentrated on yet: 1. Heidegger notes that the scholastics left the concept of existence in relative neglect as seen in comparison with their eagerness in disputing essence, saying, as Norea puts it, that existence was just taken for granted.263 Heidegger says something quite revealing in this connection:
Now we must provisionally demarcate the other member of the distinction, existentia. It is striking that the concept existentia has for a long time not been as clearly comprehended and terminologically demarcated as that of essentia, although essentia and quidditas become more intelligible exactly in terms of esse. Esse, existere is basically more original. The opaqueness of the concept of existence and being is not an accident, because this concept is in part taken to be self-evident.264

Could it be that the opaqueness of the concept of existence and its lack of demarcation is not due to its being seen as self-evident but due to an opinion shared by
260 261

Ibid. Ibid. 262 BP, pg. 106; GP, p. 149. 263 Norea, op. cit. P. 410. 264 BP, p 86-87 ; GP, p. 122.


some ancient and medieval authors, i.e. the view that the individual as such cannot be the subject genus of a science265. The individual being evanescent, the subject of a science is a nature, an essentia. However Heidegger, being of another mind, feels that an historic lack exists and seeks to make up for it:
In view of all the incompleteness of the interpretation of this concept in antiquity and Scholasticism and afterwards in modern times down to Kant, we must try to exhibit, precisely in connection with the phenomenological interpretation of the second thesis, the direction in which the pre-Kantian interpretation of the sense of being moves.266 (underlining mine) First we shall give in a merely general and provisional way the communis opinio of Scholasticism about the concept of existence.267

Referring, as before to the communis opinio" of Scholasticism, Heidegger provides us with another proof of his conviction that the motivating theme of explanation in medieval metaphysics was actuality; the terms production or Herstellen seem here to give way to related terms, Wirklichkeit and Gewirktheit:
"Ancient philosophy basically did not come to any settled view of it. Generally the term esse is used for existentia, existere. Thus Thomas says especially that esse [that is, existere] est actualitas omnis formae, vel naturae;268 being is actualitas, literally the "Wirklichkeit, "actuality," of every essence and every nature, of every form and every nature.269

Heidegger cites this famous phrase, presumably not to join the Gilsonian ranks but merely because he feels its appropriateness to his own existence theme Analogous to Heidegger's seeing production or Herstellen' as a model of Greek ontology, reflecting on a more general level, we are reminded of an article by Michael Gillespie, an American political scientist studying Heidegger on Aristotle's Ethics.270 He points out that Heidegger insisted on seeing phronesis as superior to sophos, and that despite evident contradictions with Aristotle's intentions. Furthermore, in that particular case, phronesis must needs be or lead to a Volkgeist, a Stimmung of the people.

Aristotle and St. Thomas, to name two. p 87 ; GP, p. 122. 267 Ibid. 268 Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, Prima Pars, q. 3, art. 4. 269 Heidegger, op cit., p. 122. 270 Gillespie, Michael, "Martin Heidegger's Aristotelian National Socialism", Political Theory, Vol. 28, No. 2., p. 140-166, April, 2000. In this fascinating article, Gillespie points out that Heidegger insisted on seeing phronesis as superior to sophos, despite evident contradictions with Aristotle's intentions. Furthermore that phronesis must needs be or lead to a Volkgeist, a Stimmung of the people.
266 BP,



CHAPTER TWO CONCLUSION Having studied Heidegger's "Preview of the traditional context of inquiry" and his "Preliminary outline of esse (ens) essentia and existentia", what central conclusions can we draw? These are of course conclusions whose consequences may be 'at work' in his exegesis of Thomas Aquinas, Duns Scotus and Suarez in Chapter Three. Prescinding a moment from the detailed analysis of Heidegger on Greek ontology, can we sum up what is most central? In short, if what Heidegger alleges to be an inversion of look and form in Greek ontology does not stand up to scrutiny, as we hold, (for example, if Aristotle, knowing that the wood precedes the table it's made into, was merely coining an analogy wherein we move from what's most apparent to us to what's first in nature), then one of Heidegger's basic assertions that ancient and medieval ontology is grounded in a model involving Vorhandenheit and Herstellen, falls.


CHAPTER THREE: Heidegger analyzing Medieval Authors:

'c) The distinction between essence and existence in Scholasticism'
CHAPTER TWO INTRODUCTION Chapter three is the longest of our chapters. We are going to take a look at Heideggers exegesis and subsequent interpretation of three medieval figures. For each of these figures we use a similar methodology insofar as we try to stay close to Heidegger's GP text and the citations he chooses. However, a different methodology exists insofar as for each figure we use very different secondary source aids. In the first instance, for Aquinas, we depend heavily on a major, two part 1959 article by Ralph McInerny.271 In the second instance, for Scotus, recourse to secondary sources is more varied: Boehner, Cross, Dumont, Gilson and Wells, to name some. In the third instance, for the Suarez analysis, we rely heavily on a 1957 milestone article by Joseph Owens.272 However, we may discover, things are not as symmetrical as they might seem at first glance. We have three short sections on three medieval authors on their respective views on essence and existence. And while we have citations from each of these three medieval authors, the reader is invited to see for himself if Suarez and Suarezian vocabulary doesn't play a guiding role in the first two analyses. Put otherwise, we invite the reader to observe whether the 'mise en scene' of the citations from Aquinas and Scotus might not relate to the treatment they receive in Suarez's Disputationes metaphysicae.


Especially, McInerny, Ralph, "Being and Predication", pp. 165-228 in Being and Predication. Thomistic Interpretations, Washington, DC, The Catholic University of America Press, 1986. 272 OWENS, Joseph, "The Number of Terms in the Suarezian Discussion on Essence and Being.The Modern Schoolman, v. 34 (1957).


Analysis of Heidegger's alpha, i.e., the Aquinas Section Parts 1 and 2


Preliminary Remarks
First of all the Content of Thesis section we are dealing with is entitled: c) The distinction between essentia and existentia in Scholasticism (Thomas Aquinas, Duns Scotus, Suarez). As to Heideggers methodology, as we have mentioned, we are given the impression that we are dealing with the views of 3 thinkers. Again, allegedly section c is an introduction to a tripartite treatment of Aquinas, Scotus and Suarez, in that order, on their respective views, in their own rights, on essence and existence. But from the outset, in fact, a judicious reading of Heideggers introductory remarks in c already provides hints that the configuration is not one wherein Heidegger is treating in turn, Aquinas, Scotus and Suarez, but rather a situation wherein Heidegger uses Suarez as the authority in whose eyes the other, i.e., the first 2, are judged. (Yet Heidegger does not seem to see this as maintaining a Suarezian bias or preference. And he surely doesn't announce it as such.) In fact, Heidegger begins with an expression of the central chapter thesis with what is surely a paraphrase of Suarez. He provides no reference. But we are convinced that he is referring to Disputationes metaphysicae, 28. Suarez's title for this text is: "DE PRIMA DIVISIONE ENTIS IN INFINITUM SIMPLICITER ET FINITUM ET ALIIS DIVISIONIBUS QUAE HUIC AEQUIVALENT". And this, Suarezs DM 28, Section I, 6, subtitle reads Divisio entis in ens a se et ens ab alio.273 The pertinence of this subtitle's phraseology to Heideggers way of dividing his subject matter soon becomes apparent for as Heidegger announced earlier in the section (pg 81):
"The problem must be understood in the philosophical context of the distinction between the concepts of the infinite being and the finite being."274

Obviously we see here that ens a se will correspond to infinite being and ens ab alio to finite.

SUAREZ, Francesco, Disputationes metaphysicae, 28 title; section one, 6 subtitle; in Vol, 26, Vives, Paris, 1866. 274 BP, pg. 81 ; GP, pg. 113.


Heidegger had said in his general chapter title that his concern is with the distinction as it occurs in finite being. Quite logically, he paraphrases Suarezs text dividing being into finite and infinite being in setting out his subject matter. He then naturally concentrates his subsequent efforts on finite being. (It goes without saying that one obviously neednt analyse the relationship between esse and essentia in infinite being if the two are one and the same.) Heidegger illustrates his point in using a Suarezian formulation, and he does this just as he is about to deal with the distinction in Thomas. First he says that in ente a se, esse and essentia are one and the same.275 Specifically, Heideggers Chap. II, Section 10, 'c' deals summarily with infinite being:
In regard to the relationship between essentia and existentia, Scholasticism establishes two theses which clarify more exactly the thesis we have as our theme. The first thesis runs: In ente a se essentia and existentia sunt metaphysicae unum idemque sive esse actu est de essentia entis a se.276

(A remark on Heidegger's style: in this GP text, we would not be exaggerating in saying that whenever Heidegger says "Scholasticism establishes" or "Scholasticism says" he makes his point in referring to Suarez's texts, no doubt seeing them as being representative of Scholasticism. (Of course it is one thing to take Suarez as the culmination of medieval philosophy given his knowledge of it; it is quite another to have his texts stand as sorts of archetypes for those of earlier figures.) And now zeroing in on his main topic, essence and existence in finite beings, Heidegger provides the appropriate Suarezian version dealing with finite being, translating as he goes along. Specifically, Heideggers Chap. II or Thesis two, Section 10, Part 'c' now deals with finite being:
The second thesis runs: In omni ente ab alio inter essentiam et existentiam est distinctio et compositio metaphysica seu esse actu non est de [89] essentia entis ab alio;277

And continuing, from Heidegger, BP, pg. 89:


(Of course, one might remark that conflicts arise immediately for God is not ente a se for Aquinas, but that would be getting ahead of ourselves and, moreover, that issue is not central to this chapter.) 276 BP, pg. 88 ; GP, pg. 124. In a being which is from itself, essence and existence [in Kant's language, Wesenheit and Dasein] are metaphysically [that is, ontologically] one and the same, or being actual belongs to the essence, derives from the essence, of a being which is in itself and is from its own self. Therefore, as was emphasized earlier, the ens a se is directly called actus purus, pure actuality, exclusive of every possibility. God has no possibilities in the sense that he might be something specific that he is not yet but could only come to be. Of course, what Heidegger does not see is that God cannot be ens a se in Aristotelian terms insofar as he would then be in act and potency vis vis himself, in the same respect. In this context, God is uncaused. 277 Cf note 243; As said, Heideggers Latin definitions are very probably paraphrases of Disputatio 28 and its section 1 title


in every being which is from another, that is, in every created being, there is an ontological distinction and composition between whatness and way-of-being, or being actual does not belong to the essence of the created being.278

Notwithstanding the Heideggerian reliance on Suarez that we have mentioned, the distinction between finite and infinite being, i.e., being with and being without a distinction between essence and existence, the configuration described is fairly close to the situation in analogous texts of Aquinas. Here in the following few lines, Heidegger announces the main project of this section, i.e., seeing how the distinction is formulated (Of course, our main project will be to understand his interpretation.):
BP, pg. 89: We must now specify more particularly this distinctio or this compositio that subsists between essentia and existentia in the case of the ens finitum and see how the distinctio is formulated, in order to obtain from this a clearer view of the sense of essence and existence and to see the problems that emerge here."279

In what follows, in his references to Kant here and elsewhere, notice that Heidegger sees the essence existence pair in terms of potency and act. That in fact contrasts with the Thomistic attitude which sees the essence existence pair in terms of accidental and substantial predicates.280 This latter pair involves ens perfectum and ens ut verum and not potential being vs. actual being. (Perhaps Heidegger has a tendency to cast the problem in terms of possible and real being because of his use of Kantian terminology):
BP, pg. 89: Notice must be takenwe have already touched on this in our presentation of Kantthat the possible, res, quidditas, also has a certain being: to be possible is different from to be actual. If reality and possible coincide, it is worthy of note that in Kant reality and possibility belong to different classes of categories, quality and modality. Realitas, too, is a specific mode of being of the real, just as actuality is that of the actual. How are we to understand the mode of being or as Scholasticism calls it, the entitas, of the res, namely, reality? In what way does reality, being possible, become modified in actualization to actuality, when actuality accrues to it?281

We notice three things here. First remark that here just below (BP p. 89), it is actuality accruing to the real, to essence, that may constitute a second res, in other words, existence as a second res:
What is this accruing actuality on account of which the possible become actual?282

Notice however, that two pages later, (BP p. 91), at the beginning of introducing section "alpha: The Thomistic doctrine of the distinctio realis between essentia and existentia in ente creato", Heidegger approaches the problem the other way around. There, not in terms of actuality being added to the possible essence to make a second res, but rather of the essence, the "what" of the being amounting to a second res. Of course, after a fashion, his procedure can be defended in that, if the Aegidian stance
278 279

BP, pg. 89 ; GP, pg. 125. Ibid. 280 Ens perfectum and ens ut verum will be major topics in part 2 of the Aquinas Section. 281 Loc. cit. 282 Ibid.


results in a duae res configuration, one can establish them (if one can, indeed, establish them at all) from either the essence side or the existence side of such a finite being!283.The second point involves our reminding the reader that Heidegger persists in his tendency to construe medieval interpretations in terms of Kant. Before moving on in our analysis, notice the complete, 180 degree inversion in terminology in comparison with Aquinas, for example, that we end up with here. Heidegger asks:
In what way does reality, being possible, become modified in actualization to actuality.?284

Reality is now a way of expressing the essence; but, in contrast, isnt ens realis an expression of ens perfectum, real being, in rerum natura in Aquinas, for example ? As mentioned, at the beginning of alpha (BP p. 91) the Thomas section, Heidegger restates the problem; as mentioned, here it is the what that will constitute the second res:
"The problem of the relationship between essence and existence is resolved in the Thomistic school by saying that in an actual being the what of this being is a second res, something else for itself as over against the actuality; thus, in an actual being we have the combination or composition, compositio, of two realities, essentia and existentia."285 (underlining and italics mine.) Etienne, History of Christian Philosophy in the Middle Ages, Sheed and Ward, London, 1955. According to Gilson, it appears that the term "distinctio realis" originates with Giles and company and is not to be found in Aquinas. As he points out, Aquinas most often speaks of a compositio of 'essentia et existentia' rather than a distinctio between the two membersop cit. pg. 422: "When Chossat wrote that the true founder of the composition of essence and existence was not Thomas Aquinas but Giles of Rome, Grabmann crushed him under an avalanche of thirteenth century masters who had all attributed this doctrine to Thomas Aquinas. Both were right, but not from the same point of view. Chossat was wellfounded in saying that Giles of Rome had invented a real distinction of essence and existence which was not founded in Thomas Aquinas; and Grabmann was right in saying that many contemporaries of Thomas had credited him with a doctrine of the real composition of essence and existence, but Thomas and Giles had not understood it in the same way; also, in this connection, in his short introduction to "CHOSSAT, "l'Averroisme de saint Thomas. Note sur la distinction d'essence et existence la fin de XIIIe sicle", Archives de philosophie, 9, (1932) 129-177, P. Descoqs says what we might expect on Giles but seems to make a rapprochement between a non-Aegidian Thomas and Scotus"S'il s'agit en effet de la distinction au sens ou l'entendait Gilles de Rome, c'est- savoir d'une distinction conue en fonction de la sparabilit et qui est le sens o l'ont entendue et rfute tous les adversaires postrieurs de la distinction relle, en particulier Suarez, certainement elle ne se trouve pas chez S. Thomas S'il s'agit au contraire de la distinction relle mtaphysique au sens o l'entendent la plupart de nothomisites modernes; videmment il n'est plus aussi clair que S. Thomas ne l'a pas tenue. Et cela pour une excellente raison. On ne voit pas du tout en effet comment cette distinction ne rpond pas trs exactement ce que les adversairees de la distinction relle ont toujours appel . une distinction de raison mtaphysique cum fundumentum in re, de quelque faon (p. 132-33); Additionally, the lack of entries in the Index Thomisticus under "distinctio realis" supports this sort of interpretation. If this is born out, it could be that not only does the 'two res' position not originate in Thomas but also that even the term "distinctio realis" originates with Giles and does not go back to Aquinas himself. Of course at a certain juncture one must ask with Gilson the extent to which a thinker can advocate positions not espoused by Thomas and fairly be called a Thomist or a disciple. While there can be no 'litmus test', disagreement on a doctrine as fundamental and far-reaching as the manner of the composition of essence and existence would seem to be telling. 284 Loc. cit. 285 BP, pg. 91; GP, pg. 128.


Referring to the above, from whichever side we begin, the what side or the existence side, it is plain to see that Heidegger is intent on attributing the Aegidian position to St Thomas, via the old Thomistic school. When Heidegger refers to two realities WE SHOULD REALIZE THAT THEY HAVE BECOME THE SINE QUA NON OF THE PRESENCE OF THE REAL DISTINCTION IN HEIDEGGERS EYES. But where does Heidegger get this idea? He chooses to buttress his interpretation with a sort of safety in numbers view. In other words, if all his followers, the old Thomists, thought like that, then Thomas must have too. We point out that this expression and association with the old Thomistic school comes from Suarez. Here, from Disputatio 31, is Suarez's own characterization: Disputatio #31, section 1, entitled, 'QUOMODO EJUS EXISTENTIA DIFFERAT AD ESSENTIA'. (Therein Suarez speaks of three sententiae, the first is the real distinction, the second the modal or formal and the third, his own, the rational, the correct one for him, of course.) Citing Suarez:
286 (words in bold mine)

At this stage, Heidegger states the main problematic of his 2nd chapter or thesis:
But how is it to be conceived? That there exists a difference between being possible and being actual is not disputed; being actual is something other than being possible. The question focuses on whether in the actualized possible, in the essentia actu existens, there exists a difference and, if so, what difference.287 With reference to the problem of the difference between essence and existence, or actuality, we distinguish three different interpretative views within Scholasticism: the Thomistic, the Scotistic, and that of Suarez.288

(Notice that Heidegger refers to the Thomistic and the Scotistic schools, whereas he refers to Suarez directly. This may be because he is going to follow Suarez in characterizing Thomas and Scotus's positions as describing what they 'allegedly' held or, even, what their schools allegedly held. Suarezs case is different. Notice as well that at this point he actually holds out the logical possibility of "Thomas himself" ironically being distanced from the "the old school of Thomas Aquinas", although Heidegger wont leave that option open for long. (A further irony is that there will turn out to be gulf, a good distance at that, between theThomistic school and Thomas!) Heidegger:
We use the name "Thomistic" intentionally. Here we mean at the same time the view advocated by the old school of Thomas Aquinas and also in part still advocated today, that the distinctio between essence and existence is a distinctio realis.289

286 287

Disputationes metaphysicae, 31, Section I, Sententia Prima. Vol, 26, Vives, Paris, 1866, pg 225. BP, pg. 89; Does "essentia actu existens" appear in Aquinas? 288 BP, pg. 89 ; GP, pg. 125.. 289 Ibid.


For Heidegger a doubt yet remains:

How Thomas himself thought about this question has not been established clearly and consistently to the present day. Nevertheless, everything speaks in favor of his inclination to take the difference as a real one.290

Heidegger claims he can sum up the three positions:

We can characterize these three views concisely.291

We now see that as for Thomas, no room for doubt is left. Heidegger gets where he want to go: an Aegidian Aquinas..
Thomas and his school292 conceive of the difference between essence and existence, this distinctio, [90] as a distinctio realis. According to Scotus the distinctio is one of modality, distinctio modalis ex natura rei or, as Scotists also say, distinctio formalis. By this name the Scotistic distinctio became famous. Suarez and his predecessors conceive of the difference between essence and existence as a distinctio rationis.293

(What follows in the GP text is a short aside on the worthiness of medieval philosophy, followed by a brief discussion of Meister Eckhart. We then arrive at Section C) alpha, the section dedicated to what he surmises to be the real distinction in Aquinas.) At the risk of over simplification, we dare say that Heidegger hopes to show that Thomass position is that of Giles of Rome, i.e., the duae res position. We shall see below that the simple working rule, in Heideggers estimation, is that professing to hold the real distinction position necessitates adhering to the duae res position. In establishing, by way of preview, a short list on the term esse, we see the successive descriptions of esse as they evolve in Heideggers analysis of a series of quotations he chooses from Aquinas. Within the auspices of the duae res position Heidegger has opted for, esse transits from being: 1. an accident, surprisingly (QQ, 2, art 3) to being 2. an accessory, (QQ, 12, art 5, 5) to being 3. an esse quo, (This last term might be insinuated from the De Veritate citation but ens quo certainly is not.) And, finally, esse is described as 4. an ens quo, by what can only be described as a slip or lapsus on Heideggers part, if it occurs involuntarily. This last expression, ens quo, indicating a thing, a res, of course permits esse to end up with the original status Heidegger assigned to it, as a res, thus justifying his earlier attributing of the Aegidian position to Thomas, which is, of course, what Heidegger set out to prove at the beginning of the Aquinas section alpha.
290 291

Ibid. Ibid. 292 It is noteworthy that this identification of the Aegidian position with Thomas, following on the heels of an attempt at distinguishing the two stances, occurs in the text prior to Heideggers introducing us to Giles of Rome. That happens only at the end of section alpha, on Thomass position. 293 BP, pp. 89-90 ; GP, pg. 126.


This GP subsection alpha we are dealing with is entitled:

a) The Thomistic doctrine of the distinctio realis between essentia and existentia in ente creato.294

The following passage amounts to a restatement (for Heidegger has already worked on this in the preliminaries i.e. the section c we have just studied):
The problem of the relationship between essence and existence is resolved in the Thomistic school by saying that in an actual being the what of this being is a second res,295

here we have the version with essence as the second res. Continuing directly:
something else for itself as over against the actuality; thus, in an actual being we have the combination or composition, compositio, of two realities, essentia and existentia. Therefore, the difference between essence and existence is a distinctio realis .296 (Italics mine)

Given his conviction in the Aegidian Thomas, what comes next is rather surprising for it would seem that if the position is that existence is a res, then the very last text Heidegger would wish to use to defend these Aegidian claims would be a text stressing the accidentality of existence; obviously we are presuming that the accidentality of existence would seem to stand against its constituting another res, a what, a quod, and yet this is Heideggers first Thomas citation:
Cum omne quod est praeter essentiam rei, dicatur accidens; esse quod pertinet ad quaestionem an est, est accidens297 since everything that [in the Kantian sense] is not a real predicate in a being is spoken of as something that befalls or is added to the being [accidens], to the what, therefore the actuality, or existence, that relates to the question whether a res with the totality of its realities exists, is an accidens.298 (Accentuation mine)

As already mentioned and in the text we have just cited, esse here begins by being 1. an accident. This is the stage we are at now. While being an accident would surely seem to heighten its dependence, being an accessory, in turn and in contradistinction, distances it from the essence it actualizes..after the fashion of another thing if we might hazard a guess at Heideggers thought process or motivation here. Let us turn to the next citation; as it happens, in the course of introducing esses 2. accessory nature.as Heidegger terms it.(QQ, 12, art 5, 5) in relation to the being it actualizes, Heidegger happily provides us with the text that will serve as a launching pad in looking further for an interpretation of Thomass understanding of what we are in fact doing when we predicate essence and existence of finite substances. This is Heideggers text:

294 295

BP, pg. 91; GP, pg. 128. Ibid. 296 Ibid. 297 The text Heidegger cites and then translates and comments is Quaestiones Quodlibetales, II, 2, art. 3. 298 BP, pg. 91 ; GP, pg. 128.


Actuality is something accessory to the what of a being. Accidens dicitur large omne quod non est pars essentiae; et sic est esse299 [BP 91-92] [that is, existere] in rebus creatis; existence is not part of the reality but is added on to it.300 (Underlining and accentuation mine)

(We will have much more to say about the fact of being praeter essentiam but let us present Heidegger's five Aquinas citations without getting into excessive detail.) The next text Heidegger cites is from the Summa theologiae; it does not exactly fall into line with the texts Heidegger has already cited, texts that were aimed at showing that esse is an accident or accessory in that this ST text rather hearkens back to another of Heideggers and our issues, i.e., the consequences of essence not being identical with existence, as they are in God. Although it does relate to dependence:
everything that is outside of the thing-content of a thing, everything that is not a real predicate of a res, must be caused, 301

As we see, the above citation is accompanied by a translation that amounts to what we might describe as a rather free Kantian interpretation of Aquinass meaning in the ST citation. Directly following the above citation we read:
302 (Heideggers footnote ten)

(We note that the subject of the ST article 4 of Q. 3 is whether essence and existence are the same in God. Despite that, the immediate reference of the phrase Heidegger quotes from it is not infinite but finite being.) Briefly, Aquinas says that it is not enough to say that essence and existence are the same in God. We must show not only that God is his essence but that he is his existence too. He first points out that whatever is outside the essence (e.g. accidental change) comes vel a principiis essentiae . . . vel ab aliquo exteriori; accordingly, we remind ourselves that the ST passage Heidegger chooses refers rather to finite being. In fact Aquinas goes on to say that in finite being the esse of the thing must come from without and be caused but this is impossible for God as universal efficient cause, hence infinite being, God, is esse and identical with that existence. An example of the first of the two alternatives in what Aquinas is talking about by saying 'vel a principiis essentiae' in the phrase Heidegger cites would be typified by an

299 300

The text Heidegger cites & then translates and comments is Quaestiones Quodlibetales, XII, 5, art. 5. BP, pg. 91-2 ; GP, pg. 128. 301 BP, pg. 92 ; GP, pg. 129. The text Heidegger cites and then translates and comments is Summa Theologiae, Prima Pars, Q.3, art. 4. 302 BP, pg. 92 ; GP, pg. 129.


actuality of a thing that would come from the principles of the essence, like a property.303 Aquinas means characteristics of a thing, as, for example, that a human being is either male or female; that is for him a property arising from the principles of the species, as opposed, for example, to one arising from the individual, as, for example to be fat or bald.304 Continuing to cite Heidegger, we see that he takes the above phrase to refer to the conclusion of the article:
In God, existence belongs to the res by reason of his essence. God's essence is his existence.305

While agreeing with Heidegger that Aquinas of course says that Gods essence is his existence, in fact the more particular point of Aquinass argument here is that God is his existence as well as his essence, i.e hes not just essence. In cases where essence is not identical with existence, the cause can be the principles of the essence, or from without. causatum ex alio. In short, in the above instance, Heidegger takes a phrase referring to cases where essence and existence dont coincide as if they were cases where essence and existence do coincide. For the sake of clarity let us cite the respondeo in question at greater length:
306 (Heideggers citation accentuated)

Briefly, the only disagreement we have with Heidegger is that his saying In God, existence belongs to the res by reason of his essence after having cited: vel a principiis essentiae . . . vel ab aliquo exteriori leads us to conclude that he takes principiis essentiae to refer to God and not properties stemming from some finite essence. Heidegger continues his analysis of the article:
In the created being, however, the causation of its actuality does not lie in that being itself.307

We note again that Aquinas in talking about stemming from the essence Aquinas is not talking about a self-caused God. Keep in mind that other remarks Heideggers made in GP, seem to indicate that he sees no objection in God being self-caused. This is because he no doubt doesnt recognize the Aristotelian principle that something that is a cause of itself is at once in potency and act vis--vis itself contemporaneously which in Aristotelian terms is impossible. 304 cf . Quaestion disputata de Anima, Robb ed. 305 BP, pg. 92 ; GP, pg. 129. 306 Summa Theologiae, Prima Pars, Q.3, art. 4. 307 Loc cit.



This refers to what he will cite next from the ST:


In the case of the very esse [existere] rei, for finite being, we can eliminate the possibility of its very existence proceeding from the principles of the species, for nothing - whose essence is other than its existence - can be the cause of its own being.309. This is Heideggers footnote 11: 310 (Heideggers footnote 11) Heidegger summarizes this in a fairly classical fashion and then hints at its resemblance to Leibnizs principle of sufficient reason; but that is beyond the scope of our topic. Heidegger then introduces the last of his four citations from Aquinas. It is from the De Veritate, and quite brief but extremely fruitful for our research. This is the De Veritate text:
(Heideggers footnote 12).311

(In point of fact one might argue that not only its existere but the whole finite substance is caused by another.) This is Heidegger's loose translation:
Existere is something other than essence; it has its being on the basis of being caused by another; 312

Ibid. ; Summa Theologiae, Prima Pars, Q.3, art. 4. We shall come to see that for Aquinas the predicate existence, esse, is a substantial, accidental predicate because such existence can .. not be. Another reason why we shall see that this is not the whole story is because we shall come to see the ramifications of the fact that whatness, Washeit, quiddity, the nature of substances whose essences are not equivalent to their essences, are caused too. 310 Ibid. The citation continues; we cite it for the sake of completeness: it impossible, however, that existing would be caused solely by the essential grounds of a thing [Thomas is speaking here only of created entities], since no thing suffices in its inherent content to be the cause of its own existence. This is reminiscent of a principle that Leibniz formulated as the law of sufficient reason, causa sufficiens entis, a law that in its traditional founding goes back to this problem of the relationship of essentia and existentia. 311 De Veritate, 27, 4. 312 BP, pg, 92 (Heideggers footnote 12) ; GP, pg. 130.



We glean from this that everything that is ens perfectum, being, as described in the predicaments, and substance primarily, is the subject matter of metaphysics, it is that whose esse, a quo nomen imponitur ad significandum, will give ens and the ratio entis.. That ratio entis will be of the order of quod est and not of the order of an est, which latter is the order of existence, esse. Heidegger continues:
each ens, therefore as ens creatum is a compositum ex esse et quod est, of existing and of whatness.313

This is an accurate description of Aquinass position. The immediate logical origin of the next line in the analysis Heidegger has just proffered is less evident:
This composition is what it is, compositio realis; that is to say, correspondingly: the distinctio between essentia and existentia is a distinctio realis.314

What comes next is rather startling and would leave us with the impression that Heidegger wants to serve us up an 'Aegidian Thomas' at all cost and, in fact, that he has decided that in advance. We suspect that that is the case and is due to his following Suarez as elsewhere. Watch what happens phrase by phrase. Heidegger comes back to his linking the distinctio realis to Giles' duae res position. Notice that what now occurs is a sort of slipping and sliding in terminology until Heidegger ends up with esse as ens quo:
Esse, or existere, is conceived of also, in distinction from quod est or esse quod, as esse quo or ens quo. 315 (Underlining mine.)

In other words in this view, according to Heidegger, the existence of a substance is an ens quo. As he explains:
The actuality of an actual being (esse) is something else of such a sort that it itself amounts to a res on its own account. 316 (Parenthesis mine.)

What are we to say here? Seemingly Heidegger has ended up with what he wanted in the first place. Evidently if esse = ens quo, as ens it is another res and so we have 2 res, duae res. Yet it can in no way be said that he has demonstrated the Aegidian version of the real distinction in Aquinas, and maybe not even any real distinction at all, for that matter. Why has he made this attempt? Speaking plainly, it is evident from his tone that he is not generally speaking an admirer of Aquinas, or, perhaps, quite simply hes done this because it fits into the geometry of his text, to wit, Thomas = real distinction, Scotus = formal distinction and Suarez = rational distinction. As we have said, based on our analysis at the end of the section C introduction, Suarez's influence is present everywhere here.
313 314

BP, pg, 92 ; GP, pg. 130. Ibid. 315 Ibid. 316 Ibid.


As we see then, what Heidegger in effect does is give us the impression that we are dealing with 3 thinkers. But in fact the configuration is not one in which Heidegger is evenhandedly treating Aquinas, Scotus and Suarez each in his turn, but rather one of Heidegger using Suarez as the criterion or authority in whose eyes the other 2 are to be judged. This can be seen in the reference to Suarez he makes even before embarking on his treatment of Aquinas, Scotus and Suarez, when he is delimiting the subject matter, i.e., finite and infinite being. Whatever be his motivation, we intend to study the treatment of these problems by a contemporary Thomist, Ralph McInerny, to see if there might not be another interpretation of these passages from Aquinas.

Explanatory note
Before beginning our research via a secondary source, i.e., Ralph McInernys 1959 article, Being and Predication317, let us pause for a moment and ask ourselves what exactly we are calling into question in Heideggers interpretation. As mentioned, just after the last of his citations from Aquinas, from De Veritate, 27, 4., Heidegger says, as he did earlier, that Esse, or existere, is conceived of also, in distinction from quod est or esse quod, as esse quo or ens quo. The key transition involves esse being conceived as ens quo. (We might add that we would not badger Heidegger over one word except for the fact that its what makes feasible his Aegidian Thomas.) What we want to do is to employ the first 2 out of a series of 4 questions that figure prominently in Aquinass Metaphysics V, 7 Commentary and in the Posterior Analytics II (lectios 1-7) Commentary to show that there are 2 orders in questioning, the an sit, asking whether the thing exists and the quid sit, asking what that thing is. We shall also suggest that myriad texts of Aquinas point out the basic nature of the distinction between the an sit, asking whether the thing exists and the quid sit, asking what that thing is. Pertinence? Relevance? (The only obvious eventual relevance of this being, of course, that we are saying that the answer to the an sit question is the accidental predicate expressing existence and that the answer to the quid sit question, asking what that thing is, (the predicate, not the predication), expresses the essence.) Returning for a moment to Heideggers De Veritate, 27, 4 citation, we read:

McInerny, Ralph, Being and Predication, in Thomistic Interpretations, CUA Press, Washington, D.C.1986, pp 173 - 228. This text was originally published in two parts. The first part, entitled Some Notes on Being and Predication, appeared in The Thomist, 22, 3, July 1959, pp. 315 335; the longer, concluding part, Notes on Being and Predication, appeared in the Laval Thologique et Philosophique, Vol. 15, 2, 1959. pp. 236 274; cf. also LEE, Patrick. (1988). Existential Propositions in the Thought of St. Thomas Aquinas, Thomist, V. 52, pp. 505-626. Lee makes extensive use of McInernys article.



We hope to show that, for Aquinas, the esse quo cannot be fairly equated with ens quo for were that the case it would be equivalent to quod est. (And were that to be the case one consequence would be a doubling of ens and an Aegidian, duae res Thomas. We are suggesting that Heidegger wants to infer that that doubling is there but the texts he cites do not match that interpretation at all.) We also hope to show that esse and quod est belong, respectively, to the order of the answers to the questions an sit and quid sit that we just mentioned above. INTERIM SUMMARY Before looking at McInernys analysis, (from the second part of his article), lets outline a first goal in what we shall be looking for. Among the texts in McInernys analysis, there are three texts of St Thomas, one of which appears to contradict the other two but, as it turns out, does not! Seeing why the third does not contradict the other two will take us far in understanding in what way existence is an accidental predicate and in what ways it is not. Again, three texts are involved, one of which apparently contradicts the others. Ever so sketchily: in two texts Aquinas says that is can be a substantial predicate taken in one sense but accidental in the other sense, but in the third text he says that is is an accidental predicate when taken in either of the two senses (?).

The first text is a passage from Thomass commentary on Metaphysics V, 7, i.e. at lectio 9, # 896.

Metaphysics V, 7, lectio 9, # 896,


Heidegger, op.cit., pg. 92.



Recapitulating: In the proposition "Socrates is,"; if the is is taken in the second way, is is an accidental predicate (ens ut verum). But, for . "Socrates is,"; if the is is taken in the first way, it can be a substantial predicate (ens perfectum) Allow us to make one preliminary remark about this #896 text. The predication, the subject and predicate "Socrates is," is nonetheless an accidental one. Only the IS as it signifies being, ratio entis, or substance as the first of the predicaments, is substantial. As will become evident, reconciling this #896 text with QQ. 2, 1 is extremely subtle and difficult. (As McInerny describes QQ. 2, 1: the doctrine that substantial existence is praeter essentiam and is thus an accidental predicate of any creature.320) That is one of the reasons why it is an accidental predication; the other involves the fact of the verb signifying in time. The second text, one with another accentuation but corroborating in V Meta, lect. 9, #896, is Super Sent., lib. 2 d. 34 q. 1 a. 1, solutio. Here Thomas is asking whether evil exists. (Of course, its a privation for him.) He first shows that ens ut verum is wider than ens perfectum because whatever is real being is being as truth because any natural being can be signified to be in a proposition made about it: e.g., color is, e.g., man is. But ens ut verum also includes things that only exist as expressed, e.g., Peter is blind. (We might call this the 'non-symmetrical text'.)

319 In V Metaphysic., lect. 9, n. 896. It should be noted, however, that this second mode (ens ut verum) compares to the first (ens perfectum) as effect to cause. For it is because something is in rerum natura that truth or falsity is had in the proposition, something the intellect signifies by means of the verb, is, insofar as it is a verbal copula. But, because something which in itself is non-being (ens ut verum) can be considered by the intellect as a certain being, e.g. negation and the like, a thing is sometimes said to be in this second way and not in the first. For blindness does not have any existence in reality; rather it is a privation of being. Now it is accidental to a thing (ens perfectum) that something is truly affirmed of it by intellect or word (ens ut verum), for things (ens perfectum) are not related to knowledge (ens ut verum) but vice versa. The being that a thing has in its own nature is substantial (ens perfectum) and therefore when we say "Socrates is," if the is is taken in the first way it is a substantial predicate (ens perfectum), for being is superior to any particular being as animal is to man. If however it is taken in the second way (ens ut verum) it is an accidental predicate. (parentheses mine; translation McInerny.) 320 McInerny, op. cit., pg. 216.


A little further along in the Respondeo we find a text that directly matches and corroborates in V Meta,7, #896. (This is the second text speaking of Socrates is as a substantial predication.):

Again, as before in in Metaphysics V,7, #896, the schema is that in the proposition, "Socrates is,", if the is is taken in the second way, is is an accidental predicate (ens ut verum). But what is new here is that this last is said to pertain to the question is it?, or does it exist?. But, for the same proposition, "Socrates is,"; if the is is taken in the first way it is a substantial predicate (ens perfectum). What is new here is that this is said to pertain to the question what is it? But the message is the same; to our knowledge there is no contradiction between in Metaphysics V,7, #896 and Super Sent., lib. 2 d. 34 q. 1 a. 1, solutio. However that seems not to be the case if we compare either or both of them with Quodlibet, II, q. 2, a. 1, c (or respondeo). The text is brief; we shall cite it before looking at McInernys analysis. (He points to the apparent difficulties in reconciling it with the other two passages on two occasions in his article.) This is Aquinas's Quodlibetal text. Both Heidegger and McInerny cite part of it. I cite the two sentences together, but note that Heidegger only cites the first sentence in his GP treatment of Aquinas:


Again, the seemingly contradictory part of QQ. 2, 1:

McInerny, op. cit., pg. 205. Being is predicated differently following on these modes since taken in the first way it is a substantial predicate and involves the question, what is it? but according to the second mode it is an accidental predicate, as the Commentator says there [commenting on Metaphysics V.7,] and pertains to the question Is it?. (McInernys translation) By the way, the Commentator is Averroes. 322 Quodlibet, II, q. 2, a. 1, c (or Respondeo)



323 (underlining mine)

Note: In the first of McInernys remarks on this topic, in citing St. Thomas, who is citing the commentator, Averroes, it is our opinion that there is a printing error insofar as a change needs to be made even to make the text grammatically correct in English. (This would be a trifling matter except that variation in the words in question involves radically changing the interpretation.) We shall cite McInernys text up through and including 'the contentious point':

Despite this initial intelligibility, there are difficulties which remain. In the commentary on the Metaphysics, St. Thomas says that the is in "Socrates is" is de praedicato substantiali if understood in the first mode of being per se. This presents difficulties from the point of view of other remarks of St. Thomas. For example, he writes: "And therefore the Commentator says in his comments on the fifth book of the Metaphysics that this proposition, 'Socrates is' is is an accidental predicate according as it signifies the entity of the thing or the truth of the proposition. 324 (Sic) (Accentuation and underlining mine.)
Looking at the crucial line in question, various readings can be offered. These are our suggestions: "And therefore the Commentator says in his comments on the fifth book of the Metaphysics that IN this proposition, 'Socrates is' is is an accidental predicate according as it signifies the entity of the thing or the truth of the proposition. (I added the IN for the simple reason that the 3 occurrences of is in the sentence call for it, if only grammatically. Additionally, the proposition 'Socrates is', or man is is a composition of a subject and a predicate and hence a predication.and not just a predicate.) But this suggested reading doesnt work because the very point would be that in singling out the is the conclusion would be that it is an accidental predicate in an accidental predication, whereas the very point of the Quodlibetal text is to conclude that the proposition is a predicatum accidentale in both cases, with in one instance, a substantial predicate. Or, another, a second, reading: "And therefore the Commentator says in his comments on the fifth book of the Metaphysics that this proposition, 'Socrates is' is an accidental predication according as it signifies the entity of the thing or the truth of the proposition. (Judging from the Latin, Socrates est, est de accidentali praedicato, this second possibility must be the correct one. It is grammatically correct and the term praedicato refers to the
323 324

Ibid. Ibid., p 206.


whole proposition which is, in fact, accidental taken in both senses.) So we conclude that 'the first occurrence, McInernys first translation of the QQ. 2, 1 text in his article contains one is too many. In short, if McInerny wanted to maintain is 3 times, he should have added an in. Or else this may well, in fact, be an editors error.325 (As mentioned this is no trifling matter as it will turn out that the proposition 'Socrates is' is an accidental predication even if its predicate is substantial as referring to the entitas rei or being of the thing.) However, continuing on in our analysis of McInernys first indication of an apparent contradiction in Aquinass texts we see that he introduces two issues or elements that we shall be looking at more closely. One deals with the questions an sit and quid sit and the other with the first two modes of being per se:
Moreover, the is in "Socrates is" is said to pertain to the question an sit. What is the significance of this appeal to the questions an sit and quid sit in discussions of the relation between the first two modes of being per se?326

Here is McInernys second description of the seeming anomaly. He is in effect asking: how are we to reconcile the Quodlibet II, 2, 1 text with in Metaphysics V,7, #896 and Super Sent., lib. 2 d. 34 q. 1, a. 1 ?
It is the teaching of St. Thomas, however, that even when the question an sit refers to the entitas rei, an accidental predicate is involved. We want now to examine this doctrine and its compatibility with the text quoted above in which we read that when the predicate in "Socrates is" does not refer to ens ut verum but to ens reale, it is a substantial predicate.327

Background Elements With a view to preparing ourselves for resolving the question of the seeming incompatibility of these three texts328, we need to present some background on a couple of issues St. Thomas takes for granted here. There are two elements. The first has to do with the types of perseity involved here, specifically, the first two modes of being per se. The other has to do with the four types of questions involved in demonstration as explained in the first 10 Lectios of St. Thomas's Commentary on Book Two of the Posterior Analytics. Precisely, as it happens, two of these questions are directly related to predicating essence and existence. (We wish to excuse our pedantry in going over such basics vis vis readers who are already familiar with such material.) Let us look briefly at McInernys presentation of these points, leading us to the distinction of ens per accidens and ens per se and to the st 1 2 modes of ens per se: ens perfectum and ens ut verum:
325 326

Although we note that the Laval Thologique et Philosophique edition of 1959 is identical, cf. p. 252. McInerny, op. cit., p 206. 327 Ibid., p 210. 328 i.e., Metaphysics V,7, #896 and Super Sent., lib. 2 d. 34 q. 1, a. 1 and Quodlibet II, 2, 1.


"Things," Aristotle says,329" are said to 'be' (1) in an accidental sense, (2) by their own nature."330
Put simply the key to understanding lies in the questions one must ask oneself: First, the simplest form of the question: What is said of another? Answer: Accident. And so we have the first mode of being which is of course per accidens. Then, secondly, the less simple, negative, form of the question: What is not said of another? Answer: Substance. And so we have the second mode of being which is of course per se. But it turns out to be a bit more subtle, for we then ask: What is said of substance? Answer: Accident. And so we see that being per se contains substance and accident (the ten categories or what we term: substance and the nine categories) and that being per accidens is only understood in reference to being per se. McInerny translates and explains St. Thomas's commentary.....

""St. Thomas divides chapter 7 of Book Delta in the following manner. "Here the Philosopher distinguishes how many ways being is said, and he does three things. First, he distinguishes being into being per se and being per accidens." "331
In this connection we call to mind the utility of the 3 questions we just described above.

"Then Aristotle goes on to distinguish the modes of being per accidens and the modes of being per se. All but the first of the four modes fall under being per se".332
In other words the 4 modes are: Ens per accidens = the only 1 of the 4 that is accidental. Ens perfectum = It corresponds to the answer to the question 'quid sit', or 'what is it?', whose answer, expressed in the definition corresponds to essence. Ens ut verum = It corresponds to the answer to the question 'an sit', 'is it?', whose affirmative answer corresponds to existence. Ens in potentia = Everything but ens perfectum will be eliminated as the object of metaphysics ....

The reference is to Metaphysics V.7 (Oxford translation). McInerny, op. cit., p 190. McInerny continues: "Despite this initial two-fold division, we find four modes of being distinguished in this chapter. It will be of interest to see if the two-fold division is retained despite this subsequent complexity and in what way being is divided not univocally but according to priority and posteriority into these modes.". 331 Ibid., p 190-191. McInerny cites In V Metaphysic., lect. 9, n. 885. 332 Ibid., p. 191.



St. Thomas, in V Meta, lectio # 889; McInerny translates:

""He distinguishes the modes of being per se, and he does three things. First, he distinguishes the being which is outside the mind into the ten categories, and this is perfected being. Secondly, he sets down another mode of being according to which it is only in the mind. Thirdly, he divides being by potency and act, and being so divided is more common than perfected being, for being in potency is being only imperfectly and in a certain sense.""333

Before moving on to issues relating to the questions 'an sit' and 'quid sit', we shall look at a text of St. Thomas's commentary that McInerny translates and comments. It is cited in its entirety, but interrupted with a view to providing examples:
"What is the meaning of this initial division of being into being per se and being per accidens? What causes difficulty is the fact that the being per se which is distinguished from being per accidens is itself divided into substance and the nine accidents."334

In other words, once we have asked the question "what is not said of another?" and derived the answer: substance, we discover that the being per accidens that we distinguished 'via an absolute consideration' (i.e., our question "what is said of another?"), indeed we find that that being per accidens is said of the being per se that we had just distinguished.
""Noting this difficulty, St. Thomas writes: "Being therefore is divided into substance and accident according to an absolute consideration of being, as whiteness itself, considered in itself is said to be an accident and man a substance."335

In other words, 'is white' is a predicate expressing an accident but is not being per accidens, but man is white IS, for the simple reason that while, 'is white' is esse accidentale, per se, in the category of accident, 'man is white' JUST HAPPENS TO BE. MAN CAN BE WHITE OR RED OR BLACK, AND, ALSO, OTHER THINGS THAN MAN ARE WHITE. Below here, St. Thomas's statements relate to what weve tried to explain:
"But being per accidens [i.e. as opposed to being per se which is divided by substance and accident] has to be understood in terms of a comparison of accident to substance, a comparison signified by this verb is, as when we say, 'Man is white.' Hence this whole 'Man is white' is being per accidens.336

We provide an example here of the two types of predication being referred to below: in itself [secundum se] 'Man is animal.'

Ibid., n. 59: (Lectio 889.) "Distinguit modum entis per se: et circa hoc tria facit. Primo distinguit ens, quod est extra animam, per decem praedicamenta, quod est ens perfectum. Secundo ponit alium modum entis, secundum quod est tantum in mente. Tertio dividit ens per potentiam et actum: et ens sic divisum est communius quam ens perfectum. Nam ens in potentia est ens secundum quid tantum et imperfectum ..." 334 McInerny, op. cit., p 191; (McInernys translation of In V Metaphysic., lect. 9, n. 885). 335 Ibid. 336 Ibid.


accidentally [secundum accidens] .. 'Man is white.'

Thus, it is clear that the division of being in itself [secundum se] and accidentally [secundum accidens] is based on something's being predicated of another either per se or per accidens. The division of being into substance and accident is based on this that something in its nature is either substance or accident.337

Transition Having provided a few barebones background elements in our search for what we mean when we predicate essence or existence of a finite substance, we shall move on in this preparatory work to a consideration of the four types of questions as they are described in St. Thomass commentary on Book II of Aristotles Posterior Analytics. Just to remind ourselves of our goal, we briefly quote McInerny again, laying out the seeming contradiction we spoke of. (This passage is particularly relevant, occurring as it does just before the an sit, quid sit analysis.):
Despite this initial intelligibility, there are difficulties which remain. In the commentary on the Metaphysics, St. Thomas says that the is in "Socrates is" is de praedicato substantiali if understood in the first mode of being per se. This presents difficulties from the point of view of other remarks of St. Thomas. For example, he writes: "And therefore the Commentator says in his comments on the fifth book of the Metaphysics that this proposition, 'Socrates is' is is an accidental predicate according as it signifies the entity of the thing or the truth of the proposition. Moreover, the is in "Socrates is" is said to pertain to the question an sit. What is the significance of this appeal to the questions an sit and quid sit in discussions of the relation between the first two modes of being per se? And what is the significance of appealing to the same questions to discuss ens extra animam? 338 (Sic) (Accentuation mine)

Analysis of the questions an sit and quid sit To understand why we talk of the question an sit both in speaking about ens ut verum and about the act of the essence that is other than that essence (i.e., existence in finite substances), we need to understand the role of an sit among the four types of questions St. Thomas describes in his commentary on Book II of Aristotles Posterior Analytics, lectios 3, 4 and 5. Book II is largely devoted to the middle term. A middle term is needed where there is a question. Different questions enumerate different things that can be known since scientific knowledge is had via demonstration and the middle term. The claim is that there are four question to be posed. (formally speaking, we have four questions that are paired differently depending on the criteria used. For example, 1 and 2 versus 3 and 4. or 1 and 3 versus 2 and 4): These are the four distinct questions to be asked: does the thing exist?... an sit what is it? quid sit is it such-and-such? quia sit
337 338

Ibid. Ibid., pp 205-6.


why is it such-and-such? propter quid We continue, on the same topic, employing McInernys explanation:
These questions will all have an enunciation or proposition as their answer, but propositions, as has been shown in On Interpretation, either add some third thing to the noun or verb or do not. An example of the latter is, "Socrates is"; of the former, "Socrates is white." The questions 'Is it?' and 'What is it?' are answered by "simple" enunciations; 'Is it such-and-such?' and 'Why is it such-and-such?' are answered by enunciations which in numerum ponunt. On this basis, the couple an sit/quid sit is opposed to quia sit/propter quid.339 (underlining mine)

Let us just stop a moment and look at a few of these expressions. What is meant by the expression in numerum ponunt? It means simply that when a verb brings a subject and predicate together as in man is white, 2 numbered elements are joined by the copula 'is', unlike a case like man is By the way, this expression in numerum ponunt is not to be confused with aliquid in re ponunt, which contrasts, for example Paul is sighted, which describes a positive reality with Peter is blind which merely describes a privation. Continuing with McInernys explanation of the 4 questions, he explains the other 2 sets of pairs we mentioned earlier:
On another basis, the questions 'Is it?' and 'Is it such-and-such?' are opposed to 'What is it?' and 'Why is it such-andsuch?' Although 'Is it?' inquires about the esse simpliciter of the thing and 'Is it such-and-such?' about esse hoc vel hoc, in both we are seeking whether some middle can be found or not. This is not what is explicitly asked, of course, but what in effect we are after. Nevertheless, when we know that something is or is such-and-such, there is a mean to be sought. The proof of this is that we don't ask questions about self-evident things. Knowing there is a middle, the questions 'What is it?' and 'Why is it such-and-such?' seek knowledge of what that middle is. Again, one who asks why the sun eclipses is not as such but only concomitantly seeking the middle term of a demonstration. 'Is it?' and 'Is it such-and-such?' agree in asking whether there is a middle; 'What is it?' and 'Why is it such-and-such?' agree in asking what the middle is.340 (underlining mine)

We shall not go into too much detail as to the role of the middle term in demonstration, concentrating our attention rather on the part of this analysis directly related to our couple an sit/quid sit. One of McInernys passages is key in that it recalls the basic message or messages of in V,7 Meta, lect. 9, #896 and in Super Sent., lib. 2, d. 34 q. 1, a. 1, but this continuation of in Super Sent., lib. 2 d. 34 q. 1, a. 1, goes a step further, linking ens perfectum to the categories:
... we can turn to a remark lodged in discussions of ens ut verum which paves the way to a treatment of our overriding problems. Comparing ens perfectum and ens ut verum, St. Thomas writes: "Being is predicated differently following on these modes since taken in the first way it is a substantial predicate and pertains to the question, 'what is it?' but according to the second mode it is an accidental predicate, as the Commentator says there, commenting on

339 340

Ibid., p 206. Ibid., p 206-7.


Metaph., V, 7 and pertains to the question, 'Is it?'"341 This text echoes that already quoted from the commentary on the Metaphysics( in V Meta, lect. 9, #896)342 (parenthesis mine)

McInerny refers again to #896.343 We recall that in #896, it was said that the 'is' in 'Socrates is' is a substantial predicate if taken in the first way, i.e., referring to the entitas rei. This becomes clearer in noting that ens per se, as ens perfectum, is divided according to modes of predication following on modes of being. These modes are real being and each express an essence or quiddity for that mode. 'Man is an animal' or 'whiteness is a quality' are examples of this.344 Movement from 'Socrates is' to ens per se in the first mode of predication, can be seen below. (Just underneath that we show an example of the third mode of being per se): The 1st Mode of per se predication pertains to 'WHAT IS IT' or QUID SIT

And thus: 'Socrates is' 'Socrates is a substance' 'Socrates is an animal' 'Socrates is a rational animal'....... Needless to say, this all refers to essence. The 2

Mode of per se predication, from V, 7, pertains to 'WHETHER IT IS' or AN SIT


'Socrates is', taken in the second way, needless to say, refers to existence.

Cited earlier, this is the second part of the Super Sent., lib. 2 d. 34 q. 1 a. 1, solutio text: Ens autem secundum utrumque istorum modorum diversimode praedicatur: quia secundum primum modum acceptum, est praedicatum substantiale, et pertinet ad quaestionem quid est: sed quantum ad secundum modum, est praedicatum accidentale, ut Commentator ibidem dicit, et pertinet ad quaestionem an est. 342 McInerny, op. cit., p 205. 343 #896; Cf. note 287. 344 McInerny, op. cit., p 205, McInerny's examples: " "Socrates is an animal" and "color is a quality" are both examples of substantial predicates. And, again, that true statements can be made about such beings is accidental to them." 345 #896; Cf. note 287. 346 Ibid.



Transition Moving from knowledge of an sit to knowledge of quid sit: Before entering into the details of this progression in our knowledge (involving the 4 kinds of questions), it would perhaps be helpful to have a bit of general background. This progression moves from quod quid dicitur to an sit and, finally, to quid sit, and involves the observation that only real beings can have an essence. The an sit precedes the quid sit and knowing one would ipso facto mean knowing the other only if an essence were identical with existence as in the case of God. The working analogy here is modelled on our knowing process. To wit: first we see a body moving in the distance, then we see its a man, then, finally, we see that its Socrates.. i.e. weve moved from that it is to what it is. Again, there is an order of priority between the questions an sit and quid sit, the reasons for which will appear shortly. Aristotle shows that the middle term is the nature or quiddity; since that quiddity is what is to be defined (what it is) it cannot be demonstrated (shown to exist) for anyone defining something must already know it to exist. The usual methods fail for they all involve a "petitio principii or question begging. Concretely, in the Posterior Analytics II (lectios 3,4 and 5), Aristotle shows how method after method fails. Another type of argument, per rationes communes, or generally acknowledged reasons, must be used. We cite McInernys paragraph, interrupting his remarks only to furnish examples or further explanation:
"After these particular arguments against demonstrating the quiddity, he presents another argument per rationes communes. First, he makes this general point: it seems impossible to demonstrate the quiddity because whoever knows what a thing is knows that thing to be. What is not has no whatness. (Only a real being has whatness; a chimera can have a nominal definition.) True, we can know what a word means without knowing that an existent thing is named by it. But a demonstration concludes to one thing because it uses a middle which is per se one and the conclusion has to be proportionate to the middle. What a man is and the fact that he is differ. (This is the case for all finite substances.) Now a demonstration concludes that something is. Hence, to show that something is could only be tantamount to showing what something is if for it to be were the same as what it is. Suppose, then that a demonstration concluded to whatness. Since whatness and existence differ, we would arrive at knowledge of whatness independent of knowledge that such a whatness exists. This can be turned around: the definition which expresses whatness does not tell us that the thing exists. In this the definition of circle does not seem to differ from that of silver mountain."347 (parentheses mine)

This is perhaps the most important element for our purposes: the demonstration is not a proposition; the order of whatness or quod sit does not say that the thing exists. McInerny reports on notions that a chimera has a definition like a real or mathematical object, only to reject the idea, pointing out that in the De Ente Aquinas says that only that has a what which aliquid in re ponit although that definition says nothing about the actual existence of the substance defined.348 So, given the limit of the definition, it might seem that it precedes judging that something exists. But both Aristotle and
347 348

McInerny, op. cit., p 207. Ibid., p 208.


Aquinas insist that the answer to the question an sit is given before we deal with the quid sit. What follows will bring us back to our tracing of the movement from an sit to quid sit, and is rather subtle. Although we can learn that a thing is and what it is at once, we cannot know what it is without knowing that that thing is. But what habitually takes place is that we decide that something is without knowing what it is. We grasp it first via accidents or some essential aspect of the thing. If we knowas in the famous examplethat featherless bipeds exist, then we know the 'quid est quod dicitur' of man, i.e. whats being spoken of. Then comes the question as to what they are or quid est? If we know that real things correspond to the term man, we can ask what men are. Knowledge of existence only precedes knowing whatness in this limited sense of quid est quod dicitur. But whatness never includes existence. Remembering that, in context, quid sit always follows an sit showing us why the definition is not a proposition conveying existence. It will be recalled that ens ut verum was said to be wider in scope than ens perfectum because true propositions can be framed about being in potency, etc. In this connection, St. Thomas refers to an sit in talking of ens ut verum. It will also be recalled that in questions 1 and 3, an sit and quia est, asked if there is a middle term. They dont seek ens ut verum. But some true propositions, e.g., about privations etc, do not answer the an sit question in a way that moves on to the quid sit. They stop with an sit. This is what we mean in saying that ens ut verum is wider in scope than ens perfectum. Any ens perfectum can be the basis of a statement that aliquid in re ponit. But ens ut verum also includes privations, etc.349 Remarking that ens ut verum can be relevant to logic, but that the science of the Posterior Analytics requires ens perfectum, McInerny points out that "Only that answers the question an sit which posits something positive in reality"350 What he means by answers is affirms, positively. There is a role for ens ut verum as an answer to the question an sit in the sense of, for example, affirming the non-existence of chimeras: does the phoenix exist? Answer, no. And, it's true. Another characteristic of an affirmative answer is that it may convey a partial grasp of quiddity. This is telling in the mind's gradual movement from knowlege that a thing is to knowledge of what it is. This discussion of an sit brings us back around to more central problems. One last remark related to ens ut verum leads us to the issue of how 'existence' is an accidental predicate. We see the 'incompatibility problem' we spoke of before in the light of ens ut verum. McInerny again:
"There can be, therefore, a double reference in the answer to the question an sit. As St. Thomas says, it can refer to the truth of the proposition or the entitas rei. Even when the latter is precluded, the former is possible."351

Ibid., p 210, McInerny points out that ens ut verum can be referred to the question an sit in the sense of testing a theorem and coming up with the answer that it posits nothing real. His example: "There are no no centaurs in rerum natura." 350 Ibid. 351 Ibid.



In other words, to provide an example, seeing that the phrase 'peter is blind' is only ens ut verum can make us see how a phrase, 'Socrates is', (taken in the first sense of #896) or 'Socrates is sitting' is per accidens vis-a-vis being as it falls under the categories. McInerny continues:
"It is easy to understand why ens ut verum is accidental to ens reale, that to be in the former sense is an accidental predicate of things which fall under the categories. It is the teaching of St. Thomas, however, that even when the question an sit refers to the entitas rei, an accidental predicate is involved. We want now to examine this doctrine and its compatibility with the text quoted above in which we read that when the predicate in "Socrates is" does not refer to ens ut verum but to ens reale, it is a substantial predicate."352 (underlining mine)

Here we shall be considering a pair of texts that are central to our problematic. To be as clear as possible, these are texts wherein Aquinas says that existence is an accidental predicate in one sense, widely speaking. The texts are:



However, before considering them, a few general remarks. In contrasting ens ut verum with ens perfectum we are often at pains to say that it is ens perfectum that we are after as the subject genus of metaphysics. But we hasten to add that it's the nature (ratio entis) or natures of being as it falls under the categories, ens perfectum, that we seek particularly. Raised and then rejected by McInerny, the other remark deals with the possibility of existence being a property of the essence because it has in common with property that it is not the essence of the thing. The reasons entailed in rejecting this possible solution are enlightening: Although both existence and property are other than the essence and follow from the principles of that essence, it is a question of priorities, i.e., property is not an act like existence, nor is existence just a property of essence. The property is because the nature is, and the nature is because existence adheres to it. And the nature is a sort of efficient cause of the property but the nature cannot be the efficient cause of its own existence, it would have to first possess it. 'Man is risible' means 'a nature is in a certain way' but 'man is' means the 'nature is, tout court'.

Ibid. This is a text Heidegger cites and then translates and comments, Quaestiones Quodlibetales, II, 2, art. 1. We note that Heidegger's numbering of Quodlibetal arguments does not match our Leonine edition. It appears that Heidegger used the Vives edition. 354 Quaestiones Quodlibetales, XII, 5, 11.



But if existence is not a property of the essence, how are we to characterize it? What comes through in McInerny's procedure of showing how esse is an accident and how it is not an accident is his desire to show the sense of concern on Aquinas's part not to leave us with the impression that existence can, in any central way, be described as being just an accident of the essence. McInerny states the central conclusion at the outset:
"Thus, although existence is said to save the common notion of accident, insofar as whatever is praeter essentiam is an accident, it does not do so in the way predicamental accident, whether per se or contingent, does."355

(In other words, it resembles neither 'risible said of man' nor 'white said of Socrates....But what is most important here is St. Thomas's stressing that existence is only an accident in a common or wide sense.) In the reply to objections, St. Thomas stresses its role as actuality:

Looking at the technical descriptions of accident, it has a common, but also a proper notion, the ratio propria, which last includes necessary and contingent accidents. But the notion of accident only includes existence as accident (in the negative sense that it is not the essence) in a common sense or widely speaking (accidens dicitur large) and thus accident taken in the proper sense does not include esse. (McInerny points out that the sense in which existence is an accident is a much more extended notion than that allowing necessary and contingent accidents to be grouped together under the one term, accident.) Since it is so central lets take a close look at Aquinass Quodlibetal XII passage explaining this: It is the actuality of any existing form ; his tone is so emphatic that one is almost surprised that he will agree with Hilary that, just in one sense, existence is an accident. He goes on to refer to God, who is his existence and the furthest removed from ens per accidens:



355 356

McInerny, op. cit., p 211. Quodlibet II q. 2, a. 1, ad 2. 357 Quodlibet. XII, q. 5, a. 11. 358 Ibid.


No cause imparts existence unless it participates in the divine operation. This is a hint of things to come; we shall learn that one of the reasons why Socrates is is an accidental predication is that man, or any finite substance for that matter, participates in existence. Below, almost as an admission, St. Thomas ends up agreeing with Hilary on that one sense in which existence is an accident:


We recall that McInerny contrasted existence as accident with necessary and contingent accidents. We see what distinguishes them from esse as accident:
These latter (necessary and contingent accidents) are praeter essentiam but as well esse accidentale. The actuality of the essence, though also praeter essentiam, is esse substantiale. That is why esse, in the sense of substantial existence, is not an accident in the sense of per accidens se habens. The only meaning accident has as applied to existence is the sweepingly general one of praeter essentiam.360 (parenthesis mine)

359 360

Ibid. McInerny, op. cit., p 212.


Transition Generally speaking, having established, among other things, the central message of Quodlibet. II, q 2, a.1, that this proposition, 'Socrates is' is an accidental predication according as it signifies the entity of the thing or the truth of the proposition. And the central message of Quodlibet. XII, q. 5, a. 11, that existence is an accidental predicate only insofar as it is praeter essentiam, we shall move on to a few points to be made about composites of matter and form like man. (This will introduce us to basic considerations as to the relationship of esse and ens as id quod habet esse in finite substances.) McInerny offers a few provisos here:
With respect to material things, existence means the actual composition of the components of the essence."Man exists" means that the substantial form and prime matter are actually composed. This actuality is not another essential principle; it is not a tertium quid composed of the principles. It is the actual composition of the essential principles, the actuality of that which is a man.361

The idea here being that if existence were a tertium quid it would be a part of the definition and thus Socrates, as so defined would have to exist. Aside from the realism of that pedagogical aid, what comes across here is the stresses McInerny places on the concreteness of the composition of the finite material substance. (While the first part of his text focused on criticisms of Gilson, this second part has contained very few. Here, however he takes up arms against a view of existence he finds foreign to both Aristotle and Aquinas. He criticizes those who feel that a material substance brings together an essence and existence in general:
For a man to be is for a soul and a body actually to be composed. Existence is this actual composition in rerum natura. This is not a composition of essence and existence in general, but of this essence and this existence. For Socrates to exist is for an essence of a certain kind to be actual.362

Along similar lines, McInerny seems to feel that a common notion of existence has replaced the proper notion of it that is to be found in a real substance in rerum natura:
"Man exists" does not assert the composition of human nature and "the act of all acts even of forms," which is the common notion of existence. Rather, it is the composition of this nature and its actuality. True, this existence falls under the common notion of existence, but it also restricts it. ''363

While our task is to shed light on the doctrine of essence and existence in finite substances rather than study disputes between schools of Thomism, McInernys last remark in this connection brings us back around to the questions an sit and quid sit and reminds us that McInerny wants to show us ens perfectum, being as it falls under the 10 categories, as the subject genus of metaphysics. He addresses the types of metaphysicians who content themselves with marvelling at the fact that something is, i.e., stopping there without going on to ask about its causes. Thinkers of this sort remain

361 362

Ibid. McInerny, op. cit., p 213. 363 Ibid.


unnamed here but one gets the impression that the Gilsonian school is the target of his remarks:
There has been a tendency recently to see the judgment of existence as something terminal, as if to know that a thing is were somehow the goal of philosophical knowledge. There are several difficulties with such a view, particularly as a statement about metaphysics. First of all, since only singular things exist, there is a tendency to suggest that the term of metaphysics consists in a judgmental descent to the warmth of existent supposita.364

McInerny seems to be alluding to the sentiment that such a descent to existent supposita would supposedly modernize Thomism and make it more palatable for contemporary tastes. However, what he says next is directly linked to the four questions we discussed earlier. He continues:
But no science, and certainly not metaphysics, is as such concerned with the singulars with which we make experiential contact. Secondly and more pertinently, the question an sit is a prelude to the further question quid sit. Moreover, the proposition which answers the question an sit is a tacit admission that there is a middle to be found which will be causative of the existence recognized in the answer to an sit. Once we know that something exists, we ask what it is and our question seeks the cause of the existence.the judgment that Man is..poses the further problem of seeking the middle term which expresses the cause of man's existence. In other words, the suggestion is that an argument can be formed in which the quiddity will function as middle term.365

So if Socrates exists, man exists, and from this answer to an an sit question we need to search out the middle term that will lead us to the cause of mans existence. Again, we need the quiddity working as middle term. McInerny offers and rejects a circular version of the argument: Rational animal exists and man is a rational animal, so man exists; this is just saying man is man and doesnt get us anywhere. (The way out is a sort of gradualism.) We need to discover how the quiddity can work as a middle term in an syllogism that concludes to the existence of that of which it is a quiddity. We need, as it were, to take a step back. It will be recalled that in discussing the problem of how to move from knowledge of the answer to the an sit to knowledge of the quid sit we spoke of a gradual recognition. The example was that we see an animal, then we see its a man, then we see its Socrates, etc. Here we shall rather speak of essential notes that allow us to grasp the essences of COMPOSITE substances. (Obviously, if they are simple we either know them or we do not.) An existential judgment permits us to say that something exists in rerum natura. It is described via accidents. We cannot know its cause for we know it in a per accidens way. Moving from the answer to the an sit to knowledge of the quid sit is done by proof of a definition. But its well known that theres no proof of say, man is a rational animal. So how to are we to go on? Our existence judgment answering the an sit question knows the quiddity imperfectly. If we think it exists through a material element in it, its form, which is the ratio materiae,366 can act as the middle term in a proof of the
Ibid. Ibid. 366 Interestingly, McInerny notes that Gilson has trouble with matter as the principle of individuation for St. Thomas. McInerny says that Gilson feels that that is just an Aristotelian notion and that esse is the principle of individuation for St. Thomas. McInerny also feels that it is evident that materia is the principle of individuation in St. Thomass view.
365 364


existence judgment . (If one may resort to an image: you sort of have to pull yourself up by your bootstraps.) Our knowledge of a basic factor is valid even if we dont know other, related, essential notes.367 St. Thomas writes in this connection:

Thereupon, form is named as the cause of the matters existence, a specific form of materia signate, in fact. Since the form is the cause of the matter, naming the form provides the ratio essendi of that first judgment of existence that was made in reference to what is material in it. (It seems to us more evident to say that the form is the cause of the matter being this or that than to say how it is such.) Two more points on these definitions: the definition via formal cause is said to provide the propter quid of the matter through knowledge of which the thing was judged to exist.369 The final proviso in fact shows the relationship between our first knowledge, answering the an sit and proof of the existential judgment. That proof of the existential judgment is not that existence is a property of essence but it gives the form as the cause of the matters existence; it provides a reason for the existence weve affirmed. In a last remark before moving on to a consideration of participation and habens esse and related issues, we note that McInerny defends his views, and Aristotle and Aquinass as well as he sees it, against a charge of essentialism:
let us say that the objector feels that Aristotle and St. Thomas are reducing existence to essence, that all the foregoing "demonstration" (what weve reviewed) does is manifest whatness. Neither side of the objection holds. What Aristotle and St. Thomas are doing is assigning the cause of existence. They envisage a situation when a composite is judged to exist; this judgment must have a subject, known in some way, of which existence is affirmed. If "Man exists" stands for "Such-and-such an organized body exists" or, equivalently, "Man is a body organized in such-and-such a way," we seek the cause of what is judged to exist, and the cause precisely of its existence. That cause will be the form.370 (parenthesis mine)

In the spirit of this progression, one can readily understand why such Aristotelian-Thomists end up seeing biology, in all its detail, as an extension of the philosophy of nature, the latter providing the most general aspects. 368 McInerny, op. cit., p 214; In Post. Analytic., lect. 7 n. 6. NB, McInerny has taken the liberty of replacing rationalis by, animal in the text, thereby making it, he thinks, easier to grasp. (Aristotle uses 'animal'.) We agree with McInerny. 369 McInerny, op. cit., p. 215. 370 Ibid.



Transition In his treatment of being as substantial predicate, McInerny once again turns to analyzing Quodlibet, II, q. 2, a. 1, c, but for different reasons. In a word, the point this time will be made in recalling that a substantial predicate, too, participates in being. And this is all important for establishing compatibility between in Metaphysics V,7, #896 and Quodlibet, II, q. 2, a. 1, c It is interesting to notice the subject of the text Quodlibet, II, q. 2, a. 1. The article is asking whether an angel is composed of essence and existence; the first point of the corpus contrasts being said of God essentialiter and being said of angels by participation. (We shall soon see that being is said essentialiter of being as essence, in the first mode of being per se.) St. Thomass text:

Since we now know that being is predicated of creatures per participationem we need to learn the ways in which things participate in another. In fact, the second main section of the corpus distinguishes 2 modes of participation. (As it happens, McInerny has dealt with the 3 modes of participation that are distinguished in the In Boethii de trin, q.5, a.3 text but, as it happens, 2 of them are relevant here:

Ibid., p. 216, Quodlibet, II, q. 2, a. 1 translated by McInerny: According to this [distinction] then it must be said that being is predicated essentially of God alone, because the divine existence is subsistent and absolute existence; of no matter what creature it is predicated by way of participation for no creature is its existence but is something having existence. So too God is his goodness; creatures however are called good by way of participation because they have goodness. . . Whenever something is predicated of another by way of participation, there is something there other than that which is participated. 372 Ibid, pg. 217, Quodlibet, II, q. 2, a. 1 translated by McInerny: But note that something is participated in either of two ways. In one way, as being of the substance of that which participates in the way genus is participated by the species. Existence is not participated in this way by the creature, for that is of the substance of the thing which enters into its definition. Being, however, is not put in the definition of the creature because it is neither a genus nor difference; hence it is participated as something not of the essence of the thing. That is why the questions 'Is it?' and 'What is it?' differ. And since whatever is outside the essence of the thing is said to be an accident, the existence which answers to the question 'Is it?' is an accident. (Italics mine)



The first is excluded here. That sort occurs when the species is of the substance of what it participates as man and horse are both substantially animal and animal enters into their definition. But existence doesnt enter anythings definition, and so, as we have said, that sort is irrelevant here. Rather it participates as something outside the essence. (That seems to be the sole criterion here.) As is pointed out, the an est, stating that something is, is not the same as the quid est, its definition, stating what it is. The next short sentence we have already cited. But we feel that here we should specify something, an important detail. The last phrase of St. Thomas reads:
373 (Italics and underlining mine)

The translation of this key passage McInerny offers here, of Quodlibet, II, q. 2, a. 1, c, in rendering the whole corpus of article one, is not the same as that he offered earlier on in his article374:
Hence the Commentator says . . . that this proposition "Socrates is" involves an accidental predicate insofar as it signifies the being of the thing or the truth of the proposition.375 (Italics and underlining mine)

In our view, the text would have had to read: involves an accidental predication in order to make sense and to remain compatible with #896, were it not that an additional factor is involved, i.e., that the verb IS signifies in time and for that reason IS is an accidental predicate both times. 376 This is because in #896 St Thomas has said that the predicate, Est, referring to entitas rei refers to substantial being. It is precisely, the predication that is always per accidens, whether it refer to entitas rei or the truth of a proposition. (In #896 St Thomas says that the 'is' in 'Socrates is' is a substantial predicate taken in the first sense; but here he speaks of predications. We shall see below that, referring to #896, we see that (one) the predicate, and not the predication, alone can be said to be substantial (two) only insofar as it refers to the "id ad quod nomen imponitur ad significandum", i.e., ens . And, by the way not siginifying via time!

Returning to our study of participation, we see that since being is neither a genus nor a species it is participated as something not of the essence of what participates it. McInerny presents several notions we shall want to work through:
It might appear that predication essentialiter and participative applied to "being" amounts to a distinction between esse and habens esse. Yet St. Thomas is speaking of ens and doesn't ens mean quod est or habens esse? St. Thomas is saying that God is existence and that creatures, when they exist, have existence. Does he mean that the ratio entis
373 374

Quodlibet, II, q. 2, a. 1, c. McInerny, op. cit., p. 206. 375 McInerny, op. cit., p. 217. 376 Cf. in I Periherm., lect. 5, n. 20.


as said of God is existence and when said of creatures is habens esse? It is certain that habens esse exemplifies the complexity which participation is said to involve.377

But if we said that being doesnt enter into the definitions of things and is not a genus, and yet is what is first conceived by us and what every concept resolves itself into, then what is it, and how is it involved here? It would seem that esse enters into the natures of the supreme genera, for example the definition of substance: that whose nature it is not to be in another. Or it may well enter into the definition of essence: that by which something has existence. (One thing we have to get clear about is that substance as the first category does not just signify the thing but the essence of the ens perfectum that is divided by the 10 categories.) McInerny cites the de Veritate to that effect:

Since being means id quod habet esse, it signifies essence, the first mode of being per se mentioned in Meta, V, 7. It is divided into 10 genera but not as a genus into species. Again, this being meaning essence, said essentialiter of ens perfectum, is divided into ten categories but variously, analogously, of nine of them. The Ratio Entis et alia This being just described means what is, quod est, and quod habet esse. How is esse related to this ens. McInerny asks:
"... is not esse part of the very ratio of the name and doesn't it follow then that esse is of the essence of that of which ens is predicated essentialiter? Since this is a consequence we would not want to accept, we must examine how it is that esse is part of the ratio entis. The shortest statement of this is: "hoc vero nomen Ens imponitur ab actu essendi.""379

In this text St Thomas is discussing the transcendentals. For example, anything that exists is one, good and true The suppositum, the substance denoted by these expressions, is one and the same but denominated variously, via different rationes. In other words, there is one thing that is good and true, etc. In short, the suppositum, the thing denoted by one, good and true, is the same but variously denominated via various rationes. It is one and the same thing that is called a being, a thing and one, but the rationes thus signified differ. We refer to McInerny. He is applying all of this to esse and ens:
"The suppositum is denominated a thing (res) from its essence or quiddity; the quiddity is id a quo nomen imponitur
377 378

McInerny, op. cit., p. 217. Q. D. de Ver., q. 1, a. 1. c. 379 McInerny, op. cit., p 219; St. Thomas, in IV Meta, lectio 2, n. 553.


ad significandum. In the case of the term being, the supposit is denominated from its act of existence."380

NB...We shall see that the "id a quo nomen imponitur ad significandum" is one formulation of a pair. It is that from which the name is taken to signify. So the quiddity of ens is esse, its actus essendi. Continuing on with McInerny:
"Now, although in the creature its essence is other than its existence, if the term imposed from what it is (res) and the term imposed from its existence (ens) did not signify the same thing (though through different rationes) they could not be called convertible."381

Just as we said above, on the transcendentals; it is one suppositum, differently signified by various rationes. Again with McInerny:

"That from which the name being is imposed to signify, i.e. existence, is not part of the essence of that which the name is imposed to signify, i.e. the subject of existence.382
So recapitulating, the "id a quo nomen imponitur ad significandum", esse, is not the same as that which the name is imposed to signify, "id ad quod nomen imponitur ad significandum", ens.

The above Quodlibet text might be said to contain the whole doctrine in a few words. Next we shall cite McInerny, interrupting him to explain the gist of his message, as best we can:

"Esse is attributed to what is in reality, to things which aliquid in re ponunt."

This means we are dealing with ens perfectum, not privations.


"That to which esse is attributed is denominated ens; what is named from existence is the subject of existence."385
As we said, that to which esse is attributed, the "id ad quod nomen imponitur ad significandum" is ens. What is named from existence "id a quo nomen imponitur ad
380 381

Ibid. Ibid. 382 Ibid. 383 Quodlib. IX q. 2, a. 2. 384 McInerny, op. cit., p 219. 385 Ibid.


significandum", esse, is the subject of existence. And so, referring to #896, we see that (one) the predicate, and not the predication, alone can be said to be substantial and (two) only insofar as it refers to the "id ad quod nomen imponitur ad significandum", i.e., ens . And, by the way not siginifying via time!
"In the case of being, it happens that that from which the name is imposed to signify is not of the essence of that which is denominated. That is called a being to which esse in rerum natura is attributed, but actually to be in reality is not what that which is named "being" is."386

As said earlier, the an sit is not the quid sit. It is not of the essence of Socrates to be.387

Ibid. McInerny, op. cit., p 220-21: McInerny goes on to present a treatment of the divine names with a view to illustrating the ratio entis. We shall not get into that excursus but it does contain one worthwhile summary of the positions described above: "It has emerged that quod est, habens esse or quod habet esse is always the notion signified by the concrete term ens. That from which the term is imposed to signify is esse. The subject of esse is included in the signification of ens, but is left wholly undetermined from the point of view of its modus essendi. That is why we can say that ens signifies only esse. If we look to the id a quo of this name, we find that it is something other than the thing which is denominated from it, at least in the case of creatures. That is why being is not their proper name; as such it does not manifest what they are. In the case of God, the composition of the ratio entis is recognized, as following only on our mode of knowing." Loc cit, p 221.



Transition There are a few more notions relating to ens and its a quo aspect that we hope to examine. Although the divine names is not our subject a few points arise. We shall first point out what is most formal in ens: esse388 and why it is not a proposition despite its composite nature. Whether it means Qui est, a divine name, or quod est, 'what is', ens does not signify just the actus essendi. The ratio includes the subject of the act. But that subject is left undetermined as stated. It is only named from the formality of its act, existence. The mode of reception is left open. There are three subjects we wish to treat before concluding. The first two have to do with, in fact they enumerate, the ways of naming God. They might seem not to be directly related to our research into essence/existence but, in fact, are because they help us to better understand the notion of ratio entis we have spoken about. Then we shall look at a text where we see how time and tenses are involved in the phrase 'Socrates is' and how this is related to the subject of metaphysics. 1. God named as 'qui est' We have established that if God is subsistent existence, all creatures, finite beings, are habens esse. If the creature participates esse it has ens predicated of it but not of its essence. Does ens mean quod est or does it only mean quod est when it indicates substance? Or is it open, i.e., meaning that the ratio entis can be viewed differently, depending on which mode of being is predicated. The latter is the case. Take the case where qui est is said to be the best name for God. Qui est is a variant of quod est and equals ens. So ens is the most proper name of God. St. Thomas says that this does not indicate some thing, formally, but existence itself: "Non enim significat formam aliquam, sed ipsum esse."389 As McInerny remarks:
"Since God's essence is existence, being or He who is properly names him...Any other name adds to the signification of being, in one way or another, but being is the most indeterminate of all words, since the term does not signify any determinate mode of existence, but is indeterminate with respect to any mode whatsoever."Ens autem non dicit quidditatem, sed solum actum essendi.""390

But if we said that esse is attributed to ens as being its subject, how can ens, taken to mean quod est or Qui est, be said to signify only the act of existing? The ratio seems to include the quod or the qui, as subject of the act. But the subject here is left completely undetermined. As McInerny says:
"..it is denominated solely from the formality of its act, which is existence, and the mode of reception or possession of that act is left wholly indeterminate. Thus, although the quod is primarily substance, substance is not signified determinately by ens; that is why the term is common to substance and accident."391

This is of course true in any case, not just regarding the divine names. So whereas the
388 389

Because the id a quo is what is most formal in the signification of a name. ST, 1a, q. 13, a. 11 390 McInerny, op. cit., p 220; St. Thomas, in I Sent, dist 8, q. 4. a 2, ad 2. 391 Ibid.


ratio entis is composite, one of the components, esse, is formal with respect to the other, namely the component which is the id a quo nomen imponitur ad significandum. Again, the id a quo is what is most formal in the signification of the name; the id a quo of ens is esse and from this point of view Qui est or ens is the most proper name of God. (Without entering into details, McInerny remarks that from the point of view of the 'id ad quod nomen imponitur ad significandum, 'Deus' is the most perfect name of God.) Thus it is not because ens is a simple term that it is a proper name for God. In fact, it is composed but what the name being is imposed to signify is left open vis vis the ratio entis. 2. God named as 'ipsum esse' However, there is another option, that of Boethius. It turns out that qui est is the least imperfect name of God but is nonetheless defective. As St. Thomas says and McInerny often repeats: "omne nomen cum defectu est"392. Applied to God, Qui est is a defective name. Why? It is seemingly because it contains the composition of the ratio entis. Can we avoid this composition and opt for Ipsum esse as the most proper name of God? It turns out that each has an advantage and each a disadvantage. St. Thomas concludes that:
"a concrete name applied to God (e.g. ens) has the advantage of signifying what subsists and the disadvantage of complexity; an abstract name (e.g. esse) has the advantage of simplicity but the disadvantage of signifying as a quo."393 (McInerny's translation)

Returning to our essence and existence problematic, we look at how quod est signifies something to be. In discussing how ens signifies, McInerny refers to Aquinass commentary on the Perihermeneias. This clarifies whether or not quod est signifies something to be:
In commenting on Aristotle St. Thomas observes that "nec ipsum ens significat rem esse vel non esse. Etenim hoc maxime videbatur de hoc quod dico ens: quia ens nihil aliud est quam quod est. Et sic videtur et rem significare, per hoc quod dico QUOD et esse per hoc quod dico EST. Et Si quidem haec dictio ens significaret esse principaliter, sicut significat rem quae habet esse, procul dubio significaret aliquid esse."394

Ens is a simple term with a complex ratio. But it is not complex as a proposition is:
When something is apprehended as ens, it is grasped under the formality of existence. And, though what exists is left wholly undetermined in this apprehension, it is what exists which is being apprehended. The composition of the subject and existence is not as such signified by the term ens, as if the term meant, Something exists." "Sed ipsam compositionem, quae importatur in hoc quod dico EST, non principaliter significat, sed consignificat eam inquantum significat rem habentem esse. Unde talis consignificatio compositionis non sufficit ad veritatem vel falsitatem: quia compositio in qua consistit veritas et falsitas, non potest intelligi, nisi secundum quod innectit extrema

392 393

SCG, I, cap. 30. McInerny, op. cit., p 221; cf. St. Thomas, ST, 1a, q. 13, a. 1, ad 2. 394 I Periherm., lect. 5, n. 20.


compositionis." The concept of being is not a judgment; it does not signify existence in the way in which the proposition does and, consequently, is neither true nor false.395

3. Signifying without time Criticizing Avicenna for allegedly having thought that one and being said of a substance are accidental predicates and natures added to what they are said of, St. Thomas says a few informative things for our consideration of the proposition 'Socrates is'...:
"Similiter etiam deceptus est ex aequivocatione entis......(Avicenna) Nam ens quod significat compositionem propositionis est praedicatum accidentale, quia compositio fit per intellectum secundum determinatum tempus. Esse autem in hoc tempore vel in illo, est accidentale praedicatum. Sed ens quod dividitur per decem praedicamenta, significat ipsas naturas decem generum secundum quod sunt actu vel potentia."396

Whatever signifies via the composition of the proposition is ens ut verum. But as Q.Q. II, 2, art 1 indicated, one can consider the is in Socrates is either as ens ut verum or as signifying the entity of the thing entitas rei. Taken either way, St. Thomas says there, it is an accidental predicate. To say something exists is saying it exists here and now because its verb is signifies with time. But how does this compare with being, ens perfectum, as divided by the categories? McInerny tells us:
"Ens however, as it is divided into the categories does not assert that anything exists. The natures so divided are denominated from esse, they are that to which esse is attributed, but it is the nature which is denominated and not its factual existence at any given time.397

The scope of this is quite important and worth digesting. Far from the warmth of a descent to existents McInerny caricatured earlier, being has a nature as does man or horse; it is the ratio entis that is sought. Here below McInerny feels that St. Thomass referring to these natures as in act or in potency is a sign of how esse is related to the ratio entis.398
"That is why St. Thomas says that being signifies these natures according as they are in act or in potency, using the disjunctive both sides of which, though with priority and posteriority, are explained with reference to esse. This passage would seem to underline the manner in which esse is part of the ratio entis."399

The following might be characterized as McInenrys common sense appeal supporting the doctrine he presents. He offers the alternative and hints at its consequences for science, i.e. a catastrophe..
If we say that metaphysics is concerned with things as existing, wouldn't we mean in the present? And is any science concerned with something so contingent as that? To think of metaphysics as reaching its term in such judgments as Socrates is is to separate oneself rather definitively from the doctrine of St. Thomas."400
395 396

McInerny, op. cit., p 222; cf. St. Thomas, I Periherm., lect. 5, n. 20. in X Meta, lect. 4, n. 1982. 397 McInerny, op. cit., pp 225-6. 398 Although ens in potency is eventually eliminated by Aristotle as a subject of metaphysics; Cf. in VI Meta, lect. 4, n. 1243. 399 McInerny, op. cit., p 226. 400 Ibid.


CONCLUSION In the end one cannot but agree with McInerny that what emerges is a complex, subtle and finally consistent doctrine:
"Despite the difficulties of his teaching on the predication of being and the apparently contradictory assertions, the text of St. Thomas reveals a complex, subtle and finally consistent doctrine. And, although esse is what is most formal in the ratio entis, there is no basis for the claim that the subject of metaphysics, as described by St. Thomas, includes esse in the way in which this is attained in the judgment."401

Stepping back a bit, we keep in mind that whereas McInerny has been studying being and predication, we have merely been trying to uncover a few factors on essence and existence. Our paths have surely crossed but his goal is much more ambitious than ours. What can we say just about essence and existence? One might almost be tempted to begin by stressing what we have not seen in the above pages, pages that have dealt with the answers to the questions: an sit and quid sit, respectively expressing existence and essence, than on what we have seen. We recall that in the Posterior Analytics, II, lectio 1, n. 3, Aristotle enumerated four questions that embody the types of questions we ask. The four distinct questions were: does the thing exist?... an sit what is it? quid sit is it such-and-such? quia sit why is it such-and-such? propter quid402 The first two, does the thing exist?... an sit?, and what is it? quid sit, call for simple answers and do not in numerum ponunt. But what is important here is that their answers express the existences and natures of finite substances. However we cannot avoid the conclusion that the major 'intrigue' of the problem has been one turning around our ability to establish compatibility among three key texts. Referring again tois it?, an sit?, and what is it? quid sit, whose answers express existence and essence, we ask once again how they are linked together at in Metaphysics V,7, #896 and Quodlibet, II, q. 2, a. 1,c ? We recall that #896 said that if being refers to something in rerum natura, ens perfectum, then a substantial predication is involved, a defintion, expressing an essence. But if it refers to the truth of a propostion ens ut verum, an accidental predication is involved, expressing existence. But, Quodlibet, II, q. 2, a. 1, c. said that an accidental predicate was involved in either case. We have seen that the two statements are compatible, for only the predicate 'is' refers to ens perfectum and is a substantial predicate (insofar as it refers to ens and doesn't signify in time). But what links all of that back to an sit and quid sit? The answer is to be found in the third member of our trio of texts, in Super Sent., lib. 2 d. 34 q. 1 a. 1, solutio:

401 402

Ibid., p 227. Cf. pg. 114 above for our Analysis of the questions an sit and quid sit.



In our view, the above text is most clear in illustrating that essence is of the order of ens perfectum, and expresses the answer to the question 'quid sit?' and that the answer to the question 'an sit?' is of the order of ens ut verum and states that something exists. So what have we found here? In predication, in the logical order, speaking generally, McInerny remarks404 a careful distinction is always retained between the logical intention and the existing substance405. There is no question here of confusing the two nor is there an imposition of the logical order on things in rerum natura.406 Accordingly, addressing our general problem, one thing that we can readily agree upon is that we have not seen anything vaguely resembling a duae res or Aegidian type doctrine that might be attributed to St. Thomas, as Suarez and Heidegger are wont to do. But we dont even find some strange, albeit non-Aegidian, carving up of finite substances into two ontological domains, in the name of a real distinction. All we find is that in saying Socrates is in rerum natura, if Socrates exists, is that our predication is true, as ens ut verum. Similarly, when we say man is an animal, we find that all we are doing is predicating animal of man per se in the first mode. Relating Aquinas to the others, our prediction is that Scotuss doctrine will unfold as the odd man out (his approach is dissimilar; his premises are different.) of the 3 thinkers: Aquinas, Scotus and Suarez. Besides what we have established here, that Suarezs criticisms of Aquinass duae res position are incorrect, we suspect that Suarezs position will turn out to be expressed in such a different vocabulary a vocabulary that is the fruit of some 330 years of dispute over what we suppose we are doing when we predicate essence and existence of finite substances that it will be impossible to judge its compatibility with Aquinas.

Super Sent., lib. 2 d. 34 q. 1 a. 1, solutio; cf. n. 290. In connection with the seventh book of the Metaphysics. 405 McInerny, op. cit, p 170. 406 We might also point out that we haven't encountered the expression distinctio realis either. Although McInerny does speak of a real composition.



Heidegger's Section Beta: John Duns Scotus

General Preliminary Remarks. We shall now deal with section beta, i.e., Heidegger on Scotus. It naturally follows our treatment of alpha, on Aquinas, wherein we have shown that Heidegger ends up attributing an Aegidian, 'duae res' position to Aquinas. We demonstrated there that the attribution of that notion, the Aegidian, 'duae res' position, in alpha, is due at least in part to Suarez's influence on Heidegger. Surely, if we can show something similar for beta, the thesis that Suarez 'mene la barque' will be further strengthened. Naturally, Heideggers method in presenting section Beta to his students is similar to what he employed when dealing with Aquinas. After a short introduction he begins to translate snippets of the Latin text followed by his explanation and commentaries. It is our feeling that, mechanically, analysis of such a classroom intended procedure is intrinsically, extremely confusing for the reader. (We should not forget that BP is a reportatio, a corrected compilation from lectures Heidegger delivered) Accordingly, to compensate for that intrinsic difficulty, after presenting the Latin, we shall proceed to translating in its entirety the short Scotus text that Heidegger presents to his students. Text Analysis Reportata Parisiensia, Librum I, Distinction 45, Quast II, Scholium 1. The Wadding text:

SCHOLIUM I in Latin:

Unlike Heideggers interpretation of St. Thomass real distinction (occasioning three references), there is only one reference to John Duns Scotus here in Chapter II, 10, Beta, p. 131-2, Part I , of Die


Heidegger only cites one Scotus text. Accordingly, we provide our own translation here, following Heidegger's vocabulary choices as far as possible.

Scholium I in English:
(Rsum).... "Rejecting the two opinions, which posited the will in God, through the act of the intellect, whether negotiating or comparing from outside or inside, he decides it proceeds from the things nature, and formaliter, and he expounds what it is to be understood by either of these terms, then based on the premises, he proves no rational being to be formally infinite." As to the first question, there is one opinion saying that the will is not in God from the things nature (ex natura rei), but only by an act of the negotiating or comparing intellect, i.e., from outside his very essence, which opinion was refuted at the beginning of this first question. The other opinion is similar, positing the will and other perfections to be in God, not by his nature (ex natura rei), but only by the act of the intellect negotiating, but not comparing from outside, but from inside, which opinion is refuted distinct. 35."

The following is the central Respondeo or solution. The two passages Heidegger cites in Latin are left in bold letters in our English translation.
"Dismissing those opinions, I answer that there are two expressions that have to be explained: first, what is being in God by the things nature (esse in Deo ex natura rei), and, secondly, being there formally (esse ibi formaliter); I say then that something is in another by the things nature (ex natura rei), that is not in it by act of an intellect negotiating, nor by a comparing act of will, and, more broadly speaking, whatever is in it not through any act of a comparing potency. I will also explain this term formaliter (p. 501 Wadding) ; I say that it is in something formaliter whether it be in it formaliter as not in it potentially, like white in black, nor virtually, as an effect in its cause. Nor do I say that it is in something formaliter when it is in it confusedly, and like a certain mixture; just as fire is not in meat formaliter ; but I say that it is in something formaliter when it is found in it according to its formal and quidditative nature (rationem), and being so formaliter is to include itself according to its formal nature understood most precisely. (translation mine).408

Grundprobleme der Phaenomenologie. That sole reference is to Reportata Parisiensia, Librum I, Distinction 45, Quast II, Schol I, Respondeo, p. 500-1. 408 The Latin of the same passage, from the Wadding Edition Heidegger used. The Rsum is included and I accentuate the passages Heidegger cites: Rsum: Rejectis duobus opinionibus quae per actum intellectus negotiantis sive comparantis ad extra vel ad intra, ponebant voluntatem in Deo, resolvit eam dari ex natura rei, et formaliter, et quid per utrumque hunc terminum intelligat, exponit. Deinde occasione desumpta, probat nullum ens rationem esse formaliter infinitum. Quantum ad quaestionem primam, est una opinio, quae ponit voluntatem non esse in Deo ex natura rei, sed tantum per actum intellectus negotiantis et comparantis ad extra ipsam essentiam, quae opinio improbatur in principio hujus quaestionis primae. Alia autem opinio similiter est, ponens voluntatem et alias perfectiones esse in Deo, non ex natura rei, sed per actum intellectus negotiantis, non tamen comparantis ad extra, sed ad intra, quae opinio improbatur distinct. 35. Omissis igitur illis opinionibus, respondeo, exponendo duo vocabula quod est esse in Deo ex natura rei, et esse ibi formaliter ; dico autem aliquid esse in alio ex natura rei, quod, non est in eo per actum intellectus negotiantis, nec per actum voluntatis comparantis, et universaliter, quod est in alio non per actum alicujus potentiae comparantis. Expono etiam hoc vocabulum formaliter. Dico autem esse formaliter tale, sive esse in alio formaliter quod non est in eo potentialiter, ut album in nigro, nec virtualiter,


Now that we have situated Heidegger's citation in the context in which it appears in Duns Scotus, we may legitimately be astonished that Heidegger cites precisely this passage. In fact, it is an extract from the Reportata Parisiensia which, as its name indicates, is a reportatio of Scotus's courses at Paris, i.e., an account based on the oral lecture, written by someone or other, and not a text from the Master's hand, like the Ordinatio (or the Opus Oxoniense to mention the title by which that major work of the Subtle Doctor was known at Heidegger's time). Thus the text is not absolutely trustworthy, and all the more so since, unlike what occurs for many quaestiones, there is no parallelism here between this Reportata and the Ordinatio or the Lectura. If we look at what questions are taken up by the Ordinatio and the Lectura, at I dist. 45, we do not find the questions dealt with by the Reportata: Q. 1: Utrum in Deo sit voluntas formaliter ex natura rei and Q. 2: Utrum voluntas in Deo sit essentia divina, but rather we find another: Q. unica: Utrum Deus ab aeterno voluit alia a se (Has God wanted other realities than himself from eternity?) Moreover Heidegger quotes the extract from Scholium I to support his presentation of the formal distinction in Scotus, a particularly delicate point in the doctrine of the great Franciscan theologian. But Scholium I does not define precisely what the formal distinction consists in; it rather intends to characterize how a thing is formally included in another. It is only in Scholium II that Scotus explicitly deals with the distinction or with formal non-identity. There are of course close links between these two points, but it would have been more logical for Heidegger to quote an extract of Scholium II if he had intended to specify the Scotistic concept of the formal distinction as such. Provided with the one Scotus text Heidegger cites and our translation of it, let us return to Heideggers remarks describing Scotus. Before Heidegger begins his 'interrupted translation mixed with analysis', i.e., right at the outset, he injects an interesting, a telling citation. He does exactly what he did in section c, before the Thomas section. But, this time, instead of paraphrasing Suarez, as he did for the Thomas section, he cites him but without acknowledging the source. We note here what Heidegger took from Suarez in bold. Heideggers text:
"b) The Scotistic doctrine of the distinctio modalis (formalis) between essentia and existentia in ente creato The second doctrinal position, that of Duns Scotus, has as its content a distinctio modalis or formalis. '" ; the actuality of a created being is distinguished from its essence ex natura rei",409

ut effectus in sua causa est. Nec hoc dico formaliter esse in aliquo quod est in eo confuse, et cum quadam commixtione; quomodo ignis est in carne non formaliter; sed dico esse formaliter in aliquo, in quo manet secundum suam rationem formalem et quidditativam, et esse tale formaliter est includere ipsum secundum suam rationem formalem praecisissime acceptam." Reportata Parisiensia, 1, dist. 45, qu. 2, schol 1, pp. 500-501. 409 BP, pg 93; Disputationes metaphysicae, 31, Section I, Sententia Secunda, Vol, 26, pg 227, Vives, Paris, 1866; followed by Heideggers brief translation of course.


In other words, just as the section c paraphrase, preceding the Thomas section, was of Suarezian formulation, here the unidentified citation is, in fact, taken verbatim from Suarez's Disputatio 31! While we might find Suarez's description of Scotus's position more conventional than his idea of Aquinas as an Aegidian, what is common in the two cases is that Heidegger depends on and defers to Suarez's view. No minor detail, as far as assessing Heidegger's dependence on Suarez is concerned. We might add that Suarez nuances his descriptions by prefixing them with 'this thinker was supposed to have thought thus and so'... Now let's look at the Suarez text Heidegger uses, containing Suarez's characterization of the three archetypal positions on essence and existence. (Although it would be inaccurate to say that there even is a distinction between essence and existence as such in Scotus's writings.) The subject of this Disputatio 31 is how essence and existence are distinguished in finite being; Suarez's title as translated by Norman Wells is: "On the Essence of Finite Being as Such, On the Existence of that Essence and Their Distinction".410 In the Disputatio #31, section 1, entitled, Suarez speaks of three sententiae, or three views, the first is the real distinction, the second the modal or formal and the third, his own, the rational, the correct one in his estimation, of course. We cite what amount to chapter headings and position descriptions. First, Suarez on Thomas:

Without detailing our analysis of Section Alpha, we see that this Disp. 31 introduction position corresponds to Heidegger's approach, that is attributing an Aegidian position to Thomas. Heidegger in effect paraphrases this text in BP. Next, we turn to Suarez's description of the second position, ie. Scotuss. What I put in bold corresponds to what Heidegger cites in Beta:
"412 (Again, accentuation mine)


SUAREZ, Francisco, On the Essence of Finite Being As Such, On the Existence of that Essence and Their Distinction, (Disp. 31) translated by Norman Wells, Marquette U. Press, Milwaukee, Wi, 1983. 411 Disputationes metaphysicae, 31, Section I, Sententia Prima, Vol, 26, pg. 225. 412 Disputationes metaphysicae, 31, Section I, Sententia Secunda, Vol, 26, pg 227, Vives, Paris, 1866.


Interestingly, in translating Suarezs Disputation 31, Norman Wells has this to say about its introduction:
The use of is attributed (tribuitur) to Scotus seems to indicate a caution or hesitation on Suarezs part. It parallels his use of is considered (existimatur) to be the opinion of St. Thomas above in Section I, 3.413

Summarizing a bit: so far we have seen the Scholium I that Heidegger cites as well as the Suarezian 'titles or subtitles' that lead him into his explanation; before getting into much detail let us work through the rest of Heideggers Scotus section basically to see what he was trying to convey to his students. After that we shall look at Scotuss Scholium II to see if it offers further insight into what is meant by divine perfections being distinct formaliter. A couple of things emerge. Near the begininng of the Beta section, Heidegger seems, quite naturally and logically, to want to distinguish Scotuss equivalent of the distinction between essence and existence from, shall we say, the Aegidian version of the real distinction. After all there ARE 3 positions. However, things are more complicated: (For it would be inaccurate to say that there even is a distinction between essence and existence as such in Scotus's writings.) We see that Heidegger proceeds in again reverting to Suarezian vocabulary:
by the essence of the thing itself, namely, as a created thing. Non est autem propria entitas; but the existence thus distinguished is not a proper being, omnino realiter distincta ab entitate essentiae, not a proper being that would be distinct simply realiter from the essence.414

In setting the tone here above, we hazard a guess that Heidegger may just have in mind characteristics of the Scotist, formal distinction. He seems to be saying to his students: 'well, it's not the duae res position and yet it's not a nominalism.' (Again, notice that the Scotistic position is delineated in contradistinction to a would be, soi-disant Aegidian Thomas.) Additionally, We recall that this vocabulary is taken from Suarezs Prima sententia affirmans distingui realiter cited above.415 In terms of Heidegger's choice of text, he remarks that Scotus described his distinctio formalis in many ways. Here Heidegger may well be referring to both the places where Scotus applies his formal distinction doctrine, i.e., between nature and what contracts it haecceitas to material substances, or he might be referring to applications of the formal distinction doctrine to natural theology,416 in the latter case, to
SUAREZ, Francisco, On the Essence of Finite Being As Such, On the Existence of that Essence and Their Distinction, translated by Norman Wells, Introduction note 49, p. 55; Wells also remarks that Owens notes Suarezs hesitancy vis vis St. Thomas, Introduction note 53, p. 13. 414 BP, pg 93. 415 Cf. n. 379. 416 Andrew Joseph O'Brien feels that there is no particular place where Scotus describes his formal distinction, only applications: "This is especially true concerning the problem of the relation between essence and existence in contingent beings, since in no one paragraph of his writngs does Scotus explicitly state his own understanding of this distinction." From "Teaching on the Distinction between


the question of the ramifications surrounding the Scotistic doctrine on divine simplicity. Another example is one Peter King points to: that between the essence of the soul and its faculties.417 While the Lectura and Ordinatio texts follow a similar order, having as their subject the persons in God, with the text paralleling Heidegger's text being in the part on the Simplicity of God, the Reportata Parisiensia does not contain the same theological arrangement on God and the divine persons as do the other two, the Lectura and Ordinatio. In presenting the Reportata Parisiensia text we shall provide the parallel Lectura and Ordinatio texts in footnotes. In terms of personal motivation why did Heidegger choose the particular text he chose? It is a Scholium dealing with divine perfections, and asking whether the divine will is the divine essence. One clue, athough peripheral, might be found in recalling that the Quodlibet texts of Aquinas Heidegger used in the Thomas section alpha had to do with the composition of angels: Utrum Angelus substantialiter sit compositus ex essentia et esse418 Perhaps he quite simply enjoyed employing rather exotic subject matters to illustrate a medieval thought far removed from what philosophy did in his day, or from what he felt philosophy should be doing in his day. Heidegger proceeds:
Esse creatum, existere, is rather modus ejus, the essence's mode. This Scotistic distinctio formalis is in fact somewhat subtle. Duns Scotus describes it in more than one way.419

Heidegger continues, citing the Latin and translating it line by line, occasionally interrupting that procedure to explain issues. Another curious point: Heidegger considers that in Duns Scotus the formal distinction and the modal distinction are one and the same thing, or at the very least are completely equivalent as concerns the question we are dealing with. On this point, he obviously relies on Suarez, who says in his Disputatio XXXI, 11:
"Esse creatum distingui quidem ex natura rei, seu (ut alii loquuntur) formaliter ab essentia cujus est esse, et non esse propriam entitatem omnino realiter distinctam ab entitate essentiae, sed modum ejus. (The being of the creature is distinguished, according to the nature of things, formally from the essence whose existence it is, and the existence is not an entity absolutely distinct from the entity of the essence, but its mode.)"

Some lines further on, Suarez tells us:

Essence and Existence", New Scholasticism, Vol. 38, 1, Jan. 1964, p 61-77; 61. (If we can say that there even is a distinction between essence and existence in Scotus's writings.) 417 "For example, the psychological faculties of intellect and will are really identical with the soul but formally distinct from one another, since what it is to be an intellect does not include the will, and what it is to be a will does not include the intellect" (cf. Op. Ox., 2, d. 16, q.un., n. 17). "Scotus on Metaphysics", in The Cambridge Companion to Duns Scotus, Cambridge U. Press, 2003, p. 15-68. 418 Quodlibet, II,1. 419 BP, pg 93.


nonulla distinctio ex natura rei inter esse et essentiam creaturae videtur omnino necessaria; non est autem necessaria major, quam haec modalis seu formalis (a distinction based on the nature of things between the existence and the essence of the creature seems absolutely necessary, but one needs one no stronger than the modal distinction i.e. the formal)."

It seems however that for Scotus himself formal distinction and modal distinction are not equivalent. The modal distinction is the distinction between a being and its intrinsic degree of beingness: thus for the ens infinitum, infinity is the mode of existence of the singular being who is God. For creatures, their intrinsic mode is being finite. Moreover, the Scholium II to which we already referred very interestingly mentions this concept:
"Infinitas dicit modum intrinsecum ejus, cujus est, entitatis, sicut per oppositum finitum dicit modum determinatum quidditatis cui convenit. Modus autem entitatis, et quidditatis infinitae non destruit rationem quidditatis sed salvat et perficit; igitur infinitum non destruit quidditativam rationem alicijus, sed salvat; igitur infinitas adveniens voluntati non destruit propriam rationem voluntatis; igitur de ratione voluntatis infinitae formaliter non est intellectus, nec essentia; non igitur sunt eadem formaliter. (Infinity indicates the intrinsic mode which belongs to the entity, just as, on the contrary, 'finite' designates the mode of the quiddity for which it is appropriate. However, the mode of the entity and of the infinite quiddity does not destroy the (formal) quiddity but conserves and perfects it; consequently infinity does not destroy the quidditative nature of a thing but conserves it; therefore, concerning the nature of the will, it is not formally intellect or essence; they are consequently not formally identical.)

We see clearly in this extract that there is modal distinction between the entity and its mode (infinite or finite), whereas formal non-identity concerns the will in its relations with the intellect or the essence. The formal distinction is much more general; it distinguishes two different formal natures, whose each definition is outside the other's. Suarez's interpretation is a simplification of the Scotistic position, which causes confusions. It is, moreover, revealing that Suarez, in characterizing the second position, or the modal distinction, adds this: Haec opinio tribuitur Scoto in III dist. 6 Q. 1 and Henrico Quodl. I, Q. 9 and 10. Continuing on regarding this same text, two factors come to mind here. One involving the use of negociantis or negiciantis vs percipientis, and the other dealing with what Heidegger calls the comprehending act. Heideggers citation of this Scholium one begins thusly:
13 (Heideggers footnote) I say something is in another ex natura rei, from the nature of the thing, quod non est in eo, which is not in it on account of an [94] actus intellectus percipientis, a comprehending activity of the understanding420


BP, pg 93-4.


In fact what happens here regarding the word negociantis from Scotuss text, Wadding version, is that Heidegger correctly cites negociantis but misspelling it as negiciantis but then in paraphrasing Scotus he himself changes over to percipientis. Subsequently, Hofstadter injects percipientis into the Scotus citation to replace Heideggers misspelled negiciantis . This is unfortunate as the latter gives another connotation.421 The idea being that while negociantis evokes for Scotus the sort of rational distinction his formal distinction is not (pertinent here), percipientis evokes opposition to a real distinction foreign to Scotuss thought. Heidegger continues to explain what the formal distinction is not but has not yet come to the specificity of Scotuss formal distinction. Heidegger:
and also not on account of an act of comparison. Something is in another ex natura rei, which does not at all go back to any comparative and determinative activity of apprehending but rather lies in the thing itself.422

Heidegger goes on citing and translating Scholium one (the second of two citations from Scholium I.):
Dico esse formaliter in aliquo, in quo manet secundum suam rationem formalem, et quidditativam; I say it is in another formaliter, according to its form, in which it remains on account of its quidditas".423

Heidegger has cited the end of Scholium I, (ommitting the last phrase) and then paraphrased it. We may consider that this constitutes his statement of the formal distinction. Accordingly, at this juncture we might well look at other sources to see what is involved in this formal distinction? Let us not lose sight of the fact that the Reportata text is an application of the formal distinction doctrine to the divine attributes.

421 Cf remarks of J-M Counet: Le traducteur se trompe par contre en corrigeant le texte, parlant d'intellectus percipientis au lieu d'intellectus negociantis comme le cite Heidegger alors que celui-ci est bien fidle au texte de Scot cet gard. Cette erreur n'est pas sans importance car negocians voque ici plutt l'ide de comparaison (produisant des distinctions de raison) alors que percipiens renvoie au registre de la vision, de la saisie intuitive de ralits qui preexistent l'acte mme de l'intellect et qui sont pour cette raison ex natura rei. Cf: the title to Scholium I in the Wadding Edition: "per actum intellectus negotiantis sive comparantis ad extra vel ad intra" and Scolium II.n 11 of the same edition: "qui intelligit, intuitive videt rem sicut est et non fabricat ibi aliquid per intellectum negotiantem." 422 BP, pg 94. 423 Ibid.


Referring to either the Ordinatio,424 Lectura425 or Reportatio text, in other words the basic argument, for Scotus, is that there must be a formal distinction between the divine attributes, eg, 'bonitas' or 'sapientia', because the fact that they are infinite, which is in fact a gradation of their perfection, does not change their formal nature. Hence, arguing downward, if the divine attributes as infinite were formally the same as one another and in common, then, again, since the grade does not destroy the quality, then finite wisdom would be finite goodness, etc. And that is not the case Perhaps one way of understanding Scotus's formal distinction is to see it as a development or refinement of Avicenna's position and here we rely heavily on Alain De Libera.426 Historically situating the formal distinction and common nature, he cites Avicenna: Unde equinitas non est aliquid nisi equinitas tantum.427 Alain De Libera feels the Scotist theory of the natura communis is a development and shifting of the Avicennian theory of essence, with Scotus following in the wake of many authors. In effect, the Avicennian theory of essence may be seen as a shared source. Now Scotuss point of departure is the Avicennian distinction between the neutral nature (taken as such neither common nor singular) and what happens to it accidentally universality, in thought; and singularity in material things. Delibera is not saying that the Avicennian theory of essence is Platonic, i.e., it doesnt say that the essence in itself exists, beyond individuals, but rather that it is essentially not what one may attribute to it : universality or singularity, multiplicity or unity, existence outside the soul and universality with existence in the soul. In other words, if these two relationships to the natura, that of singularity to the nature and that of being in the mind to real being, dont overlap, its because universality isnt a property happening to the nature by dint of thought, but a property which, no less than singularity suits the nature outside the intellect: the only difference being that universality in itself suits this nature, whereas

Cf. the parallel Ordinatio texts: "Est ergo ibi distinctio praecedens intellectum omni modo, et est ista, quod sapientia est in re ex natura rei, et bonitas in re ex natura rei. sapientia autem in re, formaliter non est bonitas in re." Ord, I, Dist. 8, pars 1, q. 4 n. 192, vat. Ed. pg 261. And Richard Cross's translation of same: "There is therefore [viz., among the divine attributes] a distinction that is in every way prior to the [operation of] the intellect, and it is this: that wisdom actually exists naturally, and goodness actually exists naturally, and actual wisdom is not formally actual goodness." Trans. Richard Cross, Duns Scotus, Oxford, 1999, p. 43. And in Ord., ibid., n. 193: "Definito autem non tantum indicat rationem causatum ab intellectu, sed quiditatem rei: est ergo non-identitas formalis ex parte rei," and Peter King's translation: "furthermore, the definition indicates not only an aspect that is caused by the mind, but the quiddity of a thing; formal non-identity is therefore ex parte rei". Trans. Peter King, from "Duns Scotus on Metaphysics'' in The Cambridge Companion to Duns Scotus, Cambridge,Cambridge U. Press. 2003, pp. 15-68. 425 Cp. the pertinent Lectura text, Vat. Vol. 17, In I Sent. Dist. 8, pars 1, q. 4, nn. 172-3, p. 62 : 172: "Respondeo dico: perfectiones essentiales in divinis sunt in re ante operationem intellectus. Si enim essent causatae per operationem intellectus, nulla esset perfectio simpliciter nec perfectio formaliter infinita, sicut nec relatio rationis est perfectio simpliciter nec perfectio formaliter infinita; et ideo idea non dicit simpliciter perfectionem. 173: Item, si essent causatae per operationem intellectus earum distinctiones, ita quod solum differrent secundum rationem, non magis differrent voluntas et sapientia quam sapiens et sapientia, quia differrent secundum rationem." 426 DE LIBERA, Alain, La querelle des universaux de Platon la fin du Moyen Age, Paris Seuil, 1996; p 330. 427 Liber de philosophie prima, 5, 1.



singularity suits it via an aliquid in the thing which contracts and becomes proper to that single thing. Moreover, Scotus transposes onto universality so understood the definition Avicenna attributed to the universal employed in logic: the intrinsic non-impossibility of being said of many. If the universality in re is not the universality found in the soul then the universality of the nature must be thought from the viewpoint of the thing. This universality must be that of esse in, and not that of dici de. The 'common' Scotus speaks of, which is not the universal, is thus not common in the sense that it would be predicable of many but rather in the sense of its not being repugnant to it to be in a subject other than the one its in.428 Fr. Boehner's translation of Ockham on Scotus is helpful:
According to Ockham, Scotus holds the following doctrine as regards the universals: In extramental things there is a nature of which the following can be said : It is really one with the difference that contracts it to one definite individual (haecceitas). Though this nature is really one with the difference, it is nevertheless formally distinct from it. The nature insofar as it itself is concerned is neither universal nor particular : in the thing (haecceitas) it is incompletely universal, but it is completely universal in the mind.429

This notion of greater and lesser universality is very subtle... The singular itself has a numerical unity but there is a lesser unity that belongs to the nature in se or the natura contrahibilis.. the nature capable of being contracted to this or that individual or, as we said above, one to whom it is not repugnant to be instantiatated in more than one individual. Coming back to the formal distinction. The individual difference is one with a nature it contracts. This contraction, this individual difference, is beyond ultimate specific difference. First of all, it is not a quidditative difference and does not add or subtract anything from any quiddity. Secondly, understandably the nature preceeds the individual difference. On the other hand, another individual difference does not interfere with the nature, as nature. It can be individualized, 'itemized', by another. Bringing us back to saying esse in rather than dici de. The nature as such is not bound to one individual. Leading us in turn to Heidegger's point, moreover, the nature and the individual difference are not distinct as res and res, rather they are formally distinct. In contradistinction, every nature in its individual difference is really distinct from another such nature and individual difference. This individual difference is called haecceitas.430
DE LIBERA, Alain, Op. cit, p. 330. BOEHNER, Philotheus, o.f.m., Miscellanea. Scotuss Teaching according to Ockham on the nature communis, Franciscan Studies, Sept. 1946, p. 362-368; Ockham, Oxon, II, d. 3, q. 6, n. 15, ed. Vives. t. 12, p. 144. 430 Cf. DUMONT, S., Dumont, Stephen (1995), "The Question on Individuation in Scotus's 'Quaestiones super Metaphysicam,'" in Leonardo Sileo (ed.), Via Scoti: Methodologica ad mentem Joannis Duns Scoti. Atti del Congresso Scotistico Internazionale. Roma 9-11 Marzo 1993, 2 vols. (Rome: Antonianum), 1:193227. The main point of S. Dumont's article is that, at least, 7.13 of Quaestiones super Metaphysicam postdates both the Lectura and the Ordinatio. Dumont uses a number of key terms involving individuation to show this, among them being haecceitas. In fact, haecceitas shows up in the QQMetaph., replacing the singularitas of the Ord. One sign that Scotus moved from such terms as singularitas towards haecceitas is that the later, Reportatio Parisiensia contains six parallel occurrences of haecceitas, while its only
429 428


Picking up directly on Heidegger's analysis:

"Applied to our example this means that existence, actuality, belongs actually to the created actual being; hence in Kantian language, existence is not something due to a relation of the res to the concept, to the apprehending understanding, but according to Scotus existence actually belongs to the actual being and yet, for all that, existence is not a res. Where something is present, presence is there; it lies in the being that is present and can be distinguished from it as belonging to it, but nevertheless in such a way that this difference and this distinguishing cannot supply a thing-content that somehow is on its own for itself, a res on its own with its own reality."431

His remarks seems to mirror two concerns: to link Scotus's position with Kant's, for comparison. But perhaps even more importantly, and this comes through again and again, Heidegger wants to distinguish Scotus's position from Giles of Rome's duae res position. The latter factor is perhaps linked to Suarez's influence on this chapter. Perhaps Heidegger also refers to Kant here, this time as a sort of nominalistic counterbalance, to the effect that, unlike Kant, Scotuss position is not one where essence is the result of being perceived. But, repeating, what is central and most
occurrence in the earlier, late Oxford period Ordinatio is in an adnotatio to Ord. 17 Occurrences of haecceitas in Scotus's Quaestiones super Metaphysicam, 7.13: n. 61 [9] "quia si nulla unitas realis est minor haeceitas"and n. 176 [26] "Si in quantum ad actum cognoscendi, sic in sensu, quia haeceitas non sentitur ". And in Reportatio Parisienisia, e.g., L 2, d. 12, q 5, n. 8, Vives, vol. 23, p. 29b: "Item, si non potest intelligere inclusum esse nisi hoc, igitur neque includens. Si enim non potest intelligi rationale sub oppositio rationalis igitur nec homo includens rationale; sed non potest intelligi haecceitas ut universale; igitur nec natura speciei includens cum ipsa haecceitas de se sit haec, igitur impossibile intelligere naturam specificam ut universale." 431 GP, pg 94; Die Grundprobleme der Phanomenologie, from Heidegger's Gesamtausgabe, vol. 24, pp. 131-132. "Beta, Die Scotische Lehre von de distinctio modalis (formalis) zwischen essentia und existentia in ente creato... Die zweite Lehrmeinung die des Duns Scotus, hat eine distinctio modalis bzw. formalis zum Inhalt. esse creatum distinguitur ex natura rei ab essentia cujus est esse, die Wirklichkeit eines Geschaffenen wird ex natura rei, aus dem Wesen des Sache selbst, namlich als einer geschaffenen, von deren Wesenheit untershieden. non est autem propria entitas, nicht aber ist die so unterschiedene Existenz ein eigenes Seiendes, omnino realiter distincta ab entitate essentiae, nicht ein eigenes Seiendes, das Schlecthin realiter unterschieden ware von der Wesenheit. Das esse creatum, das existere, ist vielmehr modus ejus, ihr Modus. Diese Scotische distinctio formalis ist in der Tat etwas Spitzfindig. Duns Scotus charakterisiert sie mehrfach./// Dico autem aliquid esse in alio ex natura rei, quod non est in eo per actum intellectus negiciantis (sic) nec per actum volontatis comparantis, et universaliter, quod est in alio non per actum aliquis potentiae comparantis, (Heidegger's note 13) ich sage, etwas ist in einem anderen ex natura rei, aus der Natur der Sache, quod non est in eo, was in ihm nicht ist aufgrund eines actus intellectus percipientis, einer erfassenden Tatigkeit des Verstandes, auch nicht aufgrund eines vergleichenden Verhaltens. Etwas (Heidegger's page 131) ist in einem andern ex natura rei, was uberhaupt nicht zuruckgeht auf irgendein vergleichendes und bestimmendes, erfassendes Verhalten, sondern es liegt in der Sache selbst. Dico esse formaliter in aliaquo, in quo manet secundum suam rationem formalem, et quiditativam, ich sage, es ist in einem anderen formaliter, seiner Form nach, worin es aufgrund seiner quidditas bleibt. (Heidegger's note 14) Mit Rucksicht auf unser Beispiel besagt das: Existenz, Wirklichkeit, gehort wirklich zum geschaffenen Wirklichen, also Kantisch gesprochen, die Existenz ist nicht etwas aufgrund einer Beziehung der res zum Begriff, zum auffassenden Verstand, sondern nach Scotus gehort dei Existenz wirklich zum Wirklichen, gleichwohl aber ist sie keine res. Wo etwas Vorhandenes ist, da ist Vorhandenheit; sie liegt in demselben und kann von ihm als ihm zugehorig untershieden werden, jedoch so, daS, dieser Unterschied und dieses Unterschieden Sachgehalt, eine eigene rest mit eigener Realitat abzugeben.....Gamma Die Lehre des Suarez.........


fascinating here is that (perhaps in harmony with his use of percipientis), Heidegger again insists on contrasting Scotuss position with an Aegidian version of the real distinction, saying: and yet, for all that, existence is not a res.432 Interim Summary While the Scholium I Heidegger cites contains elements explaining that the formal existence of a thing in another (secundum quid) necessitates 3 negative conditions, not being there potentially, virtually or confusedly, it may well be that Scholium II contains further elaborations on what formal non-identity consists in, as well as what being formally distinct consists in. Here is the relevant part of Scholium 2:
Theres a doubt concerning the distinction of these essential perfections in God: how are they distinguished? (...) I answer (consequently), as concerns this article, that as to the veritable identity by which an essential perfection is identical to the essence and by which every essential perfection is identical to another, there is nonetheless a certain relative distinction (secundum quid) founded in the thing itself (ex parte rei); in effect, a rational distinction alone is only sufficient for safeguarding opposed determinations they have beyond any operation of the intellect; we concede then that the Father speaks via the intellect or memory and not via the will and that he lives by the will and not by the intellect and many other similar things ; consequently the essential perfections are distinguished relatively (secundum quid) only a parte rei. But what do you mean by secundum quid? I answer by referring to the three conditions of distinction posited in distinction 33, meaning not to be so potentially, virtually nor confusedly, for there is there a true distinction between such essential perfections of this type as weve found elsewhere, because there is truly an intellect in God as if there were nevertheless an intellect there as if there would be there an intellect and similarly a will and other perfections just simpliciter and the same goes for the will and the other pure perfections. But those three distinctions arent sufficient for the distinction because they do not embody non-identity and nonidentity completes the nature of the distinction. The pure perfections in God have a secundum quid non-identity, and that non-identity is a formal non-identity; the secundum quid distinction ex natura rei is thus a formal non-identity of distinguished realities. And I mean by the formal non identity of certain realities the fact that a reality does not belong to the formal nature of the other, in such a way that if the latter be defined, the first does not belong to its definition; consequently, I mean by formal non-identity a quidditative non-identity not belonging to the definition of the other things if they are defined.433

BP, pg 94. SCOTUS, John Duns, Reportata Parisiensia, 1, dist. 45, qu. 2, schol 2, pp. 502-503. Sed hic est dubium de distinctione istarum perfectionum essentialium in Deo, quomodo distinguantur? (...) Respondeo igitur, quantum ad istum articulum, quod vera identitate, qua una perfectio essentialis est eadem essentiae, et quaelibet alteri, stat tamen aliqua distinctio ex parte rei secundum quid ; sola enim distinctio rationis non sufficit ad salvandum opposita convenire eis praeter omnem operationem intellectus ; conceditur enim quod Pater dicit intellectu sive memoria, et non volontate, et quod spirat volontate, et non intellectu, et multa talia ; ideo distinguuntur secundum quid tantum a parte rei. Sed quid intellilgis per secundum quid ? Respondeo quod quantum ad illas tres conditiones distinctionis positas dist. 33. scilicet non esse tale potentialiter, nec virtualiter, nec confuse, est ibi vera distinctio inter hujusmodi perfectiones essentiales, sicut alicubi invenitur distinctio, quia ita vere in Deo est intellectus, sicut si tamen esset ibi intellectus, et similiter voluntas, et aliae perfectiones simpliciter, et per consequens non sunt ibi potentialiter, nec virtualiter, nec confuse. Sed illae tres conditiones non sufficiunt ad distinctionem, quia non ponunt non identitatem, et non identitatas complet rationem distinctionis. Perfectiones autem simpliciter in Deo habunt non identitatem secundum quid, quae est non identitatas formalis ; distinctio ergo secundum quid ex natura rei, est non identitatas formalis aliquorum. Et intelligo non identitatam formalem aliquorum, quando unum non est de formali ratione alterius, ita quod si definiretur, non pertineret ad definitionem ejus ; igitur per non identitatam formalem intelligo non identitatam formalem quididitativam non pertinentem ad definitionem alterius, si defineretur.



If, in Scholium I, the formal existence of a thing in another (secundum quid) necessitates 3 negative conditions, ie, not being there potentially, virtually or confusedly, Scholium II, explains that those three are not enough and that formal non identity too is required. And also that the secundum quid non-identity of pure perfections in God is a formal non identity and that means simply that the criterion of their being formally distinct is that definition of one does not involve definition of the other.434 But whether we are talking of divine perfections that are formally distinct or the formal distinction in finite substances, how does Scotus derive such a distinction, what is its logical origin? In this regard, we cannot do better than Etienne Gilson's explanation of this derivation in his work on Scotus435:
"That's why, taking the problem at its origin, Duns Scotus prefers beginning with a general classification of degrees of unity, hoping that an exact determination of the unity founding formal identity, as such, will allow him to measure the difference born from the lack of that unity. The first and lowest degree is that of the "group", that of objects just piled together.... (unitas aggregationis). Then comes the unity of order (unitas ordinis). It supposes that the assembly is not a pure and simple juxtaposition, but that each of the parties occupies a justifiable place there in virtue of a certain principle. Still higher comes accidental unity (unitas per accidens). This is no longer simply the unity of something determined and the form determining it; if the form is accidental, we obtain the accidental unity we spoke of ; if the form is substantial, we obtain the unity higher than the precedent, which is born of the essential principles of a being: that's unity in itself (unitas per se). Still higher than the latter, meaning beyond a unity of composition like the unity of order, comes that of simplicity (unitas simplicitatis). Here we have a veritable identity, because, within that simplicity, any member is the same as any other. One might think that he had attained the end of the hierarchy, but it is not at all the case."

(This is key. What follows is the 'move' from a unity to a distinction.) Gilson:
"Still higher than all these unities, adds Duns Scotus, is to be found "formal identity", where the identical includes the identical in its very formal nature, meaning immediately on its own.

(The following is the key reversal that gives us the formal distinction.) Gilson:

Richard, Duns Scotus, Oxford University Press, 1999, pg. 129, "'Appendix 2: The Formal Distinction.Scotus holds that there is a distinction mid-way between a real distinction and a merely rational or conceptual distinction: He calls it the formal distinction. Roughly two realities-2 aspects of one thing-are formally distinct if and only if they are really identical and susceptible of definition independently of each other; NOTE 13 Scotus criterion for real identity is real inseparability. In fact, real inseparability, (such that the real separation of the two realities is logically impossible) is necessary and sufficient for real identity. Conversely; real separability is necessary sufficient for real distinction. More precisely, two objects, x and y, both it is not possible for x to exist without y and it is not possible for y to exist without x; conversely two objects x and y are if and only if at least one object of x and y can exist without the other. On this showing, two really identical but formally distinct realities will be something like distinct essential (ie inseparable) properties of a thing. Scotus makes use of his formal distinction in his account of individuation. He argues that any individual created item (including a composite substance) can be analyzed into two really identical but formally distinct aspects: essence and individuating feature (or haecceity). What this amounts to, roughly, is that any individual created item has two different essential properties: its nature and kind and its individuating, non repeatable haecceity. 435 GILSON, Etienne, JEAN DUNS SCOT, Vrin, Paris, 1952.

434 CROSS,


We need only reverse this definition of "formal identity" to obtain that of the formal distinction, for when we don't have the first, we have the second: something is formally distinct from something which is not "identical by inclusion in its formal nature". Here indeed we have the "formal distinction", or, as Duns Scotus sometimes liked to say, "formal non-identity",

(hence bringing us back to Scotuss Scholiae 1 and 2 cited above...)

wherever we encounter two quiddities whose formal natures are irreducible to one another. Hence our problem is knowing if we can reconcile a formal distinction so understood with divine simplicity."436 .... Gilson goes on to add that this is self-evident for Scotus... (translation and English parentheses mine)

But why is it Scotus feels there must be a distinction ex parte rei between the divine perfections? As professed in other schools of medieval thought, (eg, Thomist) might they not just melt into one another. Scotus adduces numerous arguments against that, but the main point seems to be his insistence that the formal ratio of a perfection is not changed by its degree. Again we turn to Gilson's explanation of this. (Gilson is discussing the divine perfections):
"Infinity does not destroy the formal ratio of what we add it to, for in no matter what degree we consider a perfection, as long as it's a degree of this very perfection, the formal ratio of this perfection is not obliterated by the degree".437

Just as an interesting contrast, we see, for example, in the Thomist Cajetan, a view diametrically opposed to Scotuss. In his Commentary on the De Ente et Essentia, Cajetan sets out to systematically refute Scotus and the Scotists, as he puts it. He says
436 "C'est

pourquoi, reprenant le problme la base, Duns Scot prfre partir d'une classification gnrale des degrs d'unit, dans l'espoir qu'une exacte dtermination de l'unit qui fonde l'identit formelle comme telle, lui permettra de mesurer la diffrence qui nait du manque de cette unit. Le premier et plus bas degr est celle de "l'ensemble", celle d'objets mis en tas et simplement rassembls. (unitas aggregationis). Au-dessus vient l'unit d'ordre (unitas ordinis). Elle suppose que le rassemblement n'est pas une juxtaposition pure et simple, mais que chacune des parties y occupe une place justifiable en vertu d'un certain principe. Au-dessus encore vient l'unit par accident (unitas per accidens). Il ne s'agit plus simplement d'un rapport d'ordre, mais de l'unit d'un dtermin et de la forme qui le dtermine. Si cette forme est accidentelle, on obtient l'unit par accident dont nous parlons ; si cette forme est substantielle, on obtient l'unit, suprieure la prcdente, qui nait des principes essentiels d'un tre: c'est l'unit par soi (unitas per se). Au-dessus encore de cette dernire, c'est dire au del de l'unit de composition comme de l'unit d'ordre, vient celle du simple (unitas simplicitatis). C'est d'une vritable identit qu'il s'agit alors, car, l'intrieur du simple, n'importe quoi est la mme chose que n'importe quoi. On pourrait croire avoir atteint par l le terme de cette hirarchie, mais il n'est rien. Encore au del de toutes ces units, ajoute Duns Scot, se trouve "l'identite formelle", o l'identique inclut l'identique dans sa raison formelle mme, c'est dire immdiatement par soi. Il suffit de renverser cette definition de "l'identite formelle" pour obtenir celle de la distinction formelle, car o la premire manque, on a la deuxime: est formellement distinct de quelque chose, ce qui ne lui est pas "identique par inclusion dans sa raison formelle". Il y a donc bien "distinction formelle", ou, comme prfre parfois s'exprimer Duns Scot, "nonidentite formelle", partout o se rencontre deux quiddits dont les raisons formelles sont irrductibles l'une l'autre. Notre problme est ds lors de savoir, si l'on peut concilier avec la simpicit de Dieu une distinction formelle ainsi entendue."... Gilson goes on to add that it is self-evident for Scotus ...Gilson, p. 246. 437 Gilson, ibid, p. 248 "L'inifinit ne dtruit pas la raison formelle de ce quoi on l'ajoute, car en quelque degr que l'on considre une perfection, pourvu que ce soit une degr de cette perfection mme, la raison formelle de cette perfection n'est pas ote par ce degr".


a perfection distinguished on a certain level need not necessarily be distinguished on a higher level. This is Cajetan's presentation of Scotus's position: In 'De Ente et Essentia' Cap 6.

Given the examples used in the argument, Cajetan is undoubtedly referring to Scotus's Ordinatio, (Vat.) I, Dist. 8, pars 1, q. 4 n. 192:

Cajetan will respond in saying that Scotus has commited an 'equivocation on infinity' and failed to observe that there are different sorts of infinity. What's infinitely white will be infinite in that sense only and not to be compared to what is infinite in the divine. This is part of Cajetan's proposed refutation in Section 115:



Cajetan, Thomas de Vio, In De Ente et Essentia, Laurent ed. Marietti, Torino, 1934., Cap. 6, Quaestio 13, Sec. 112, p. 177. 439 Cf. n. 393; Ord, I, Dist. 8, pars 1, q. 4 n. 192, vat. Ed. pg 261. 440 Cajetan, op. cit., Sec. 115, p. 182.


These sorts of arguments are hard to resolve but on a general level we might note that Cajetan fails to consider what Scotus means by 'formal distinction', (as Suarez will do later). That is no doubt a maneuver on Cajetan's part but it prevents his exposing what is different in Scotus. On this same topic we see that in his Quaestiones Quodlibetales, 1, Art. 2 Responsio, Scotus has more to say on this. He insists that the formal order existing among the divine attributes is the same whether they are really distinct or distinct rationally with a fundamentum in re The question is whether the essential or the notional is closer to the divine essence? Scotus responds:

Second Interim Summary Thus we have moved from 'presence ex natura rei' in Scholium 1 to 'non formal identity' in Scholium 2. Then, with Gilson, we looked at the 'inversion' of formal identity into formal distinction. And we recall that Heidegger had set out in section c to define the distinction between essence and existence in finite substances (so as to contrast it to his own ontological difference). Accordingly, how does the above definition of being formally distinct (originating in formal distinction and the modal divine perfections) help us in understanding the distinction tout court? Let us recall that Scotus had a univocal view of being. So why a formal distinction? What motivated Scotus? Gilson says it was a theological demand that found a metaphysical response that is no less metaphysical for the cause, i.e. for having a theological motivation.442 Gilson feels that the theological
Scotus, Johannes, Obras del doctor sutil Juan Duns Escoto: Cuestiones cuodlibetales, version de Felix Alluntis, La editorial catolica, Madrid, 1968, p 28. We also have an English translation: Duns Scotus, Johannes, God and creatures: the Quodlibetal Questions, translated by Felix Alluntis and Allen B. Wolter, Catholic University of America Press, Washington, D.C., 1975, p. 21: "[First Proof] the same order that would hold for entities were they really distinct would hold for them were they distinct in some other way, except that their intrinsic order in the first case would be real, whereas in the second it would correspond to the type of distinction that obtains between them. For instance, the order would be one of reason, were it a reason on the part of the thing or one that resulted from an act of the intellect. Now if there were a real distinction between the essence, the perfect memory and the perfect speaking [of the Word], then it would be in virtue of a real order that memory is closer to essence than is the utterance [of the Word]. Therefore the same sequence obtains except that the order of immediacy corresponds to the type of distinction between them." 442 Gilson, op. cit., p 245: Le problme propos duquel Duns Scot introduit dabord cette distinction (formelle) ne relve pas de la philosophie, mais elle ne changera pas de nature en stendant du domaine de la mtaphysique, dont il es dailleurs clair quelle provient. (parenthesis mine) Gilson notes that the philosophical problem and the theological problem are mixed together (imbriqus).
441 Duns


problem of the trinity and the philosophical problem of the formal distinction are mixed up in one another since the distinction of the two modes of 'intellect' and 'will' is at the basis of the distinction of persons, the Son being conceived in the intellect and the Holy Spirit in the will. Without a distinction of 'intellect' and 'will' in God one could not distinguish the emanation of the divine persons.443 We turn now to a number of contemporary authors (and one medieval author) for their views on this. In Section Alpha, on Aquinas, Heidegger claimed that Aquinas held the real distinction. Now whether the characterization of Thomas's position as Aegidian is accurate or not is one element. Whatever the case, the distinction we are talking about in the cases of Aquinas and Suarez is one falling between essence and existence. But this is not the case with Scotus. (In point of fact, it would be inaccurate to say that there even is a distinction between essence and existence as such in Scotus's writings.) His formal distinction is said to lie between an individual (haeccitas) and the 'common nature' it reduces. We are, after all, dealing with three individual thinkers. This shift in focus, this hermeneutical masterstroke, is highlighted by Olivier Boulnois in a key 1992 article.444 He cites Scotus's Ordinatio:
patet quod non ita se habet communitas et singularitas ad naturam, sicut esse in intellectu et esse verum extra animam.445

In other words, Scotus seemed concerned about two things. First, he felt that the Avicennian version of essence was an oversimplification. Let us explain this a bit: If Avicenna could say, Unde equinitas non est aliquid nisi equinitas tantum446, horseness is just horseness, that simple statement was the fruit of a simple doctrine of 'nature'. Avicenna was, for want of a better expression, restricted to a strict parallelism. The universal enjoyed its universality and its community in the intellect. On its own it was, as the expression implied, neutral, neither universal nor particular. The other side of this parallelism was his conclusion that the nature enjoyed its singularity in real being, outside the soul. Again, borrowing from Alain De Libera :
Scot rejette ce couplage : Le rapport de la communaut et de la singularit la nature nest pas le mme que celui quont avec elle ltre dans lintellect et ltre vritable hors de l me. (cf. Ord. II, dist. 3, 42) Si ces deux rapports la natura ne se recouvrent pas, cest que la communaut nest pas une proprit qui choit la nature du fait de la pense, mais une proprit qui, non moins que la singularit convient la nature hors de lintellect : la seule diffrence est que la communaut convient delle-mme cette nature ; alors que la singularit lui convient par un aliquid dans la chose qui la contracte et fait quelle devient propre cette chose singulire. Dautre part, Scot
443 444

Ibid. cf. n. 1. BOULNOIS, Olivier, Relles intentions: nature commune et universaux selon Duns Scot , Revue de Mtaphysique et Morale, vol. 97, 1992, p. 3-33. 445 Duns Scotus, Ordinatio, II, d. 3, 42 446 Avicenna, Liber de philosophia prima, 5, 1.


transpose la communaut ainsi entendue la definition qu Avicenne attribuait luniversel employ en logique : la non-impossibilit intrinsque dtre prdiqu de plusieurs : Si la communaut dans la chose nest pas luniversalit dans lme, cest du point de vue de la chose quil faut penser la communaut de la nature. Cette communaut doit tre pense en termes desse in, non de dici de. Le commun dont parle Duns Scot, qui nest pas l`universel, nest donc pas commun au sens o il serait prdicable de plusieurs (praedicabile de multis), mais au sens o il ne lui rpugne pas dtre dans un autre [sujet] que celui dans lequel il est. (cf. Ord. II, dist. 3, 39)447

Accordingly, for Scotus, there is a universal in the intellect and a lesser universality, a universality of the common nature that is reduced in existing in individuals. The formal distinction is between this individual haecceitas and the common nature.448 This common nature has an existence outside the soul, it is real, but without being thing bound. As Boulnois puts it:
ce qui est commun est rel mais non ral (chosique). And. Pour Scot, tout ce qui est rel est intentionnel et tout ce qui est intentionnel est rel. Cela signifie que lintellect humain ne produit pas lintelligibilit du rel mais que celle-ci le prcde et en est la condition. 449

By 'rel mais non ral' Boulnois wants to say that the Scotist common nature is beyond our intellects but it is not a haecceitas; it is not a res, or 'chosique', in French. We might venture to say that 'Boulnois's rel' is not necessarily material. The other factor that concerned Scotus is what Noone calls:
"the extent to which Scotus is committed both to the reality of common natures and the ultimate importance of individuals. Most of the tension in his theories stems from the strength of his desire to locate a place for commonness and uniqueness in the texture of individual substances." 450

Before beginning to look at haecceitas, we might ask what in Scotus is the cause of what? Why is there a shift in his thinking vis vis earlier medieval configurations, with his formal distinction falling between the common nature and the haecceitas instead of between essence and existence? We hazard a guess. In Ockham's brief remark:
"it is the intention of this Doctor that besides numerical unity there is a unity less than numerical unity which belongs to this very nature which is somehow universal."451

and Boehner on Ockham:

According to Ockham, Scotus holds the following doctrine as regards the universals: In extramental things there is a nature of which the following can be said: It is really one with the difference that contracts it to one definite DE LIBERA, Alain, La querelle des universaux de Platon la fin du Moyen Age, Paris, Seuil, 1996, p. 330-331. 448 According to Richard Cross, the notion of haecceitas was first suggested by Duns Scotus: cf. Stanford online Encyclopedia of Philosophy, rubric haecceitas, 2003. For occurrences of haecceitas in Scotus's writings, Cross refers us to Stephen Dumont's 1993 article "The Question on Individuation". 449 BOULNOIS, Olivier, op. cit., pg. 31; The distinction 'rel mais non ral' is untranslatable. 450 NOONE, "Universals and Individuation", in The Cambridge Companion to Scotus, Cambridge U. Press, 2002, p 122. 451 Ockham Oxon, II, d. 3, q. 6, n. 15, ed. V. t. 12, p. 144


individual. Though this nature is really one with the difference, it is nevertheless formally distinct from it. The nature insofar as it itself is concerned is neither universal nor particular: in the thing it is incompletely universal, but it is completely universal in the mind.452 (Underlining mine)

All we are saying is that Scotus's conviction of the existence of a common nature, contractable to the individual, pointed him toward development of the haecceitas (he may have invented it ).453 Or, if you wish, for Scotus, if there is a pole of universality outside the soul; there must needs be a pole of singularity too, and, for him, it too must needs have an ontological status. Without getting into too much detail, let us see if we can follow this using Scotus's argument: 'Everyone admits that there is individual unity, at least recognizing that a criterion of individual unity is a thing's noninstantiability. But if individual unity exists there must be some positive entity corresponding to it to provide it its ontological foundation. It cannot be the specific nature for that is instantiable...by its very nature. (Perhaps the desire to find such an ontological entity sets Scotus apart from Thomists et alia.) While it must exist it is hard to describe. By the very terms of Scotus's theory, as noninstantiable, it cannot be the subject of science for we cannot have a quiddity of it. Scotus explains it by analogy, using Porphyry's tree. The role of the haecceitas is compared to that of the specific difference on Porphyry's tree. The specific difference can be compared to what is above and below it. If it is compared to what is below it, i.e. the species, then the species, limited by the specific difference, is no longer multiple at that level, it is just that species. Similarly individual differences limit the individual so that it is no longer multipliable but individual, non instantiable. On the other hand, if it is seen in relation to what is above it, we can say that it contracts the genus. Similarly, we can say that individual differences contract the species. But there's a difference this time. With the specific difference and genus, a formal determination contracts a formal determination, but with the individual difference it's not form added to form but instead the addition is the ultimate reality of this very form, the individual entity, the final expression of the thing's form we are no longer dealing with quidditative determinations but with material or reduced being. This, of course, is Scotus's haecceitas. In short we might say that these individuals share specific characteristics, just as the specific differences share a proximate genus. But this time the individual entity is the ultimate expression of the thing's form, constituted in contracted, material being.454

BOEHNER, Philotheus, o.f.m., Miscellanea. Scotus Teaching according to Ockham on the nature communis, Franciscan Studies, Sept. 1946. 453 According to Richard Cross, the notion of haecceitas was first suggested by Duns Scotus: cf. Stanford online Encyclopedia of Philosophy, rubric haecceitas, 2003. For occurrences of haecceitas in Scotus's writings, Cross refers us to Stephen Dumont's 1993 article "The Question on Individuation". 454 I rely heavily on Noones analysis, p. 120-1.



Referring back to the analogy we mentioned at the outset, of course the formal distinction falls between this haecceitas and the common nature.455 What distinguishes Scotuss position is his lending an ontological status, a metaphysical entity status, to the singular. It is not just a composite of form and matter but a pole of specificity corresponding to a pole of universality outside the soul. Earlier on we showed that Suarezs views on Scotus guided Heideggers Scotus interpretation. We expressed the view that what Suarez had to say on Scotus was rather more conventional,456 than what he had had to say on Aquinas. Continuing on: if we grant that Suarezs Scotus interpretation is quite influential vis vis Heideggers Scotus interpretation then further detail on Suarezs Scotus interpretation is likely to tell us more about Heideggers treatment. In fact Suarezs more detailed Scotus interpretation occurs in several places. And one is Section 6 of that same Disputatio. We shall cite a rather long passage in English providing the Latin in footnote below. We cite Wellss translation: (We should keep in mind throughout that Suarez is constantly on guard against those who suppose that the essence does not come to be by an efficient cause but rather is eternal.) Returning now to Heidegger's text, it is astonishing that he seeks support in the words of Scholium I of I dist. 45, and not in the reference explicitly given elsewhere by Suarez in support of his attribution of the second position to Duns Scotus. If we look at what Scotus deals with in III dist. 6, Q. 1, we find a particularly thorny question of christology: does there exist one or two esse's in Christ? In other words, does the Incarnation add a new esse, linked to the assumed human nature, to the esse of the divine nature or, indeed, isn't there only one esse, as was the case in the situation preceding the Incarnation? Duns Scotus defends the thesis of a second esse. Why doesn't Heidegger quote this christological text? It is true that Suarez's allegation, i.e., that this text contains the Scotistic doctrine of the modal distinction between the being and the essence (or the nature of the creature) is not obvious: personally we did not see sufficient allusions in this text to justify Suarez's allegations. Heidegger might have referred to it and might himself have found that III dist. 6 Q. 1 was not a sufficient illustration of the theory of the modal distinction, or, quite simply, he doesn't quote this text because he does not want to mention rather explicit christological references (?).

455 456

Ibid. It is perhaps more conventional than either Suarezs or Heideggers idea of Aquinas as an Aegidian!


Suarez on Scotus Moving on, we present Wellss translation of Suarez, Disp. 31, Sect. 6, #9, entitled: THE MODAL DISTINCTION BETWEEN ACTUAL ESSENCE AND EXISTENCE IS EXCLUDED" I make various comments throughout. Suarez
"9. Secondly, it must be said that existence is not distinguished from the actual essential entity as a mode distinct in reality from it."

This may be said to be a characterization of Scotus's postion. Suarez:

"This conclusion, in my judgement, follows clearly from the preceding."

Suarez, in a way, assumes that in refuting the real distinction duae res version, he has refuted Scotus as well, but he will make some concessions. Suarez:
So I judge that those who admit this one in the present case, while denying the first distinction, do not speak consistently.

Suarez thinks that, ultimately, they are tarred by the same brush, i.e. if one is refuted the other is. Suarez:
"For, although in common parlance, this distinction, which is minor, could happen where the first, which is major, cannot occur, still in the present case, the arguments which prove that existence is not an entity distinct from an actual essence plainly prove that such existence is nothing at all."

Might we say that Suarez 'wraps his assessment up' in major and minor premise garb.... In short, it could be that the real distinction duae res version is refuted but this lesser claim is admitted:
"Or (and this is the same thing) that, besides an actual essential entity, nothing further can be formally required for existing as such,"

(no second res ('duae res') is admissable nor is a modal system)

"but only for subsisting or inhering or something similar."

as in the case of accidents which are said of another.

This will be easily established by applying all the arguments already made. For we have shown that real being, by which an actual essence is immediately and intrinsically constituted a being (ens) in act, cannot be distinguished from that essence insofar as it is an entity in act."


Suarez in fact refuses to discuss the particularity of Scotus's view and brings it around to some sort of 'duae res' position. Again, we should always keep in mind that Suarez is constantly on guard against those who suppose that the essence does not come to be by an efficient cause but is eternal. Suarez:
"In addition to the arguments made above in Section III, it is easily explained in this way: for a positive distinction in reality on the part of each term cannot occur except between two terms of which one would be the mode of the other, in such a way that the thing, as prescinded from the mode would be a positive and real being (ens) in act;"

In short, a kind of reductio. If the ratio communis existed independently of the haecceitas which reduces it, it would be a positive and real being, an ens. Here we can see the efficacity of Owens's critique: ie that Scotus doesn't see essence and existence as each a res, but he does see them as each an ens.457 Suarez:
"otherwise the distinction will be one of reason or of the sort that can be between a being (ens) and a non-being (nonens)."

what Scotus calls really separated, really distinct. Suarez:

"If then an essence as it is a being (ens) in act (haecceitas), were distinguished in reality from that being, by which it is primarily and intrinsically constituted in such an actuality, as a thing from its mode, that very essence, precisely conceived and mutually distinct from that mode, would be a true being in act."

Suarez's resolution of Scotus's position into a 'duae res' position:

"Therefore, as it is such an entity, (the natura communis)"

could not be intrinsically constituted in such an actual entity by that mode or by a distinct being, but rather with it would make up a certain composite. For, from what are distinguished in reality as a being and a mode, a true real composition results. But those terms from which a real composition is produced, and into which it is reduced, must be related in such a way that one does not compose or intrinsically constitute the other, as was explained sufficiently in the beginning of the previous declaration. Therefore, such a mode, distinct in reality, cannot be the primary and intrinsic real being constituting the actual entity of the essence itself. Hence, that being, by which it is so constituted, whatever it be, cannot be distinct in reality from the very actual essential entity."458
OWENS, Joseph, "The Number of Terms in the Suarezian Discussion on Essence and Being.The Modern Schoolman, v. 34 (1957), Conclusion. 458 And Suarez, Disp. 31, Sect. 6, 9: "9. Secundo dicendum est existentiam non distingui ab entitate actuali essentiae tamquam modum ex natura rei distinctum ab illa. Haec conclusio sequitur, meo iudicio, evidenter ex praecedenti; et ideo existimo non loqui consequenter qui, priorem distinctionem negando, hanc admittunt in praesenti materia. Nam, licet in communi loquendo, haec distinctio, quae minor est, possit intervenire ubi prior, quae maior est, non intercedit, tamen in praesenti rationes quae probant existentiam non esse entitatem distinctam ab essentia actuali, simpliciter probant talem existentiam nihil


We see that Suarez treats Scotus's 'distinctio formalis' position in a rather surgical manner and as being tributary to Giles' duae res position, no matter what reserves be granted Scotus. What does that mean? Summing up: Suarez thinks that the major premise of the argument is the duae res version which, in his terms says that existence comes to the essence as a separate thing. So, 'in common parlance', the position that the existence comes to the essence as a mode of that essence could be 'left standing'. Yet Suarez wants the 'duae res' refutation to serve common cause in eliminating Scotus too. And this is why for Suarez: "the arguments which prove that existence is not an entity apart from actual essence plainly prove that such an existence is nothing at all." 'Besides an actual essential entity, nothing can be required for existing..' Again, Suarez refuses to see the argument in any terms but his own.
omnino esse, seu (quod idem est) praeter actualem entitatem essentiae nihil ultra posse formaliter requiri ad existendum ut sic, sed solum ad subsistendum vel inhaerendum, aut aliquid simile. Quod facile constabit applicando omnes rationes factas; ostendimus enim illud esse reale quo actualis essentia immediate ac intrinsece constituitur ens actu non posse distingui ex natura rei ab ipsa essentia prout est entitas in actu. Et praeter rationes supra factas, sect. 3, facile declaratur in hunc modum: nam distinctio ex natura rei positiva ex parte utriusque extremi non potest intercedere nisi inter duo extrema, quorum unum sit modus alterius, ita ut res ut praecisa a modo sit ens in actu positivum et reale, alioqui distinctio erit vel rationis, vel qualis esse potest inter ens et non ens; si ergo essentia, ut est ens actu, distingueretur ex natura rei ab illo esse quo primo et intrinsece in tali actualitate constituitur, tamquam res a modo suo, ipsa essentia praecise concepta et condistincta ab illo modo esset verum ens actu; ergo ut talis entitas est, non posset intrinsece constitui in tali entitate actuali per illum modum, seu per esse distinctum, sed potius cum illo componeret tertium quoddam compositum. Nam ex his quae ex natura rei distinguuntur tamquam ens et modus fit vera compositio realis; ipsa vero extrema ex quibus fit reale compositum et in quae resolvitur, ita necessario comparantur, ut unum non componat nec intrinsece constituat aliud, ut in principio superioris assertionis declaratum est; ergo non potest talis modus, ex natura rei distinctus, esse primum et intrinsecum esse reale constituens actualem entitatem ipsius essentiae; ergo illud esse quo sic constituitur, quodcumque illud sit, non potest esse ex natura rei distinctum ab ipsa entitate essentiae actualis. 9. Secundo dicendum est existentiam non distingui ab entitate actuali essentiae tamquam modum ex natura rei distinctum ab illa. Haec conclusio sequitur, meo iudicio, evidenter ex praecedenti; et ideo existimo non loqui consequenter qui, priorem distinctionem negando, hanc admittunt in praesenti materia. Nam, licet in communi loquendo, haec distinctio, quae minor est, possit intervenire ubi prior, quae maior est, non intercedit, tamen in praesenti rationes quae probant existentiam non esse entitatem distinctam ab essentia actuali, simpliciter probant talem existentiam nihil omnino esse, seu (quod idem est) praeter actualem entitatem essentiae nihil ultra posse formaliter requiri ad existendum ut sic, sed solum ad subsistendum vel inhaerendum, aut aliquid simile. Quod facile constabit applicando omnes rationes factas; ostendimus enim illud esse reale quo actualis essentia immediate ac intrinsece constituitur ens actu non posse distingui ex natura rei ab ipsa essentia prout est entitas in actu. Et praeter rationes supra factas, sect. 3, facile declaratur in hunc modum: nam distinctio ex natura rei positiva ex parte utriusque extremi non potest intercedere nisi inter duo extrema, quorum unum sit modus alterius, ita ut res ut praecisa a modo sit ens in actu positivum et reale, alioqui distinctio erit vel rationis, vel qualis esse potest inter ens et non ens; si ergo essentia, ut est ens actu, distingueretur ex natura rei ab illo esse quo primo et intrinsece in tali actualitate constituitur, tamquam res a modo suo, ipsa essentia praecise concepta et condistincta ab illo modo esset verum ens actu; ergo ut talis entitas est, non posset intrinsece constitui in tali entitate actuali per illum modum, seu per esse distinctum, sed potius cum illo componeret tertium quoddam compositum. Nam ex his quae ex natura rei distinguuntur tamquam ens et modus fit vera compositio realis; ipsa vero extrema ex quibus fit reale compositum et in quae resolvitur, ita necessario comparantur, ut unum non componat nec intrinsece constituat aliud, ut in principio superioris assertionis declaratum est; ergo non potest talis modus, ex natura rei distinctus, esse primum et intrinsecum esse reale constituens actualem entitatem ipsius essentiae; ergo illud esse quo sic constituitur, quodcumque illud sit, non potest esse ex natura rei distinctum ab ipsa entitate essentiae actualis."


Further along in Sec. 9 we see again that Suarez proposes his own alternatives: an essence and its mode would either result in their being two ens or it would amount to his, Suarez's, negative distinction or else, since they were mutually distinct from each other, they would each be an ens and their union would be a third composite! No room is left for a natura communis that is reduced by its instantiation. Once again this recalls Owens's point that Scotus doesn't see essence and existence as each a res, but he does see them as each an ens.459 Interpreting a step further on behalf of a Scotist perspective, perhaps this entitative quality of essence and existence for Suarez prevents his seeing them as a common nature and haecceitas... We have seen that Heidegger endorses Suarez's positions, at least as introductory stances in alpha and beta; that undoubtedly explains the facility, the alacrity with which Heidegger attributes a 'duae res' position to Aquinas and shows indulgence towards Scotus's 'distinctio formalis' position. Suarez's detailed, though unfair and unsympathetic, analysis of Scotus's 'distinctio formalis' shows that he attempts to 'separate him out' from the duae res Thomists. Heidegger follows him in doing that.


OWENS, Joseph, op. cit.



Here the overall thesis that Suarez 'mne la barque' will be further strengthened, but, in any case, the suggestion, put forward at the end of the Thomas section, implying that Thomass and Suarezs position will be shown to be closer to one another is to be corrected or greatly qualified .. THE NATURE OF THE PROBLEMS Here we are dealing with a 2 to 3 page text, one which is in fact Heideggers lecture on Suarezs doctrine on the distinction between essence and existence. Heidegger raises two problems: one has to do with delineating the two Suarezian distinctions between essence and existence and the other with comparing the passage from potency to act in Suarez and other-minded medieval figures. (The latter subject, as such, does not figure in Suarezs text.) Having looked at Suarez via Heideggers citations, what we shall then try and do is show, using a contemporary author, that Suarezs first, negative distinction functions but that his second, his rational distinction, has serious problems and, furthermore that Suarez might well have contented himself with the first distinction. General Preliminary Remarks In the alpha and beta sections the criterion for judging that Suarez was Heideggers guide in interpretation was the fact of Heideggers closely adopting Suarezian formulations on Aquinas and Scotus. But there is a difference this time, with this Section C, Gamma: now it is Suarez himself who is to be judged by Heidegger. What will be the criteria in deciding on Suarezs pervasive influence on Heidegger here? Here it will be that he literally copies Suarezian formulations. (As to doctrine, we shall have to judge.) As he had mentioned elsewhere, Heidegger says that Suarezs position, though limited in its grasp, is the best available for phenomenological clarification.460 Thus this Section C, Gamma: Heidegger on Suarez, represents the third installment, following our treatments of Section Cs alpha and beta. Briefly Recalling Suarez on Aquinas and Scotus In alpha, we attempted to show that Heidegger ends up attributing an Aegidian, duae res position to Aquinas. We also showed that the attribution of that Aegidian, duae res position is largely due to Suarez's influence on Heidegger. Subsequently, in our

Heidegger spreads out his praise somewhat, in enigmatically referring to Suarez and his predecessors: The problem of the distinction between essentia and existentia that occupies us first of all in the framework of the Scholastic interpretation should become clearer in its real content and in reference to its rootedness in ancient philosophy. But to this end we must still pursue Suarez' doctrine in some further detail so as to reach the true nub of the question. For his and his predecessors' view is the one most appropriate for working out the phenomenological exposition of the problem. BP, p 96.


treatment of Heideggers Scotus section, i.e. beta, in similar fashion, we attempted to show that Heideggers interpretation of Scotus, while perhaps more classical or conventional in formulation (inasmuch as it does not forward an interpretation as startling as the duae res interpretation of Aquinas seems to many), it too was heavily influenced by positions adopted by Suarez in his Disputatio 31. Following on the heels of a characterization of an allegedly Aegidian, duae res Aquinas, Scotus was seen as preferable to the alpha position in that Scotuss modal version is rescued from going down that duae res route, and in that regard Heidegger saw Scotus pretty much as Suarez presented him. (One reserve we might mention is that Heidegger may go a bit further than Suarez in integrating the Scotist position into Suarezs distinctio ratiocinata. Within the scope of Suarezs second distinction, his positive distinction, Heidegger seems convinced that Scotuss modal distinction corresponds to Suarezs distinctio ratiocinata. Judging by Suarez's tone, we are not persuaded that he himself would be that conciliatory, i.e. we are not convinced that Suarez would himself agree to identification of Scotuss postion with any of his own.) If Suarez feels that Scotus, in not positing an Aegidian, duae res position (as so many Thomists of that period did) belongs more or less in his, Suarezs, camp, were Scotus waked up might we say, Suarez also feels that Scotus could have accomplished the same thing (in describing the relationship of essence and existence in created, finite substances as being conceptually distinct) without opting for a modal or formal distinction at all. Section Gamma: Heidegger on Suarez As one might expect, Heideggers method in presenting section Gamma to his students is similar to what he used in dealing with Aquinas and Scotus. In a word, his lecture method is more or less the following: after a short introduction he begins by citing snippets of the Latin text followed by his translation of those short passages, followed by his explanation and commentary. (As elsewhere, reference to Kant is ever present.) It is our feeling that for mechanical reasons analysis of such a classroom designed procedure is extremely confusing for the reader and so as to avoid obfuscation in analyzing Heideggers interpretation, some organizing techniques are needed.461 A few material details of the text: Heideggers Gamma Section Suarez treatment in fact involves some six short references to Disp. 31, (incidentally, only one of which is to the central Disp. 31, Section 6 and it, in fact, involves a brief citation from Aristotles Metaphysics.) Nonetheless, Heideggers citations and analysis do deal with the central role of actuality, as well as both the negative and the positive versions of Suarezs distinctions.
Aside from its being chosen by Heidegger and our related concerns, what is seen as most crucial by modern scholarship, i.e. the most adequate statement of Suarezs position on the conceptual distinction between essence and existence in finite creatures, is to be found in Suarezs Disputatio 31, Section 6 and, th especially, in its 12 subdivision. In Disputatio 31, section 1 and then, more in detail in section 6, Suarez works out his two famous distinctions between essence and existence.


TWO PROBLEMS TO BE DEALT WITH In terms of organization, after review of Heideggers analysis of the 6 citations, we shall look at 2 problematical issues Heidegger chose. One is mentioned by Heidegger at the outset and taken up again at the end of his Suarez section. (It involves the passage to actuality in a material substance.) The other problematic involves the two distinctions: Suarezs first distinction: the negative distinction and the second distinction, (the one Owens calls the positive distinction). In fact, hereafter, we shall refer indifferently to the first as the negative distinction and the second as the positive distinction. Accordingly, after looking at Heideggers references to Suarez and, perhaps highlighting the complications surrounding the negative and the positive versions of Suarezs distinctions, we shall focus on the advantages and disadvantages of the two distinctions, employing Joseph Owens's 1957 article, one that has consistently been considered to be quite central to this subject. This scholar462, whom we shall have reason to look at in some detail here, defines Suarezs first distinction, the negative distinction as the real distinction falling between an essence in potency and the existence of an actual being. (Notice that the terms being compared are not the same.) It is rather cut and dried for Suarez, or, might we say, readily established that there is a real distinction between these two for the simple reason that one of the main tenets in Suarezs metaphysical system is that the first term, the essence in potency, doesnt exist (!) and so, by fatality, is really distinct from the actual being, in fact, to speak more accurately, because it is not actual. The other, the second distinction, is, as said, the one Owens calls the positive distinction. This description corresponds to the well known distinctio ratiocinatae between an existing essence and the existing being whose essence it is, a distinction of reason with a basis in reality. The crux of this latter, Suarezian distinctio rationis seems to be a bit more controversial in that there may be ambiguity regarding the terms being compared or involved in it.463 Textual analysis of Section c, gamma We turn now to Heideggers GP, Section c, gamma. Having just completed his Scotus treatment, as we indicated, Heidegger more or less intimates that if Scotus had understood what he was up to he would have expressed himself as Suarez did. To put it in even plainer terms, Heideggers c Section, the Suarez Section, begins with his assessment of Suarezs assessment of Scotus. Heidegger:
c) Suarez' doctrine of the distinctio sola rationis between essentia and existentia in ente creato


463 (Relatedly,

OWENS, Joseph, Op. cit., Conclusion. Norman Wells was completing his doctorate on that very subject and collaborating with Father Owens at the period of Owenss 1957 article. Some 30 years later, Wells translated Disputatio 31 into English. The procedure we suggest in analyzing Owenss interpretation is to refer to Wellss translation, supplying the Latin text in footnotes.)


The third interpretation is that of Suarez, the distinctio rationis. The difference between essence and existence in the created being is solely conceptual. Suarez' discussions aim chiefly at showing that his own view really agrees with that of Scotus, more precisely, that it is not at all necessary to introduce this distinction of a distinctio modalis, as Scotus does, but that this distinction is nothing other than what he, Suarez, calls distinctio rationis.464

Heidegger cites Suarez: Citation One: a simple expression of Suarezs position:


As mentioned above, and as Heidegger points out, Suarez distinguishes his own view from the last two considered. In the briefest of terms here he excludes the Aegidian: non distingui realiter, and the Scotistic: aut ex natura rei tanquam duo extrema realia, while preferring his own, as yet unspecified rational distinction: sed distingui tantum ratione. The next, the 2nd Suarez text Heidegger cites, we might term a declaration of Suarezs second distinction in Disputatio 31, or the positive version of the distinctio rationalis: Heidegger:
He thus draws the line between his view and the other two doctrines. His interpretation fixes more clearly the point of comparison of the distinction in question:466

And Heidegger cites Suarez: Citation Two: The positive version of Suarezs position: Suarez's full text: ....Heidegger cites:

Heidegger then says of Suarez:

He stresses that the problem relative to the distinction between essence and existence consists in the question whether and how the actualized what, the what of an actual being, differs from this being's actuality. [95] It is not the problem of how the pure possibility, the essentia as something which is purely possible and then actualized, differs

BP, p. 94; Suarez reference: DM, Disp. 31, sec 1, 12., Vives: p. 228, Wells: p. 50-1. DM, Disp. 31, sec 1, 12; cf. BP, p. 94, Vives: p. 228, Wells: p. 50-1. 466 BP, p. 94. Note that Heideggers order of presentation is the opposite of Suarezs (and Owenss) in the sense that Heidegger refers to the positive and then the negative distinction, while the negative precedes the positive in Suarezs Disputatio 31, sec 1, 12 and 13.. and Owenss follows Suarezs order. 467 Disp. 31, sec 1, 13.



from the actuality; the question rather is, Can the actuality and the thing-content of the actual be distinguished really in the actual being itself?468

Here we suggest that Heidegger is nearing the crucial problem involved in Suarezs second, positive distinction. (In fact, at the risk of getting ahead of ourselves we might say that one lesson we will learn from Owenss text is that Heideggers question, to wit: Can the actuality and the thing-content of the actual be distinguished really in the actual being itself?469 will be answered no. Returning now to the two distinctions, in the first, negative formulation, the real distinction lay between an existing thing and an essence in potency. Here, rather, in the second, positive distinction, Suarezs stated goal is to distinguish the actual essence from the actual existent. (What we are going to suggest, using Owenss analysis, is that although Suarez assuredly announces that HIS distinction between essence and existence will be between actual elements and will be rational, and not real, (thus avoiding the pitfalls of so many of his predecessors..) yet when Suarez finally finds himself confronted with the task of describing the actual essence, i.e. rationally joined to an actual existence, he inexorably reinvents a possible essence, that is one that is abstracte et praecise concepta as the price of distinguishing it from the actual existence it is alleged to be one with. This, Owens will say, is because, in any case, it is impossible to conceptually distinguish actual essential being from actual existential being because Suarez, in a long tradition using this formulation, failed to place the distinction or express the distinction in a manner going beyond the tradition he criticized. (He saw essence and existence as each a type of ens if not res.) More on this later. Thus the allegation is that Suarezs positive formulation of the distinction fails. In fact, we shall see that Heidegger cites a formulation that embodies this very difficulty.) Returning, now to the third Suarez text that Heidegger cites; incidentally Suarez describes the negative distinction before the positive. Citation Three: The negative version of Suarezs position:
470 BP, p. 94-95 GP, p. 132-33. Ibid. 470 Heidegger modifies the text, as well as writing distinguunter for distinguuntur. Suarez's text runs: ; I include Wells's translation of the phrase: "existence and essence are not distinguished in the thing itself, even though the essence, conceived of abstractly and with precision, as it is in potency, be distinguished from actual existence, as a non-being (ens) from a being (ens)."; WELLS, Norman J., Francis Suarez, On the Essence of Finite Being As Such, On the Existence of that Essence and of their
469 468


in the actual being itself I cannot distinguish realiter essence and actuality, although I can think abstractly the essence as pure possibility and then fix the difference between a non-being, non-existent, and an existent. 471

That is, in this first, this negative distinction, the distinguishing does not take place in anything remotely resembling a duae res formulation but rather as a being distinguished from a non being ; for a being in objective potency is non actual. Notice that in both distinctions, what is the criterion for Suarez is act and potency. For example, as amazing as it seems to our sensibilities, for Suarez, potential essential being is omnino nihil! It is being, esse, and still nonbeing, ens. This is because, for Suarez, esse does not make the essence a being. Actuality does. Thus, Suarez's saying that potential essential being is omnino nihil does not mean it is without esse. Citation Four: Naturally, Suarez is convinced of his own opinion:
I am of the opinion that this view is altogether true.472

Citation Five: nothing can be made real by something distinct from itself. We might say that this argument has elements warning of the danger of infinite regress:
And the reason for that, briefly, is that something cannot intrinsically and formally be constituted as a real and actual being by something different from itself, because, by the very fact that one is different from the other as a being from a being, each has what it takes to be and to be condistinct from the other and consequently [cannot be] formally and intrinsically through the other.473

After his translation, Heideggers GP text continues:

The foundation of this third interpretation is solely this, that something like existence, actualitywhich intrinsece et formaliter, most inwardly and in accordance with the essence, constitutes something like the actualcannot be distinguished as a being on its own account from what is thus constituted. For if existence, actuality, were itself a res, in Kantian terms a real predicate, then both res, both things, essence and existence, would have a being. The question would then arise how the two can be taken together in a single unity which itself is. It is impossible to take existence as something existent.

Distinction, (Disp. 31.), Translated from the Latin with an Introduction, Marquette U. Press, Milwaukee, 1983, p. 52. 471 Disp. 31, sec 1, 13. The passage is followed by Heideggers translation of it. 472 Ibid ; The passage is followed by Heideggers translation of it. 473 Ibid ; The passage is followed by Heideggers translation of it.


Here Heidegger has merely ruled out the duae res position, showing the possibilities of an infinite regress problem, i.e. if the essence and existence is each a res then each would have the qualifications of a res, and that res would have the qualifications of a res. Also, and relatedly, how could they then be brought together to form one thing? Next Heidegger does something significant. leading up to his most detailed description of Suarezs positive, distinctio ratiocinata. We see here that, seemingly for purposes of argument presentation, Heidegger eliminates Scotus from the 3 position configuration. Henceforth he will deal with the schema of comparison of real distinction vs. rational distinction (supposedly embodied by Aquinas and Suarez) of course. This bipolarization of the positions will also serve him in good stead in introducing his last discussion, that on the nature of actualization in situations involving real distinction or rational distinction configurations. Here Heidegger eliminates the Scotist position:
To gain access to this problem which is discussed along different lines in the three doctrines, let us first briefly mention Scholasticism's way of conceiving the distinctio in general. If we disregard the Scotistic view, Scholasticism differentiates between a distinctio realis and a distinctio rationis.474

After stating the two definitions in Suarezian vocabulary, Heidegger offers a common sense working definition of the difference between a real distinction and a rational one. For the real distinction case, there is something distinguished in the thing without our mental capacity or processes intervening; for the rational distinction case, there is something distinguished when and if our mental capacities or processes intervene.
Distinctio realis habetur inter partes alicujus actu (indivisi) entis quarum entitas in se seu independenter a mentis abstractione, una non est altera? a real distinction obtains when of those that are distinguished, in conformity with their what-contents, the one is not the other, and indeed in itself, without regard to any apprehension by means of thinking.475 Ibid, p. 95. Ibid, p. 95-96. I include the less relevant sections of the Suarez section here. The distinctio rationis is that qua mens unam eandemque entitatem diversis conceptibus repraesentat, that distinction by which the understanding [96] represents to itself by different concepts not two different res but one and the same thing. Scholasticism further subdivides the distinctio rationis into (1) a distinctio rationis pura or also ratiocinantis and (2) a distinctio ratiocinata. The former is the distinction that can be exemplified in the difference between homo and animal rationale, human being and rational animal. By this I distinguish something, to be sure, but what I distinguish is one and the same res. A difference exists only in the manner of apprehending this res; in the one case what is meant, homo, is thought unexpressly, implicite, in the other case explicite, the moments of the essence being brought out. In both cases of this distinctio rationis pura, the res is one and the same realiter. This distinctio has its origin and motive solely in the ratiocinari itself, in the conceptual act of distinguishing. It is a distinction that is accomplished only from my standpoint. To be distinguished from this distinctio rationis is the distinctio rationis ratiocinata or distinctio rationis cum fundamento in re. The latter is the familiar expression. It refers not merely to the mode of apprehension and the degree of its clarity but is present quandocumque et quocumque modo ratio diversae considerationis ad rem relatem oritur, when the distinction as not in some sort motivated by the apprehending in its active operation but ratiocinata, by that which is objicitur, cast over against, in the ratiocinari itself, hence ratiocinata. The essential point is that for the second distinctio rationis there is a motive having to do with the thing-content in the distinguished thing itself. By this, the second distinctio rationis, which is motivated not only by the apprehending intellect but by the apprehended thing itself, receives a position in between the purely logical distinctio, as the distinctio pura is also called, and the distinctio realis. For this reason it coincides with the distinctio modalis or formalis of Duns Scotus, and therefore Suarez is correct in saying that in terms of real content he agrees with Scotus
475 474


Again, one gets the impression that Heideggers way of describing the distinction ratiocinatae leads him to identify it with Scotuss distinctio modalis. He seems to go further than Suarez would.
The problem of the distinction between essentia and existentia that occupies us first of all in the framework of the Scholastic interpretation should become clearer in its real content and in reference to its rootedness in ancient philosophy. But to this end we must still pursue Suarez' doctrine in some further detail so as to reach the true nub of the question. For his and his predecessors' view is the one most appropriate for working out the phenomenological exposition of the problem.476

Having given general reasons why he has selected Suarezs position as that most suiting his phenomenological goals, Heidegger makes a transition. In fact he returns to his task of detailed analysis of Suarezs 6 passages. He again refers to what we might call the infinite regress objection. That is, if essence and existence are each a res then they each have an essence and an existence, and so on Heidegger says:
Suarez argues for his thesis not merely by saying, in the manner already mentioned, that it is impossible to comprehend existence as something that itself exists, because then the question would arise anew how these two beings are supposed once again to constitute an existent unity;477

In turning to the sixth passage, Heidegger rather subtly shows that while Aristotle had merely wanted to say that it is the same to say man and existing man, Suarez has a further use for such a doctrine because Suarez wants to talk about his own actual existing essence.
he argues for it also by an appeal to Aristotle. [97] In order to make this appeal legitimate he has to amplify the Aristotelian interpretation. Suarez says:478

Citation Six: Suarez refers to Aristotle:

Aristotle says that the expression "being", if it is adjoined to any thing, adds nothing to it, and that it is the same whether I say "man," homo, or ens homo, "existent man." 479 except that he regards the introduction of this further distinction as superfluous. There are theological reasons why the Scotists doggedly championed their distinctio modalis. 476 BP, p. 96. 477 Ibid. 478 BP, pp. 96-97. 479 Disp. 31, sec 6, 1; followed by Heideggers loose translation of course. We also note that Suarez refers to a related issue elsewhere in the DM, at Disp.II, 4,8: ... nam homo ex vi ejusdem impositionis significat hominen, sive actu existentem, sive possibilem; imo et simplex conceptus hominis, qui illi voci respondet, aeque repraesentat hominem existentem, vel possibilem; non est ergo ibi significatio aequivoca; idem ergo


Now Heidegger provides the Greek of the same passage. The passage, from Aristotles Metaphysics, 4, 2, 1003,b.26 ff runs: Greek version of Citation Six

Having cited 3 versions of the same passage, the interpretation question we have to ask ourselves now is why Suarez cites this particular passage from Aristotle, Metaphysics, Gamma, 2. Heidegger gives us a hint that seems plausible. In saying that, to make this appeal legitimate, Suarez has to amplify the Aristotelian interpretation, Heidegger probably means that Suarez wants to use it to bolster his position on the self-sufficiency of the actually existing essence of distinction two. We note that Heideggers own interpretation of Aristotle here is rather modestAlthough it includes the usual linking up with a Kantian version, what he takes to be Suarezs goal is not worked out there:
it is the same to say "one man" or "an existent man." Aristotle here intends merely to say: Even when I think a res, a mere what, I must already think it in some sense as being; for possibility and thought-ness are also being possible and being thought. When I say "man," I am also thinking being along with this, in this being which is in some way thought of as being. Suarez now carries over to existence this Aristotelian suggestion that in everything thought of, whether it be thought of as actual or as possible, being is thought along with it. He says: the same thing (namely, that being adds nothing to res) holds also precisely of propri.e. ens, being proper, that is, existing. Existence adds nothing. This is exactly the Kantian thesis. Existentia nihil addit rei seu essentiae actuali. Existence adds nothing to the actual what.481

Let us recall that Suarez feels that actual essential being is existential being as opposed to having to be in some way or other linked to some existing subject. Suarez apparently sees this view bolstered by the Aristotelian view that homo is the same as homo existens because the thing as existent is thought of when the nature is thought of. His amplification in his use of the phrase (Heideggers word) is only understandable in referring to the rather special aspect of Suarezs views on actual essence coupled with actual existence what distinction two distinguishes. (In keeping in mind Suarezs opponents, recall too that these discussions of distinction two are often preceded by a rejection of a duae res or real distinction configuration.) What Suarez finally wants to say is that actual essence & actual existence are only conceptually distinct for the very good reason that they are two aspects of one and the same thing. Once you have actual essence it necessarily exists because non actual essence is simply nothing. That it is not made the actual essence it is by attachment to some existing subject hints of the rejected duae res or real distinction configuration. Coming back to this same
est proportionaliter de ente sub illa duplici rafione seu significatione sumpto, et de conceptu qui illi respondet." Suarez refers to the use of the word man. Man taken simply can mean man as existing or as possible. The concept corresponding to the word man thus means existing man or possible man. 480 Aristotle, Metaphysics, Gamma, 2, 1003b26 f. 481 BP, p. 97. Aquinas draws a number of lessons from the phrase: that being and unity are alike, that when two things added to a third thing are the same, they are the same and, finally, that when man is generated a human being is generated..in Metaphysicam, IV,1, Lectiones 549-551.


Aristotle phrase, Suarez feels that saying that it is the same to say one man or an existent man reinforces his view that the actual essence is existent on its own, by its own first actuality On what actuality does to essence, Owens's analysis of this passage is helpful. Paraphrasing Suarez, Section 6, 2, 242a, he notes:
It is especially shown by reason for the first actuality of a thing constitutes the thing a being and distinguishes it from potential being. But this actuality is the essences own essential entity. Therefore, any further entity to constitute it as a being is both superfluous and impossible.482

Another aspect that doesnt come across that clearly in Heideggers paraphrase of Suarezs Aristotle reference involves the role of potency and act. It seems to be clearer in Wellss translation of the passage. Let us back up a few phrases and cite the Wells version, interrupting it with our interpretation as we go: Wellss version, from Section 6, 1.
For, first, we must say that a created essence constituted in act outside its causes is not really distinguished from existence, so that there are two distinct things or entities.483

Suarez first narrows things down in saying that he is excluding any duae res type position before specifying further his own position:
In this conclusion I suppose the meaning of the terms and the distinction already set down of an essence in potency and essence in act.484

In other words Suarez means that he has heretofore delineated two distinctions between essence and existence. Distinctions one and two, that is the negative, real distinction and the positive, rational distinction. Suarez continues:
I also suppose that the discussion is not of subsistence or inherence but of proper existential being.

Presumably Suarez is telling us in advance that actual existent essence is not dependent on some subject it is united to in order to be an entity. A possibility he rules out elsewhere485but is sufficient unto itself.

Loc cit, p. 177; Owens refers to Sec 6, 2, 242a: Sed praecipue demonstratur ratione, quia talis entitas, addita actuali essentiae, nec potest formaliter conferre primam (ut ita dicam) actualitatem seu primam rationem entis in actu, qua separatur et distinguitur ab ente in potentia, neque etiam potest esse necessaria sub aliqua ratione causae, proprie vel reductive, ut essentia habeat suam entitatem actualem essentiae; 483 Wells, pg 87 sec 6, 1 484 Ibid. 485 31, 5, 12, Wells, p 84: From this we make a further inference that this kind of existential entity, distinct in the way mentioned, is not only superfluous but quite impossible. Section 5 (240): 12. Atque hinc


Returning to Wellss version of this same Aristotle citation.

Hence the conclusion explained in this way can be proven from Aristotle who everywhere says that being (ens) joined to things adds nothing to them. For the being (ens) that is man is the same as man. But, with the same proportion, that is true of a thing in potency and a thing in act.486

So Suarez is saying that just as the being (ens) that is man is the same as man, so the existing actual essence is the same as the actual essence. (We have a proportionality here.) But it is the actual essence or the thing in act (which are really two aspects of one and the same thing), and not the one in potency, that Suarez wants to zero in on right here:
Thus, a being (ens) in act which is properly a being (ens) and the same as existing, adds nothing to the thing or actual essence. This is taken from the opinion of Aristotle who speaks in this way in 4 Meta., c. 2, bk. 5, ch. 7, bk. 10, ch. 1.487

Perhaps this is the amplification of Aristotle from 4 Metaphysics that Heidegger refers to Suarez as carrying out. (It is not at all clear that Suarez has the same goals as Aristotle. And it may well be that Aristotle's remarks refer to his own theory of predicaton.) But it's rather probable that he wants to accentuate the fact that not only does the actual essence not rely on an existence that is a separate reality ( la duae res) but that by actual essence we mean the whole thing, the whole substance. A bit further on in Section 6, it seems rather odd that Suarez passes by the Aristotelian solution and rejects it for a minor reason. At the end of Disp. 31, Section 7, at n. 8, Suarez asks:
8. Why Aristotle wished that the question whether a thing is be distinct from the question What is it. And from this, by the way, one understands how Aristotle distinguished the twofold question about things, namely whether they are and what they are. (Posterior Analytics, II, 1, 89b25.) From this some conclude that he had distinguished existence which is at issue in the question whether it is, from the essence which is sought by the question What it is. But this is no conclusion for Aristotle has distinguished these questions not only in created being (ens) but in being (ens) simply.488

Seemingly Suarezs objection is answered by saying Aristotle is speaking of substances wherein the essence is not the same as the existence and, by extrapolation, were the essence the existence, as in the case of God, then we have an answer to the an sit question but not to the quid sit question.489
ulterius inferimus huiusmodi entitatem existentiae dicto modo distinctam, non solum superfluam esse, sed plane impossibilem. 486 Ibid. 487 Ibid. 488 Wells translation, pp. 110-111. 489 Cf: this chapter, Thomas Section; the following section of Heideggers treatment deals mostly with the role of objective potency in the first distinction. It is important but, seemingly, most clearly dealt with in the last problematic Heidegger takes up right after it.


We haven now presented and analysed the six Suarez citations in gamma. The next of Heideggers treatments is the last of his presentations in the Suarez section. It deals generally with the role of objective potency as it is encountered in Suarezs first, negative distinction. It is important but, seemingly its most central issue can be more clearly dealt with together with the last problematic Heidegger takes up before closing his Suarez section. (However, we include this page long section below in footnote form.)490 But our most important remarks regard both the negative distinction (involving objective potency as it does) and the posative distinction, come from a 1957 article by Joseph Owens. It discusses the number and nature of the terms involved in the two distinctions. Owens points out that Suarezs first, negative distinction, developed in THE 31st DISPUTATIO IS THE ONLY DISTINCTION THAT SUAREZ USES 491 By way of introducing Owenss evaluation of Suarezs second, positive distinction between essence and existence, let us set out a few key points typifying his approach 1. As just mentioned, the negative distinction is the only distinction Suarez USES. 2. Owens is convinced that it is impossible to describe a conceptual distinction between an actual existing essence and an actual existence without in some way consolidating it. He points out that Suarez himself admits that actual entity (NB) cannot be prescinded from existence (31, 6, 15, Vives, 246b). That in itself is significant. 3. A mark of its imperfection, an actual existing essence comes to be actual due to the action of an efficient cause beyond itself.
pp. 97-98: To make this clear Suarez must enter into a characterization of the mode of being of the possible in general, that is, into the mode of being of the Sache, the thing, the essentia priusquam a deo producatur, (Heideggers footnote) 22 disp. 31, sec 2, 1. before it has been created by God himself. Suarez says, the essences or possibilities of things before their actualization have no being of their own. They are not realities, sed omnino nihil, (Heideggers footnote) 23 disp. 31, sec 2, title but nothing at all. To that which, like the pure possibilities, is in this sense nothing with regard to its being, nothing can be added in its actualization as well. The nature of actualization consists, rather, precisely in the fact that the essence first of all receives a being or, to speak more accurately, comes into being, and in such a way indeed that later, as it were, as viewed from the actualized thing, its possibility can also be apprehended in a certain sense as being. Suarez calls this pure possibility the potentia objectiva and allows this possibility to be only in ordine ad [98] alterius potentiam, (Heideggers footnote) 24 disp. 31, sec 3, 4. in relation to another being that has the possibility of thinking such things. But this possible as, say, God thinks it, non dicere statum aut modum positivum entis, does not signify a special positive way of being of a being; rather this possible must precisely be apprehended negatively, as something which nondum actu prodierit, does not yet actually exist. (Heideggers footnote) 25 Ibid. When in creation this possible goes over into actuality, this transition is to be understood, not in the sense that the possible relinquishes a way of being, but rather in the sense that it first of all receives a being. The essentia now is not only, non tantum in illa, in that potency, namely, of being thought by God, but it is only now properly actual, ab illa, et in seipsa, the being is only now first created by God and, as this created being, it at the same time stands on its own in its own self. (Heideggers footnote 26. Ibid). 491 Ibid, p. 187: He was at least equally intent, in his Christian background, on maintaining that actually to exist is not of the essence of a creature. But for the latter tenet a conceptual distinction between potential essence and actual existence sufficed. That distinction was the only one used by Suarez for the purpose and so is the only distinction between essence and being which exercises any operational function in his metaphysical procedure.
490 BP,


4. It is in imagining, prescinding from the act of such an efficient cause that we can, in turn, imagine such an actual essence. But, precisely, in prescinding from the causality that allows it to stand outside of its causes, as Suarez would put it, havent we destroyed its very active nature? 5. Due to this obligatory procedure, isnt the remaining actual essence drained of its active aspect and arent its qualities somehow washed off into the actual existent it is allegedly conceptually conjoined to...with a basis in reality? Owens affirms something akin to this. 6. Consequently, Owens is convinced that Suarezs positive distinction does not work, that he couldve gotten along just as well without it, i.e. going with only the first, negative distinction. NB. Suarez admits that the terms are not the same in his negative distinction, but alleges that they ARE the same in his second positive distinction. But are they? The answer to that question is key. In short, does Suarez manage to do what he says he does ? Basically, Suarez points out that there are two ways of distinguishing essence and existence. Firstly existence can be seen as signifying the actual and essence as signifying what is objectively potential. Here the distinction is between an actual being and a potential being. Or else, secondly, the two, essence and existence, can be distinguished while being taken as actual. This second, positive distinction is Suarezs 'distinctio ratiocinatae, a rational distinction with a real basis. (Such a distinction is enough to rule out the possibility of existence being of the essence of a finite being.)492 Describing what he takes to be two conceptual distinctions, Owens talks about the first:
All that need be noted is that this first Suarezian conceptual distinction is explicitly the distinction between potential essence and actual existence. It is admittedly not a distinction between the concepts of the same terms whose real identity was established, actual essential being and actual existential being.493

This question of whether the terms distinguished are the same will turn out to be key further onOwens again:
The second Suarezian conceptual distinction, however, purports to be that of actual essence from actual existence. It claims to be a conceptual distinction with a basis in reality. That real basis is the imperfection of the essence of a creature which of its own very nature cannot actually exist without the efficient causality of another.494 (underlining mine)

(We see here that instead of some type of real distinction being the basis in reality, the creatures limitation forms the basis.) In short, what needs to be noticed then is how we are going to proceed to, as it were, withdraw the characteristics of its active state from this as it were soi disant active essence. In this case, its efficient causality can be imagined being withdrawn:
492 Disp. 6, 13, 246a quae distinctio satis erit ut absolute dicamus, non esse de essentiae creaturae actu existere. 493 Op. cit., p. 179. 494 Ibid.


Hence the intellect by prescinding is able to conceive creatures in abstraction from that efficient causality and so from actual existence. Though the intellect is thereby prescinding from all actuality, essential as well as existential, it is nevertheless conceiving essence in such a way that all the essential predicates are affirmed of it, even though actual entity and actual existence are denied it.495

In other words, we seem to have a curious situation. The claim had been that the distinction was only rational with a basis in reality and that both the existence and essence were actual but now the essence seems to be being considered abstractly anew, somehow taking back what had been held out, or promised, for distinction two. Owens asks what remains:
But what notion of essence does this basis in reality give to the first term of the conceptual distinction (i.e. essence)? Definitely, it is not actual essence. It prescinds from the actual entity of the essence as well as from actual existence (note that employing the word entity here introduces a new element). It excludes from its content actual entity, essential as well as existential. The essence is conceived after the manner of the first constitutive of the thing which can form an object of intellectual conception while prescinding from all actuality.496 (parentheses mine)

Isnt Owens saying that the actual essence once prescinded from the actual entity of this second distinction sounds awfully like the objective potency that figured in distinction one? A little further on, Owens is quite positive in his assertions. We cite him briefly and then turn to analyzing what seems most enlightening here. After a fashion, Owens attempts to reconstruct what might have been Suarezs state of mind in formulating distinction two in the way he did. But first Owens on whether the conceptual distinction involves an actual essence:
On the strength of this description there can be hardly any doubt that the first term of the Suarezian conceptual distinction is not actual essence and so is definitely not the first term that was involved in the Suarezian assertion of the real identity of essence and being. Actual essential entity, in fact, cannot be prescinded from existence, as Suarez says his arguments have proved.497 The concept of the actual entity contained in actual essence, therefore, merges in the concept of actual existence and belongs to the concept of the second term in this conceptual distinction. The distinction is definitely a distinction between a concept of essence which prescinds from essential actuality and a concept which contains both essential and existential actuality. The prescinding line falls between the essence and the actuality of that essence.498

While admiring Owenss acuity in analyzing these few lines, one wonders if it is necessary to say that the actual entity contained in actual essence merges in the concept of actual existence. In other words, why cant one just say that they, i.e., the necessary requirements of essenceare just lacking in that second distinction formulation? (But there is something to be said regarding the role of the notion of entity here.) Let us follow this a bit further. Owens reaffirms the suspicion that we are no

495 496

Ibid. Ibid. 497 31, 6, 15, Vives 246b: non potest actualis entitas ab existentia praescindi, ut supra probatum est. 498 Ibid., p. 181.


longer dealing with the concept of actual essence but indeed with one of potential essence, as in distinction one:
Suarez has maintained that in making his second distinction he is taking both essence and existence in act. Conscious of a furtive difficulty, he admits that if existence is taken in its strict sense of exercised act, the only distinction between essence and existence is that of a potential being from an actual being. Yet he insists again that, according to the true notion of existence which extends from exercised to signified existence, his present distinction is not between actual existence and merely potential essence nor between terms which abstract from actuality and potentiality but between actual existence and actual essence.499 (Italics mine)

But how are we to maintain that we are dealing with a distinction between actual existence and actual essence, while at the same time saying that the essence that is conceptually distinct from actual existence prescinds from the essential entity? To solve this, Suarez will add a further refinement. He will take another look at the concepts of actual existence and actual essence; lets not forget that actual essence constitutes the thing, the entity. (In plain words, they are not like the pair involved in an Aegidian real distinction.) The two elements here denote the same reality but seen from different aspects. Thus, moving on, in Suarezs logic, it is seen as essence when it is described by its quidditative predicates.500 However, it is conceived under the aspect of existence, when it is seen as existing outside of its causes. Because the actual entity does not result from just the essence, its reception means that it is seen in such a way that something of that formal aspect of its being outside of its causes is conceived. This last is another conceptual view of one and the same reality and so suffices for a conceptual distinction501. Let us follow Owens's argument a bit further, particularly noticing that he traces one basic pattern emerging here: Suarez tends to insist that the essence of his Distinction two is actual, while in fact shunting or shifting the actual characteristics over to the second member of the distinction, i.e., existence. Owens writes:
But what notion of essence forms the first term of this conceptual distinction? The aspect of actual identity outside the causes is precisely what distinguishes the second concept, that of existence, from the first, that of essence. The aspect of actual essential entity expressly does not belong to the first concept but to the second. The difference in the concepts lies in the lack of essential entity in the content of the first and the inclusion of actual entity in the content of

Owens refers us to Disp. 31, 6, 22 ; Vives, 249b Ibid., p. 182. 501 Ibid; Owens refers us to Disp. 31, 6, 23 ; Vives, 250a.Dicendum ergo est, eamdem rem esse essentiam et existentiam, concipi autem sub ratione essentiae, quatenus ratione eius constitutur res sub tali genere et specie.At vero haec eadem res concipitur sub ratione existentiae, quatenus est ratio essendi in rerum natura et extra causa. Nam quia essentiae creaturae non hoc necessario habet ex vi sua ut sit actualis entitas, ideo quando recipit entitatem suam, concipimus aliquid esse in ipsa, quod sit illi formalis ratio essendi extra causas ; et illud sub tali ratione appellamus existentiam, quod licet in re non sit aliud ab ipsemet entitate essentiae, sub diversa tamen ratione et descriptione a nobis concipitur, quod ad distinctionem rationis sufficit.



the second. Once more, the essence which is the first term of the Suarezian conceptual distinction is not conceived as actual essence.502

Without getting into too much detail here, we see that the presence of entity is the sine qua non or lynchpin signaling where the actual essence actually occurs. Finally, on the topic of Owens on Suarezs two distinctions, we shall take a look at his summing up of what he thinks is really going on, i.e. Owenss assessment, separating Suarezs claims from his results in Disputatio 31. (But, in describing Owenss assessment, we cannot fail to mention one more notion: Suarezs introduction of the notion of indifference in describing essence. In familiar terms, Suarez points out that since a finite creature can be or not be, its essence is indifferent to existence.) Summing up Owenss interpretation: Should we say that actually to exist is not of the essence of a creature, we are considering the creature as it prescinds from actual or possible creation. Thus our essence concept there abstracts from actual being. No actual being is contained in our essence concept. So actually to exist is not of a creatures essence. But, in this context, this can readily be expressed using the negative distinction between potential essence and actual essence. Finally, then, Suarez is saying that the notion of a creature is not sustained by a concept of actual essence (as he describes it). Such a one would be useless here because it essentially involves actual existence. Instead the essence concept has to be one prescinding from any essential actuality as it contains no notion of actual being or entity. So this essence abstracts from both potential and actual creation. But as found here, this indifferent essence finally turns out, as usual in Suarezs analyses, to be potential essence. Thus Suarezs distinction, used to describe the status of a creature, is only to be found in the first of his two distinctions between essence and existence, i.e. the real negative distinction. Owens points out that this real negative distinction is in some way a conceptual distinction and in some way not:
In this case the real (negative) distinction and the conceptual distinction fall between the same two terms. Even here there is no question of a conceptual distinction between terms that are not, in their own negative way, really distinct.

key analysis: So in the two Suarezian conceptual distinctions, the distinction is between a concept of actual existence and one of nonactual existence. For number one, his negative distinction, it is overtly between a potential essence concept and a concept of actual existence. For number two, the other conceptual distinction, it is between a concept of actual existence and an essence concept that is indifferent to being actual or potential in itself but which is purposely seen as extrinsic to real being and excluding essential actuality from itself. Neither keeps its promise. In other words, neither conceptual analysis ends up with the same terms as were proposed at the outset. Those identified

Op. cit., p. 182-3; Owens points out that one hint that Suarez conceives this somewhat compromised essence as an actual essence is that he refers to it as receiving its entity. Were it a Suarezian objective, potential essence it could not receive actual existence, since only a receptive potency can. 503 Ibid., p. 186.



at the outset are not those finally conceptually distinguished.504 Owens presents what the two distinctions end up with:
Actual essence and actual existence were the terms which were found to be really identical, while nonactual essence-in the one case as potential, in the other case as indifferent-is the term which is conceptually distinguished from actual existence.505

And he characterizes what he considers to be the drawbacks of the second distinction:

It is a distinction which has for its first term an artificially constructed concept consisting of the content of nonactual essence plus an arbitrary extrinsic and factual reference to an actual being and a still more arbitrary connotation of the actual entity that constitutes a receptive potency as Suarez interprets the Aristotelian doctrine of matter and form.506

Asking why Suarez formulated the second distinction when, in his view, he could have accomplished the same thing with just the first distinction, Owens resorts to a type of 'courtroom legal' metaphor to show that, given the historical circumstances and the tradition, Suarez was reacting as an advocate against an excessive realism, not a nominalism.507 Owens feels that Suarezs task was to construct a case for a rejection of the real distinction and defense of a conceptual distinction that would save the creation doctrine. Nobody in the interpretational public doubted that such a conceptual distinction should fall between the same terms, shown to be really identical. Suarez first of all succeeded in showing that actual essential being is identical with actual existential being. He also showed that a conceptual distinction between potential essence and actual essence saves the creation doctrine. Going further, positing a conceptual distinction falling between actual essence and actual existence "served only to round out the symmetry of Suarezs presentation of the case"508. Owens feels that the second distinction responded to a 'jurisprudence' resulting from a long, drawn out historical controversy. But the second distinction was unnecessary for the points at issue (enumerated above). Its strange combination of an idea of essence prescinded from actual essence caused no great metaphysical embarrassment. That such an essence could only be called 'actual' by extrinsic denomination was not Suarez's concern. Why? Because those he argued against had been accused of 'excessive realism' not of nominalism. His only other concern was to avoid the heresy countercharge that often followed a rejection of realism. Suarez succeeded on both counts. His public was satisfied with the role of such a second distinction. That it proved awkward from a standpoint of metaphysical penetration' mattered little.509

Ibid., p. 187. Ibid. 506 Ibid., p. 188-9. 507 The second coneptual distinction claims to have a basis in reality. Owens, op. cit., p. 179: "That real basis is the imperfection of the essence of a creature which of its own very nature cannot actually exist without the efficient causality of another." 508 Ibid., p. 188. 509 Ibid., p. 189.



Heideggers Last Topic in the Suarez Section (gamma) Heidegger discusses the sort of actualization involved; he feels that what happens in the essentia and existentia configurations depends on these philosophers' respective views on actuality:
The difficulty of the problem of making the distinction intelligible at all depends on how in general actualization is thought of as the transition of a possible to its actuality. Expressed more exactly, the problem of the distinction between essentia and existentia in ente creato depends on whether in general the interpretation of being in the sense of existence is oriented toward actualization, toward creation and production.510

Heidegger is working his way towards explaining what he takes to be a split in these medieval configurations. In his view, the first, the realist camp begins with the principle that the creation of the world must be possible and thence deduces the necessity of the real distinction between essentia and existentia. The other, the rational distinction camp, begins with the given, the fact of finite substances. Returning to Heidegger:
If the question of existence and the question of essence are oriented toward actualization in the sense of creation and production, then perhaps this whole context of questions, as it comes to the fore in the three doctrinal views, cannot indeed be avoided.511

Already, in the Heidegger of 1927, there is a certain fatality in his observation that production is the model of coming-to-be, i.e., he feels it is ever-present. There is thus a certain fatality in such philosophys being modeled on Daseins productive mode of comportment.
The fundamental question, however, is whether the problem of actuality and existence must be oriented as it was in Scholasticism or in antiquity.512

Perhaps an observation of his allegedly more fundamental ontological distinction would allow our escaping the fatality of philosophys being modeled on Daseins productive mode of comportment.
Before answering this question, we must make clear to ourselves that the question about the sense of existence and actuality in pre-Kantian philosophy is oriented toward the phenomenon of actualization, of production and also why.513

The above lines mark a transition into his final discussion of the first and third views; particularly the nature of actuality in each configuration will be used to distinguish the two camps we described above. Again, here, Heidegger reintroduces us to his well worked production theme. As mentioned elsewhere, for us, Heidegger takes the part for
510 511

BP, p. 98. Ibid. 512 Ibid. 513 Ibid.


the whole in that production is seen as, shall we say, symbolizing all coming-to-be, but for many scholastics as generally influenced by Aristotle, production was seen as only artifactual coming-to-be, which might be helpful in understanding natural coming-to-be, with the natural coming-to-be being understood as more fundamental than production (Cf. our discussion of coming-to-be in Aristotle in the Thomas Section). Heidegger:
In closing, let us once more compare the third and first views. Suarez's distinctio rationis says that actuality does not belong to the realitas, the thingness {Sachheit}, of the created being insofar as this reality is thought of for itself; 514 (accentuation mine)

In the above, taking up Suarez, i.e., the 'third view', Heidegger refers to essence as it is potential objective being, as in Suarezs first, negative distinction. And now the second Suarezian distinction:
but on the other hand, it maintains that the actual cannot be thought without actuality, without it therefore being said that the actuality is itself an actual being.515

In saying the actual cannot be thought without actuality, here Heidegger surely wants to say that the actual essence is itself, by itself an actual, existent being. Accordingly, Heidegger is referring to essence as actual being as it figures in Suarezs second, positive distinction. Heidegger may be thinking of Suarezs asking516 why the essence in the second, positive distinction is an actual essence? Is it because its joined to some existence? Surely all would admit that no. Rather its real because of itself because its an actual existing essence.517 Heidegger continues, now describing Suarezs notion of distinction ones objective potency:
Suarez holds that these theses are compatiblethat, for one thing, actuality does not belong realiter to the possible, the essentia,518

Ibid. Ibid. 516 Disp. 31, sec 6, 1. 517 Cf. also Owens, loc. cit, pp. 174-5, on this: Suarez has little trouble in showing that actual essential being is truly existential being. He even admits that he cannot see how anyone who asserts a real distinction can consistently maintain that the being which formally makes the essence actual is existential being.Imo, si consequenter loquantur non video qua ratione possint eam admittere DM, 31, 4, 4, Vives, 236a. (Italics mine) 518 These two texts contrast the two essences: Disp. 31, 6, 3,4, (234a): "Relinquitur ergo ens in potentia ut sic non dicere statum aut modum positivum entis, sed potius praeter denominationem a potentia agentis includere negationem, scilicet, quod nondum actu prodierit a tali potentia;" and 3,5, (234ab): "Nam, si sit sermo de essentia in actu respectu essentiae in potentia, minus proprie dici videtur addere existentiam, quia additio realis non fit proprie nisi enti reali, nam aliquid entitatis habet cui additio fit; diximus autem essentiam in potentia nihil habere entitatis.....quo modo enim potest actus imprimi ei quod nihil est?"



And now the actual essence, in Suarezs second, positive distinction; we note that it is a thing unto itself, not a component:
but that, on the other hand, the actuality nevertheless in itself lies enclosed in the actual being and is not merely a relation of the actual being to a subject.519

And then the 'first view', the proponents of the real distinction:
In contrast, the first view holds a compatibility of these two propositions to be impossible. Only if existence does not belong to the [99] essentia is anything like a creation at all possible. For in creation existence is added to the actual and can at any time be taken away from it.520

For the proponents of the real distinction, the very fact of the essentias potency allows it to be actualized, in existence. It does not pass from a status of omnino nihil, like Suarezs objective potency to being an actual essence, but in passing from potency to act it is a component of the substance that has come to be in that passage. Heidegger then moves on to a consideration of how the terms shift in the controversy. What he says is undeniable:
It is easily seen that in this controversy, especially on closer consideration, the real point of the question constantly shifts: essentia is understood first as pure possibility; the purely thought essence, but then secondly as the actualized essence in the actuality itself.521

Then what follows is Heideggers rather original conviction that the differing role of potency and actuality goes hand in hand with a different theological/ontological starting point in the two camps:
The first and third interpretations also differ in starting-point as determined by their methods. The first view proceeds in a purely deductive way. It tries to demonstrate its thesis from the idea of the created being.522

Heidegger insinuates here that in the case of the realists, Aquinas, Giles and other likeminded people, a theological presupposition paves the way to a central and what was thought to be a philosophical doctrine. (Since Heidegger thinks here that hes describing Aquinass thought, we have to take him at his word and discuss his remarks as such.) Might we venture to say that Heidegger fails to take into credit Aquinass reliance on his commentaries on Aristotles texts. We might ask, is a 13th century approach to essence and existence like Aquinass derived from theological presuppositions or from his analysis of Aristotles Organon? In the Thomas Section we suggest the latter.

519 520

BP, p. 98. BP, pp. 98-99. 521 BP, p. 99. 522 Ibid.


Referring again to this last citation, Heidegger seems to suggest that the first, the 'real' interpretation moves from the contingency of finite being (exemplified by the real distinction as he feels they understand it) to the necessity of creation: i.e. the principle "creation of the world must be possible":
If a created being is to be possible as created, actuality must be added on to the possibility, that is to say, the two must differ realiter. From the principle "creation of the world must be possible," the necessity of the real distinction between essentia and existentia is inferred.523

In fact, ironically the above bears a certain resemblance to Aquinass tertia via proof of Gods existence via contingency and necessity. But, at least, in Aquinass case we suggest that his derivation of the essentia and existentia configuration from Aristotles Posterior Analytics, II is closer to what Heidegger calls the other, the third interpretation:
The third view does not start from the necessity of a possible creation but attempts to solve the problem of the relationship between the what and the way of being in the actually given being itself.524

And so we thus conclude that there are two basic areas here in Heideggers Suarez text, i.e., gamma, where Aquinass thought is misrepresented: On the one hand, as regards the famous duae res issue. In the Thomas Aquinas Section, we feel that we have shown adequately that any such Aegidian attribution, while it might be what some might term a historical fatality, is unjustifiable. On the other hand, the issue here also involves whether the essence/existence configuration involves a presupposition of a creation doctrine. Whether creation be taken in a philosophical or a theological sense, referring back to issue one, i.e. where Aquinass essence/existence configuration derives from, the need for an element of necessity would not seem as relevant if we decide that Aquinass essence/existence configuration is best sought in his commentaries on Aristotles Posterior Analytics and Metaphysics, V, 7. On a more general level, might we suggest that Heidegger sometimes generalizes a bit too rapidly and, here, for example, perhaps underestimates Aquinass rigor in separating the various philosophical disciplines and their procedures Furthermore, should we decide that the Thomistic doctrine on the coming to be and passing-away of material substances is best sought in his commentary on Aristotles Physics; (cf. Thomas Aquinas section) and should we decide that Thomass doctrine on essence and existence comes from his commentaries on Aristotles Posterior Analytics and Metaphysics, V, 7, then since Suarez himself relies on material substances having efficient causes insofar as they are fruits of creation, we might thence conclude that theres no dichotomy here at all, at least between Aquinas and Suarez, i.e., the first view and the third view that Heidegger describes, while somewhat useful, are not dichotomous.
523 524

Ibid. Ibid.


Returning briefly to our citations, we see that while Heidegger states the limits of the third view, he attempts to describe it further:
The third view does not start from the necessity of a possible creation but attempts to solve the problem of the relationship between the what and the way of being in the actually given being itself. It makes this attempt but never actually gets into the clear with it. The actually given being is taken as the primary court of appeal. With this in view the actuality can in no way be exhibited as itself something actual and bound up actually as an ens with the essentia.

Heidegger seems to be assessing Suarezs approach. He seems to be saying that the positivity of Suarezs second distinction means that the actually given being is taken as the primary court of appeal. On the one hand, the actual essence avoids being an independent res and, on the other, it need not be bound up with the essence in order to be an ens, because it is one already. Heidegger continues:
In the actual being, actuality cannot be read off as a special res on its own account but can only be expressly thought of. It must be thought of as something that belongs to the actual being in conformity with the actual being's essence the actualized essence but not the thoughtof essence as such.

Heidegger finally seems to be describing the fact that the actual essence and the actual existence, the components of the second distinction are two aspects of one and the same thing. Heidegger finishes by comparing Suarez to Kant.525 (Heideggers Gamma Section on Suarez is followed by his 11. Phenomenological clarification of the problem underlying the second thesis.)526

Ibid; However, the outcome is this. Suarez agrees in a certain way with Kant when he says that existence, actuality, is not a real predicate. But he differs from Kant in positive interpretation, inasmuch as he conceives of actuality as something which, even if not real, nevertheless belongs to the actual being itself, while Kant interprets actuality as a relation of the thing to the cognitive faculty. 526 Ibid.



CHAPTER THREE CONCLUSION As regards questions of essence and existence, we might be tempted to say that we have come to the end of our survey. But essence and existence questions are not the only goal in our project. Yet what can we conclude, globally, from what we have seen in Heideggers Alpha, Beta and Gamma Sections? First of all we see that we undoubtedly have three, assymetrical positions. At the end of our investigation, that assymetry must simply be accepted as such. The three are, after a fashion, incomparable. Perhaps our conclusions can be divided into two domains: that of analysis and that of interpretation. On the analysis level, it seems undeniable that Heidegger places great trust in Suarez, letting him lead as regards both vocabulary and problem formulation in the first two sections. (Perhaps Heidegger's most unremarkable, conventional interpretation of the three is that of Scotus.) As for Heidegger's Suarez interpretation, many of his points rejoin Owens's work. As to an original analysis, entirely of Suarezian inspiration and leading to an equally original interpretation (i.e. the originality is Suarez's) we must point to what we have called the 'Aegedian Aquinas' we sketched out in Section alpha. It is also where we call into question Heidegger's presumption that the basic, medieval, essence and existence vocabulary has its origin in a productive mode of thought. This last contestation poses a major challenge to Heidegger's appropriation of medieval thought. We shall now take a look at Heidegger's appropriation of Luther, one of the major models for his career and mission.



CHAPTER FOUR INTRODUCTION In speaking of Heidegger's appropriation of Luther we mean to suggest that major theological attitudes marking Luther's life struggle are mirrored by major philosophical trends Heidegger points to as having marked Greek, medieval and modern thought as Heidegger understands the Occident's march of thought. Now while the central thrust of this chapter is Heidegger's Luther appropriation, involving the theme of 'betrayal of the tradition', we preface our remarks with a bit of background linking Heidegger, the philosopher to Luther, the theologian. The central historical mediator between these two figures is undoubtedly Augustine. First of all, Luther was an Augustinian monk. Beyond that factor, from his early writings onward, Augustine was a major wellspring of theological inspiration for Luther in his battle against what he perceived to be Pelagian tendencies in the Catholic Church of his day a veritable 'Babylonian captivity' he fought to free Christians from. A second background element here is the indubitable influence of Augustine on the vocabulary, and some of the doctrine, of Heidegger's SZ. We recall that in SZ there are three grand Existentialls that befall Dasein: Geworfenheit, Entwurf and Verfallen.527 Since Dasein finds himself thrown into the world, i.e., the condition he finds himself in leads him to engage in Entwurfe or projects for fulfilment in that existential condition. Hence Heidegger calls man a Geworfener Entwurf, a thrown project. Completing the triad, Angst,528 anxiety over the stakes of these Entwurfe, makes Dasein turn to and preoccupy himself with daily concerns, in an attitude of unspecified fear or foreboding lest death come before his dearest projects are completed. Now Dasein, said to be thrown into the world, a Geworfen Entwurf, may be seen as the laicized version of Adam's expulsion from paradise, as it figures in Augustine's writings. Looking at the notion of fallenness in SZ, we see that Heidegger agrees with Augustine in seeing man's being-in-the-world as one of constant descent, albeit certainly of a very different sort than Augustine's529. Another key element of Augustinian influence involves the Heideggerian, SZ pair: Zuhandene: readiness-to-hand and Vorhandene: before-the-hand here530. There seems

SZ, Section 31, pp. 143-5. De Paulo, Craig, "The Augustinian Constitution of Heidegger's Being and Time", ACPA Quarterly, v.77, n. 4. pg. 560: "It is always in anxiety and through the agency of others that the human being, for Augustine, is disclosed as a perversio-conversio project, or in its ontological pilgrimage." 529 Augustine, The City of God, translated by Marcus Dods, Random House, 1950, Book 15, chap. 1, pg. 284: "each man, being derived from a condemned stock, is first of all born of Adam evil and carnal". 530 Cf. COURTINE, Jean-Franois, Heidegger et la phnomnologie, Vrin, Paris, 1990. A sort of geneology of the Heideggerian word hand is offered: p. 284-88.



to be a close connection between the primal Zuhandene and Augustine's expression ad manum posita.531 A third background, introductory element involves how Heidegger's evolving view of Christianity, and later, of philosophy itself, was modeled on Luther's view of Christianity as struggle. In the formative, pre SZ year 1919, Heidegger lectured on Basic problems of phenomenology. That course closely embraced Harnack's view that Christianity as pursuit of an inner life of the self, 'not of this world' was constantly endangered by Hellenistic, Scholastic and, later, Hegelian 'of this world' categories. Besides his use of Luther's commentaries on St. Paul, figures like Augustine, Luther himself and Kierkegaard accomplished that renewal.532 We get an unsurprising view of Heidegger's attitude towards Christianity from his letter to Krebs in 1919: saying that his studies in the phenomenology of religion draw heavily on the Middle Ages, showing his high regard for the "Catholic lifeworld", but that that high regard is more for the religious-mystical tradition of the Middle Ages than its "scientific-theoretical lifeworld".533 Such a remark speaks legions about a man enthusiastic about Eckhart and Luther. In 1921 Heidegger taught 'Augutine and Neoplatonism", relying on Troeltsch, Harnack and, especially, Dilthey. If, inasmuch as we have stressed the notion that Heidegger is just plain someone who strives for a philosophy (or a theology for that matter) that makes life harder, here we suggest a new dimension. The conjunction of Heidegger's studies with Husserl and the curricula of these 1919-1921 period phenomenology of religion courses leads us to think that the very nature of Husserl's phenomenology led Heidegger to insist, in these courses, on a theology stressing the know thyself theme, accentuating the role of personal, particular, temporal facticity, complementing his exposing the harm ontological systems like Hellenization, Scholasticism and Hegel allegedly do to Christianity. After a brief look at what interpretaton seems to involve for the Heidegger of SZ and at some Leitmotifs in Heidegger, we shall look at a few cases of 'betrayal of the tradition' as found in Luther's theology and Heidegger's philosophy.

531 Augustine,Confessions, translated and edited by Albert Outler, X, c. 18. "Thus we find that learning those things whose images we do not take in by our senses, but which we intuit within ourselves without images and as they actually are, is nothing else except the gathering together of those same things which the memory already contains--but in an indiscriminate and confused manner--and putting them together by careful observation as they are at hand ad manum posita in the memory"; cf. also BRITO MARTINS, Manuela, L'hermneutique originaire d'Augustin en relation avec une r-appropriation heideggerienne, (13/14), Medievalia, Porto, Portugal, 1998, p 126: "Dans la langage d'Augustin, nous pouvons parler de l'importance de ce qui est pour la main ou porte de main travers l'expression ad manum posita. Quelques auteurs considrent qu'il y a un correspondance troite entre le Vorhandene et cette mme expression" 532 Paraphrasing KISIEL, Theodore, The Genesis of Being and Time, U of California Press, 1993, p. 77. 533 Ibid., p. 76.


While there is an exhausting amount of literature published on Heidegger and while there may also be many ways of classifying Heidegger interpretations, it may be agreed that one way of dividing types of Heidegger interpretations into two groups or tendencies is by distinguishing external critics from what we might call internal critics. What do we mean by that ? Internal critics are simply critics who attempt to analyze Heidegger following Heideggers recommendations. (A subsequent argument might ask whether that is even possible, but that would take us somewhat further afield.) Briefly, Heidegger tells us that in interpreting any text, there is something that you bring to the text and something that you garner or take from it. And, surprisingly, he tells us that we should carry out this mixing, shall we call it, without letting on as to what we have added and what was there to begin with. But if we follow such advice, wont any interpretation whatever end up being an inscrutable combination of the intepreters and the authors views and, in this particular case, Heideggers views ? Heideggers attitude to interpretation is important here and so we provide a citation; although dating from 1950, it seems relevant. Heideggers remarks on interpretation in Holzwege, on the subject Nietzsches Wort Got is tot534:
Of course an elucidation (Erlauterung) does not have to derive the matter (die Sache) from the text only. It must also add something of its own, out of its matter (aus ihrer Sache), and it has to do so covertly (unvermerkt), without boasting about it. It is this extra which, if compared to what he considers to be the content of the text, the layman experiences as something read into it, and which he censures as whimsical with the right which he claims for himself. However, a real elucidation never understands a text better than its author understood it, although it understands it differently. And this different manner must be such that it touches the same matter about which the elucidated text is reflecting.535 (Philipses translation)

Saying that he will be indulgent enough not to follow Heideggers advice in interpreting Heidegger himself, (i.e., hiding what is added) and consequently describing himself as an external critic, Hermann Philipse makes a further disjunction, applicable to the external critics. (Charicaturing here), some critics advance a unitarian interpretation. (For example, that Heidegger is a linguistic philosopher in disguise or that Heidegger is a pragmatist or that Heidegger is primarily a religious thinker, etc.) The extreme opposed to a unitarian interpretation is one that is so pluralistic that it lacks any overriding unity. Aiming to avoid those two extremes in interpretation models, Philipse, and his contribution is central here, opts for an interpretation based on what he calls five underlying leitmotifs that describe, if not Heideggers career, then his Seinsfrage.536 They are: (Five Leitmotifs and their meanings of Being; the various approaches to Being within the leitmotifs supply various answers to Heideggers Seinsfrage.) 1. The meta-Aristotelian Leitmotif = Heideggers leitmotif is animated by two poles as was Aristotles, involving a pole of unity. (For Aristotle, this obviously involved beingand
534 Cf. 535

note 59. Philipse, op. cit., p. 49. 536 Ibid. pp. 75 - 77.


a pole of differentiation and the many (pollachos) ways it can be said, i.e., the ten categories, or substance and its accidents ... For Heideggers first period: Being (Sein) and beings (Seiende) For Heideggers second period: Being and its revelation or concealment throughout western history. 2. The Phenomenologico-hermeneutical Leitmotif = pole of unity: being is the regional ontological constitution of specific entities ; pole of differentiation = such as animals, humans, tools, etc. 3. The Transcendental Leitmotif = pole of unity: being is a = holistic, transcendental structure projected by Dasein pole of differentiation: without Dasein, there are particulars (Seiende) but no (Sein) Being. 4. The neo-Hegelian Leitmotif = (Heidegger's neo-Hegelian leitmotif is a reversal of Hegels parousia, i.e., a fall Verfallen, that is pessimistic where Hegel was optimistic.) pole of unity: Being is the history shaping manner in which entities disclose themselves in a period/epoch. pole of differentiation: each period/epoch has its own sense of Being. And the one that most concerns us here: 5. The postmonotheist Leitmotif = pole of unity: Being is a transcendent agent or event that sends (schickt) us historical epochs as our destiny (Geschick) ... pole of differentiation: the metaphysical period is a retreat or withdrawal. We await a new advent (Ankunft of Being).537 Our interests here lie mainly in the fifth and last, the postmonotheist theme. It should be pointed out that the first three have to do with what we call Heidegger I (his mature period up to and including SZ and ending in the mid-1930s) and the last two with Heidegger II. (from the mid-1930s to the end of his life). Why is the postmonotheist theme central here ? Keeping in mind that our overriding theme is looking at Heidegger as an interpreter of medieval thought involving as it does the onto-theology issue, the centrality of number five should soon become apparent through our examination of a basic idea, betrayal by the tradition, that we contend Heidegger borrowed from Luther, transforming it along the way. Put quite simply, Philipse suggests that Heideggers later thought is best explained and that the most mysteries are solved if it is seen as a postmonotheist religion or religious discourse, or even mystery, i.e., a discourse modelled or patterned on the Christianity it is intended to replace without, for all that, being so closely modelled on Christianity as to bore or disillusion those opting for it as a replacement for Christianity.


Ibid. pp. 68 210 ; provide an exhaustive explanation of all five leitmotifs and their ramifications.


Frequently Heidegger warns us against any facile religious interpretation of his thought. So why go searching for such a theme at all ? Not because we think Heidegger wished to lead us astray, but, on the one hand, because such an interpretation seems to make the most sense out of the most elements of what might otherwise be considered (and is considered by many) to be a mass of arcane utterances. And, on the other hand, because Heidegger has left us with a number of hints or clues to the effect that the religious dimension is a major, albeit purposely unexplained, element in his thought, i.e. of both his earlier and later thought. In a 1921 letter to one of his advanced students, Lwith, (who always proclaimed the centrality of the religious in Heidegger, he tells Lwith:
I work concretely and factically out of my I am, out of my intellectual and wholly factical origin, milieu, lifecontexts and whatever is available to me from these as vital experience in which I live To this facticity of mine belongs what I would briefly call the fact that I am a Christian theologian. 538 (Kisiels translation)

Kisiel, an American scholar who, among other Heideggerian projects undertaken, has attempted a detailed reconstruction of the composition of SZ, and is convinced that Heidegger, who at the time was preparing courses on the philosophy of religion (involving Jesus, Augustine and Luthers notes on St. Pauls letter to the Romans) may be hinting at his focus on the philosophical foundations of theology that phenomenology explores.539 In any case, we see here that Heidegger sees the factical and the scientific outlook as intertwined in his personal life as a philosopher ... . A second hint or clue comes ten years later, in what is probably a Nietzscheinspired 1937-38 autobiography called Mein bisheriger Weg, or My Way until Now.
It is not proper to talk about these most inner confrontations (his origins), which are not concerned with questions of Church doctrine and articles of faith, but only with the Unique Question, whether God is fleeing from us or not and whether we still experience this truly, that is, as creators What is at stake is not a mere religious background of philosophy either, but the Unique Question regarding the truth of Being, which alone decides about the time and the place which is kept open for us historically within the history of the Occident and its gods But because the most inner experiences and decisions remain the essential thing, for that very reason they have to be kept out of the public sphere.540 (translation Philipse)

Ibid. p. 180 ; Philipse is citing Kisiels translation with one minor correction. The German text comes from Papenfuss and Pggeler (1991), vol. 2, pp. 29-30: Ich arbeitet konkret faktisch aus meinem ich bin aus meiner geistigen berhaupt faktischen Herkunft Milieu- Lebenzusammenhngen, aus dem, was mir von da aus zugnglich ist aus lebendige Erfahrung, worin ich lebe Zu dieser meiner Faktizitt gehrt was ich kurz nenne -, da ich christlicher Theologe, bin (Heideggers italics). 539 Kisiel, op. cit., pp. 76-78. 540 Ibid. p. 181 ; Mein bisheriger Weg, B (GA 66), pp. 415 416: Es ist nicht schicklich, von diesen innersten Auseinandersetzungen zu reden, die nicht um Fragen der Dogmatik und der Glaubensartikel sich drehen, sondern nur um die Eine Frage, ob der Gott vor uns auf der Flucht ist oder nicht und ob wir selbst dieses noch wahrhaft und d.h. als Schaffende erfahren. Es handelt sich aber auch nicht um einen blo religisen Hintergrund der Philosophie, sondern um die Eine Frage nach der Wahrheit des Seins, die allein ber die Zeit und den Ort entscheidet, der uns geschichtlich aufbehalten ist innerhalb der Geschichte des Abendlandes und seiner GtterAber weil die innersten Erfahrungen und Entscheidungen das Wesentliche bleiben, deshalb mssen sie auf der ffentlichkeit herausgehalten werden.



What can we conclude from this remark, and others like it, about Heideggers (Grundbewegtheit) basic pathway ? In any case, as late as 1936 or 37, Heideggers was a religious quest. And, furthermore, this search is tantamount to the Seinsfrage ! No minor conclusion that. The religious theme is fundamental to his whole work and yet something he kept quiet about. Another hint along the way is the remark Heidegger made to another of his students, Hans-Georg Gadamer, who said that Heidegger once told him that his lifes goal was to be a new Luther541. In other words, not only was Heidegger a great connoisseur of Luther, he wanted to be in the 20th century what Luther had been in the 16th. What do we suppose Heidegger meant by that ? Simply that he wanted to do to Christianity in the 20th century what Luther had done to Catholicism in the 16th century. Philipses thesis is, then, that Heideggers (Grundbewegheit) basic way was informed by what (Philipse) calls a Lutheran model ; and that the religious aspect of his later work can be explained as a radicalization of Luther. In this sense, the later works fulfilled Heideggers early intentions. (Parentheses mine)542 But what do we mean here by a Lutheran model ? Without getting bogged down in the details of Luthers disputes with the Catholic Church, we might mention one or two elements that help us see the core of the many parallels between Luthers project and Heideggers later work. In the briefest form, Luther rebelled against the status quo of the Church and wrote against the practice of selling indulgences, meaning the remittance of punishment due for sin by payment or favours. Luther held that our justification before God was not a transaction that could be worked out. We were justified by grace. Thus man must wait patiently for God to grant that grace because on his own he cannot earn his salvation. (His conviction of mans never being able to satisfy or fulfill the law involves further consequences, such as the conclusion that we are saved by faith alone.) But the central element for us here is grace. Obviously Heidegger adopted the form, rather than the contents, of the Lutheran doctrine. (It is evident that if mans relationship to God is a personal one according to Luther, there will be less need of a Church and sacraments to ensure mans salvation.) But, again, it is not so much this revolutionary aspect of Luther that we have an eye on here, as it is the role of grace. (Although the idea of Luthers having gone it alone against the Christian status quo might have inspired Heidegger if he sought to found a postomonotheist religion.) In other words, we are saying that the idea that human destiny is not up to us but is sent to us (Geschick), as well as the role of grace, have equivalents in Heidegger II in Being and its being sent to us. (From now on Being with capital B means being as all there is and the sender of epochs to man, as we allege in what we call Heidegger IIs neo-Hegelian and postomonotheist work.) There is another central element that comes up repeatedly in both mens writings and so perhaps it is best to say something about it here. That is what Philipse calls tradition as apostasy or falling away. Lets take an example. Luther felt that there is a living revelation of God in Christ and in the Bible. He also felt that that original message
541 Guignon,

(1993), p. 41, note 34 ; cf. also Van Buren (1994) and Jung (1994) on the importance of Luther for Heidegger. 542 Ibid. p. 182.


to us had been betrayed by the tradition of theology, in its using Greek philosophical concepts in its transmission. Since we cannot do better than Philipse on Luther in this case, we cite him:
Luthers railings against Aristotle are well known. In chapter 3.25 of his Appeal to the Ruling Class of German Nationality (1520), he wrote for instance about Aristotle: It pains me to the heart that this damnable, arrogant, pagan rascal has seduced and fooled so many of the best Christians with his misleading writings. God has made him a plague to us on account of our sins.543

Unbelievable as it may seem to modern ears, Luther is convinced here that not only has the Scholastic tradition betrayed the earlier Christian message, but also that this betrayal, this concealment, is sent to us by God as retribution for our sins!544 One doesnt have to look far to see the analogies possible with Heidegger IIs doctrine of Being. This same notion of betrayal by the tradition comes up repeatedly. In fact, at this point, we can outline three different, evolutive and analogous positions Heidegger adopted towards Christianity and Greek philosophy. The first Heidegger adopted directly from Luther, as is, around 1921 2: (It is typified by Heideggers attitude in the famous Natorp essay.545) 1. GODS LIVING REVELATION IN JESUS & THE BIBLE BETRAYED BY GREEK PHILOSOPHY & THE GREEK PHILOSOPHY INSPIRED THEOLOGICAL TRADITION (Luther as is) This first position Heidegger simply took over as is from Luther. It may correspond to a moment when Heidegger, disappointed with Catholicism for personal and/or career reasons, sought to break with his Catholic past. 2. PLATO & ARISTOTLES CONTRIBUTIONS BETRAYED BY SUBSEQUENT METAPHYSICS AND THE SCHOLASTIC TRADITION (analogous to 1 and 3) This second Heideggerian position might be said to constitute the Sein und Zeit and Grundprobleme (or Basic Problems of Phenomenology) attitude (1926 - 27). Philipse points out that it already represents something of an inversion insofar as the

to the Ruling Class of German Nationality (1520), 1962 translation of Luther ; German text: An den Christlichen Adel deutscher Nation von des Christlichen Standes Besserung, 1888, vol. 6. 544 Given the fact that Luther was a professor of Aristotelian philosophy at Erfurt, one wonders what sort of instruction he must have provided 545 HEIDEGGER, Martin, Phnomenologische Interpretationen zu Aristoteles. Einfhrung in die phnomenologische Forschung(Phenomenological Interpretations of Aristotle: Initiation into Phenomenological Research), commonly called the Natorp Essay (September 1922) in the DiltheyJahrbuch fr Philosophie und Geschichte der Geistwissenschaften, vol. 6 (1989) pp. 237- 274 ; English translation by M. Bauer in Man & World: Phenomenological Interpretations with Respect to Aristotle, vol. 25, 1992, pp. 355 - 393.

543 Appeal


Scholastic tradition (as embodying Christianity) is said to have betrayed Plato & Aristotles efforts Another element making common cause between Heidegger and Luther in Heideggers inversion of Luther is Heideggers evident agreement with Luthers rejecting both a Scholastic-type rational psychology and a natural theology, the latter underpinning what Luther disdainfully called the theologia gloriae. Luther replaced that with his theologia crucis. In the collection: Luther aujourdhui, J. -Gabus546 shows that what Luther abhorred as an allegedly vainglorious procedure was a theology that sought to move rationally from the visible to the invisible. While having no stakes in Luthers christologically based psychology547 and theology, Heidegger shared his abhorrence of Scholastic elements. (Whereas christocentrism was a motivating factor for Luther, naturally it would no longer enter into the equation for Heidegger, since, in any case, as a theo-logian, he was working outside of a classically Christian perspective.) Next we come to Heideggers full-blown Lutheran inversion, representing Heideggers third and final position: 3. THE PRESOCRATICS ORIGINAL CONTRIBUTIONS BETRAYED BY PLATO, ARISTOTLE & (of course by) SUBSEQUENT METAPHYSICS AND MEDIEVAL ONTOLOGY IN THE SCHOLASTIC TRADITION (Heidegger simply pushes the date of betrayal back. It is fascinating to note that in 3. the Lutheran model is turned against Luther himself.) What stands out here is that whereas the second stage expressed the view that Plato & Aristotles contributions had been betrayed by subsequent declines, now, in the third stage, Plato & Aristotle have shifted from being victims of to being perpetrators of the betrayal allegedly effectuated by the system. If Luther felt Greek philosophy inspired theology betrayed Christian revelation, the second and, especially, the third Heideggerian positions express the betrayal of the Greek philosophical beginning itself by subsequent Greek philosophy, Christianity and, especially, by the Scholastic tradition in medieval philosophy and theology. All three of these positions show what we have called the theme of betrayal by the tradition. Heidegger describes these periods as marking a decline, a regress into darkness. (Incidentally, this quite naturally also gives us some idea of where medieval philosophy is going to end up!)
On saisit ici sur le vif comment sarticule la doctrine luthrienne de Dieu rvl et cach dans les souffrances du Christ et celle de la justification par la foi. La Thologie naturelle ou Thologie de la gloire ne sert, comme la recherche de salut par les uvres, qu fortifier lhomme naturel dans son orgueil, son auto-suffisance et sa rvolte contre Dieu. , (pp. 147, GABUS, J. P. (1983) Dieu rvl in Jesus Christ, in Luther aujourdhui, pp. 145 159. Publications de la Facult de Thologie, Louvain-la-Neuve, 1983.) and Luther: Toute ascension pour parvenir la vision de Dieu est prilleuse, except celle par lhumilit de Christ qui est lchelle de Jacob par laquelle il faut monter. WA, 57/3, p. 99 and ..et il a fix sur lui (Christ) les regards de notre cur pour nous empecher de ainsi de faire lascension du ciel et nous adonner aux spculations sur sa majest divine. celui qui scrute la majest est cras par la gloire on ne peut connatre aucun Dieu si ce n est ce Dieu incarn et humain. MLO, pp. 44 45. We see that Luther thinks analogically, something like this: the effort aimed at gaining knowledge of God in natural theology is just as misplaced as the effort aimed at gaining salvation by good works. 547 What I mean by Luthers christologically based psychology is typified in Luthers declarations that man is free because of Christ and not because he naturally possesses a will or rational appetite.


(It might be objected that whereas GP is a 1926 work, many of the texts supporting the full-blown Lutheran position are from 1933 or later. So how can the Lutheran inversion be applied to GP ? The answer is that the essential inversion is already present in 1926, even if Plato & Aristotle only switch sides, might one say, in 1933.) In other words, as mentioned, Heidegger pushed the betrayal date back in time. Continuing on with our examination of Luthers idea that Aristotelian philosophy was sent to renaissance Germany as punishment meted out for sin, what is Christianity to do to right such a sorry situation? Obviously, Luthers solution was that the Christianity of the Renaissance and - thenceforth Lutheran - Germany had to be cleansed of the plague as so described. Philipses hypothesis is that, similarly, Heidegger suggests that the occidental tradition needs to be cleansed of ontotheologically minded Scholastic philosophy, to pave the way, Heideggers way in fact, to a return, a new beginning in the unveiling of Being. This may be seen in the following: 4. LUTHER: Aristotelian (N.B. ontotheological thinking) was a plague sent to us to punish us for our sins i.e. to renaissance Germany HEIDEGGER: somber, technological age a plague sent to us by Being i.e. to contemporary Germany How does this falling away (Verfallen, or dchance) take place ? We can distinguish two kinds of falling away. One happens to individuals and the other, might we say, to civilizations. The first sort is typified by Daseins tendency to get so absorbed in the world that it then interprets itself in the worlds terms, i.e. in terms of objects in the world. Aristotles interpretation of man in terms of matter and form is allegedly due to this type of fallen endeavor. Matter and form are Daseins way of describing living and non-living material substances and, for Heidegger, should not be applied to Dasein, whose way of being, as where Being is revealed, is very different. The influence of the Lutheran model is most apparent in the second falling away (Verfallen) described. Our traditions use of Aristotelian terms and methods makes them become overfamiliar to us and so masks their source in fundamental experiences. Thus the tradition must be destroyed. The falling of a tradition covers over another falling: human alienation. (Daseins seeing itself as a Vorhandenes, available as an object in the world.) While we have just pointed to a Lutheran type inversion as early on as SZ, further evidence of it exists in Heideggers rectoral address of May 27, 1933 (hereafter SdU)548. Aside from being a diatribe in favor of Hitler and National Socialism, Heidegger therein cited Nietzsches announcement of the death of God. Heidegger says that the beginning of science via Greek philosophy was later betrayed by the Christiantheological interpretation of the world and the later mathematical-technical thought of

Martin, Die Selbstbehauptung der deutschen Universitt, Das Rektorat 1933/34: Tatsachen und Gedanken. Edited by Herman Heidegger. Frankfurt a/M.: Klostermann, 1983.


the modern epoch. (SdU, p. 12). This again is tradition as apostasy or betrayal. What Heidegger is aiming at is a new beginning of science in the German university and, so, in the Dasein of the whole German people, one that in eliminating what has gone on in the meantime i.e. Christianity and the so-called technological epoch it supposedly engendered - will make room for a knot-tying between the Greek beginning and the German national rebirth! (One is left wondering why and how Christianity ushered in the dreaded technological age. In fact, Max Weber549 tells us how protestantism and, most particularly Calvinism, advanced capitalism by extolling activity and gain, ironically Catholicism and scholasticism are usually associated with stagnation and berated for having impeded the development of technology and modernism!) (Incidentally Whitehead provides another viewpoint on the relationship between Catholicism, its rationalistic Scholasticism and the birth of modern science and technology the Renaissance brought. It is akin to Heideggers view in pointing to Scholasticisms logical thinking as having paved the way to scientific thinking but sees this as a plus, not as a falling away.)550
WEBER, Max. (1904 5).The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Protestantism, translated by Talcott Parsons ; Scribners, New York, 1958. It is particularly the Calvinist doctrine that is held to advance human industry. This passage from the 1647 Westminster Confession shows some of humanity damned from all eternity, some not: No. 3: By the decree of God, for the manifestation of His glory, some men and angels are predestinated unto everlasting life, and others foreordained to everlasting death. (No. 7.) The rest of mankind God was pleased, according to the unsearchable counsel of His own will to pass by, and to ordain them to dishonour and wrath for their sin, to the praise of his glorious justice., p. 100. ; The question of course arises: am I among the elect ?. Calvins answer was that one shouldnt ask, but just trust. But that never worked. Therefore so far as predestination was not reinterpreted, toned down or fundamentally abandoned, two principal types of pastoral advice appear. On the one hand, it is held to be an absolute duty to consider oneself chosen, and to combat all doubts as temptations of the devil, since lack of self confidence is the result of lack of sufficient faith, grace. p. 111. ; On the other hand, in order to gain that self-confidence intense worldly activity is recommended as the most suitable means. It and it alone disperses religious doubts and gives the certainty of grace. p. 112. In short, good works are not done to earn salvation but to rid one of fear of damnation ! Good works make one industrious. As Weber puts it: In the place of the humble sinners to whom Luther promises grace if they trust themselves to God in penitent faith are bred those self-confident saints whom we can rediscover in the hard Puritan merchants of the heroic age of capitalism and in isolated instances down to the present. pp. 111 2. (Underlining mine.) Put plainly: Lutherans hold that one is saved by faith alone ; one cannot bargain with God via service rendered. Salvation is not a transaction. But ones attitude does help ones course to salvation. Not so with Calvin. God decided in his supreme wisdom and secrecy who is saved and who is damned to eternal hell. Ones prosperity is a sign of ones status. But good works avail nothing. Should one ask if ones saved ? Calvin says no. Yet all Calvinists do. Two rules apply: you should always act as if youre saved. Lack of confidence is a sure catastrophe. Secondly, frenetic activity in worldly affairs allieviates anxiety. The fruits of that activity in turn allieviate fear of being damned. The Calvinist is cool and even-tempered in his assurance of salvation. Its in his interest. 550 Whitehead, Alfred North. Science in the Modern World, (Lowell Lectures 1925), Free Press (Macmillan), New York, 1967. In fact, much like Heidegger, Whitehead concludes that scholasticism was a precursor to renaissance and modern science, but is diametrically opposed to Heidegger in his appreciation of the inheritance. Whereas Heidegger saw the light finally going out on the original experience of Being in the Greek beginning, Whitehead sees the dawn of a new age. He points out three elements: #1. Habits of thought, p. 12: It needs but a sentence to point out how the habit of definite exact thought was implanted in the European mind by the long dominance of scholastic logic and scholastic divinity. The habit remained after the philosophy had been repudiated, the priceless habit of looking for an exact point and of sticking to it when found. Galileo owes more to Aristotle than appears on the surface of his Dialogues: he owes to him his clear head and his analytic mind.


Whatever we might think of the Rectoral Address (SdU), the central point for our purposes is the inversion taking place via the Lutheran model. If in 1921 both Heidegger and Luther agreed that the God of Abraham had died because Scholastic philosophy had made him an it in terms of Aristotles eternal, unchanging substance, by 1933 Heidegger had inverted his Lutheran model. The Greek beginning, what will become Beings unveiling in the later Heidegger, is said to have been contaminated551 by the Christian tradition, the whole Christian tradition. In the starkest terms, the Greek Ereignis had descended into onto-theology. It was this latter stage that needed to be destroyed to get German university life back on the right track. Can we determine what motivated Heidegger to carry out this Luther like inversion ? It took place when he was most visibly involved in the National Socialist movement and perhaps wanted to align his philosophy with it. There may also have been psychological elements. Heidegger had briefly sojourned as a jesuit scholastic, leaving for health reasons and subsequently, a decade later, was passed over twice for a chair in Christian philosophy - whatever that may mean ? Shortly thereafter he married a Lutheran. It is probably safe to point to a combination of such influencing factors.552 We remember Heideggers insistence that philosophy, to be honest before God, must abstain from any talking about God. There is a certain irony there. If this abstention amounts to a kind of insurrection against God, it is Daseins destiny linked to his finitude. This may be a motivation for Heideggers SZ rejection of the God of Christianity: in traditional Christian terms, man should behave like a creature - within creation since it is assumed (or is even held to be demonstratable in medieval,
#2. the rationality of God: When we compare this tone of thought in Europe with the attitude of other civilisations when left to themselves, there seems to be but one source for its origin. It must come from the medieval insistence on the rationality of God, conceived as with the personal energy of Jehovah and with the rationality of a Greek philosopher. Every detail was supervised and ordered: the search into nature could only result in the vindication of the faith in rationality. (p. 12) #3. medieval theology: My explanation is that the faith in the possibility of science (the scrutability of nature), generated antecedently to the development of modern scientific theory, is an unconscious derivative from mediaval theology. (p. 13, parenthesis mine) ; Whitehead also refers to the scientific materialism resulting from the revolt against scholasticism: p. 17: The success of the scheme (scientific materialism) has adversely affected the various currents of European thought. The historical revolt was anti-rationalistic, because the rationalism of the scholastics required a sharp correction by contact with brute fact. But the revival of philosophy in the hands of Descartes and his successors was entirely coloured in its development by the acceptance of the scientific cosmology at face value. (Inasmuch as Descartes and his successors begin with a cogito and Aristotelianism with sense evidence one might conjecture that the former group have more need of a sharp correction by contact with brute fact than the latter !) ; Finally, Whitehead also feels that unlike Greek science, practical medieval lifestyles led to the application of the discoveries of renaissance science: p. 15: We are at the zero point of scientific temperature (i.e. 6th century Italy). But the life-work of Gregory and Benedict contributed elements to the reconstruction of Europe which secured that this reconstruction, when it arrived, should include a more efficient scientific mentality than that of the ancient world. The Greeks were over-theoretical. 551 Philipses expression op. cit., p. 184. 552 Kisiel, op. cit., p. 79: in the tale of Heideggers philosophy, we cannot in principle afford to dismiss the biographical element as fortuitous and so irrelevant, contrary to the pronouncements of would-be purist Heideggerians. For Heidegger himself tells us here that his thoughts stem directly from the deepest motivations of his own factic situation, in short, that his thought stems from his life and that one can therefore not divorce the ontological (his philosophy) from the ontic (his biography).


Scholastic philosophy) that he has a creator, or at least a cause. If, inversely, the parameters of honest philosophy forbid his assuming that role, inasmuch as Dasein is fated to philosophize without reference to God in insurrection against him, in not behaving like a creature, then mans comportment will prevent God from behaving like a creator ! And so, quite simply, in SZ the Christian notion of God as an almighty, perfect creator falls. (The irony seems to lie in the humility of philosophy in not talking about God, coupled with an insurrection against God in depriving him of his creator role.) In what seems an offhand remark, Philipse suggests something that is in fact quite central to our interests in medieval thought:
The traditional Christian God is essentially a creator, a perfect and almighy being (Seiendes). Perhaps it was Eckhart who inspired Heidegger to substitute Being (Sein) for God, and to attribute the death of God to the fact that Being had been misconceived as a being, namely God. In Heideggers later writings, Being (das Sein or das Seyn) is often used as a mysterious transcendent agent or event which sends (schickt) us our fate (Geschickt), just as did Luthers God.553 (Underlining mine)

We have then a series of transitions here: Firstly, we had the Heidegger of 1921 accepting Luther as such. That facilitated his experiencing the facticity of the early Christian community. Secondly, the Heidegger of SZ, out of a sort of modesty, fosters an analytic of Dasein done without God talk. (We might add that this 1926 stage is characterized by a regional ontologizing: Dasein, artifacts, nature, God, etc.) Thirdly, by 1933, and incidentally without any regional ontologizing, Heidegger points out that this sort of regional ontologizing of artifacts, nature, God, etc. is symptomatic of an alienation due to the failure to observe the Ontological Differenz, as GP stresses. Instead of (e.g. medieval) man contenting himself with distinguishing between essences and existences, the important (Heideggerian) distinction should be drawn between Being and beings. Once that is done, one sees that within that schema, if God exists, it is a being among beings. (If one accepts Heideggers premises, his conclusion has to be accepted too i.e. that God is a being.) To Heidegger a more fruitful approach seemed to be garnering inspiration from Eckharts, dare we say, - pantheism - yet not so much so as to identify God with Being, as we intimate Eckhart might have been doing, but, rather, to lend the characteristics of God to Being. That puts us into a position to get some glimpse of the later Heidegger. What are some of the consequences of these transitions ? The Christian tradition being seen to be destroyed, i.e. the characteristics of God now belong to Being, revealing the transcendens Schlecthin as Being and thus as neither the God of the Bible nor that of the philosophers. Thus, once the dust has settled, his inversion of the Lutheran model permits Heidegger to use it against Luther himself and Christianity. After its destruction, Christianity is depicted as a falling away, having aposticized Beings revelation in its Greek beginning. (We might note that Philipse suggests that while Heidegger imposed an inverted Luther type critique on Christianity, his writings on


Ibid. p. 185.


Greek philosophy unwittingly and anachronistically impose Lutheran categories on it too!)554 Returning to central issues, while Luther felt that mans central core is his relationship to God, in EM, Heidegger says that man dwells only in his essence if he is addressed by Being.555 Some of the main points of resemblance between Luthers quest and Heideggers quest: (1.) The question of Being is a quest for Being. (2.) Dasein understands this question (Seinsverstandnis) because Dasein is where Being reveals itself. (3.) Yet in metaphysics as onto-theology one being is erected as Being or, as Philipse puts it, Being is misconceived as a being so the Greek beginning is betrayed. (4.) Our neglecting the critical Ontological Difference between beings and Being makes us live in oblivion, forgetfulness of Being. (5.) We allow ourselves to slip into an ontology of presence (Anwesen) because we think of Being as a thing present. As mentioned, (6.) just as Luther considered Aristotle a plague sent to us for our sins, so Heidegger felt the stages of metaphysics being sent (Geschick) to us by Being. Only the philosophers (or poets) can tear us from the forgetfulness of Being by (7.) asking the Seinsfrage again and (8.) renewing metaphysics as the veiling of Being. Only thus can man (9.) regain his essence and origin. Bringing together two themes weve been working on, we can consolidate and conclude that Heideggers Lutheran inversion is the Postmonotheist Leitmotif. This leitmotif is postmonotheist in two ways which we will show by italicizing: The leitmotif is postmonotheist insofar as Heidegger considers monotheism a thing of the past, echoing Nietszches proclamation that God is dead or, put otherwise, the transformed God of the Christian tradition is alleged to have died in our hearts. The leitmotif is postmonotheistic insofar as it retains, in parastic fashion (for Philipse), many of the characteristics of the Christian, monotheistic period it intends to succeed. Describing a few of the characteristics this last and fifth leitmotif shares with monotheism, Heideggers 1935 Einfhrung in die Metaphysik (Introduction to Metaphysics), published in 1953556, begins with the famous question why is there something rather than nothing ? ; using his own EM translation Philipse refers to Heidegger:
He talks about the hidden power of this question, which might strike us in moments of great despair or jubilation of the heart.557

And Heidegger argues that the question is the most fundamental one, because it opens up the possibility of transcending the totality of beings to their ground (Grund), namely Being, whereas the question is only a real one in a leap (Sprung) and as leap.558.
554 555

Ibid. p. 184. In Einfuhrung in der Metaphysik, p. 22: Das Dasein ist es selbst aus seinem wesenhaften Bezug zum Sein angesprochen wird. (Heideggers italics) 556 Einfhrung in die Metaphysik,(1935). 3rd ed. Tbingen, 1966. 557 Philipse, op. cit., p. 186; Philipse refers to EM, p. 1: Jeder wird einmal, vielleicht sogar dann und wann, von der verborgenen Macht dieser Frage gestreift, ohne recht zu fassen, was ihm geschiet. In einer groen Verzweiflung, z.B. 558 EM, p. 4: Das Fragen dieser Frage ist nur im Sprung und als Sprung und sonst berhaupt nicht.


Pursuing his critique of Christianity in terms of his now famous question, Heidegger insists that the Christian cannot fully question and thus cannot really philosophize:
Someone for whom the Bible is divine revelation and truth already has the answer before he even starts asking why there is something rather than nothing ?559 (Philipse trans.)

Making ironic use of Pauls remark God made foolish the wisdom of the world Corinthians, 1:20, Heidegger says his Seinsfrage is folly for the believer and that Christian philosophy is wooden iron. One of Heideggers biographers, Hugo Ott, has pointed out, contextualizing Einfhrung in die Metaphysik (Introduction to Metaphysics) (henceforth EM), that it was written as a refutation of the views of Theodor Haecker, a Catholic apologist, whose untimely, but popular book, Was ist der Mensch? landed him in trouble. Philipse cannot resist remarking that while Heidegger, in his Introduction, says philosophy is untimely, he does the very timely job of demolishing Haeckers Christian philosophy, no doubt because it dared to oppose the National Socialist revolution.560 We said that this leitmotif is postmonotheistic because it parastically retains many of the characteristics of the Christian, monotheistic period.561 In fact Philipse is even harsher, saying that if it (the leitmotif) has any intelligibility at all it derives it from its parallelisms with Christianity, defining it as the attempt to replace the Christian religion by a different variety of religious discourse, the meaning of which is parasitic upon the monotheist Christian discourse it intends to destroy. More sympathetically, maybe Heideggers postmonotheist leitmotif is an attempt to save religion after Gods death, as Heidegger announces it of course. There is an astounding range of parallels: the idea of a stepping back to the beginning to prepare for a second beginning, the traditions falling away from its origins, etc. But there is one catch for the inverted Lutheran model. Whereas Luther and his Catholic opponents could both count on the Bible as the revelation of God, manifesting himself in Christ, in inverting Luther, Heidegger rejects the Bible as a revelation of Being. So, given that the tradition has allegedly fallen away from the original revelation of and by Being, where are we to discover a Second Coming or Revelation of Being562 ? Seemingly the answer is that we just have to wait for it ; Heidegger tells us that the poets and philosophers can announce its coming or retreat but we are armed with patience alone. Awaiting the God of the Bible goes hand in hand with the old fashioned kind of metaphysics that seeks the ground of Being in another being. (And this applies to Aristotles nous, meaning that the forgetting of Being (Seinsvergessenheit) extends even as far back as him.) Changing over from onto-theology to asking the (Seinsfrage)
559 EM, p. 5: Wem z. B. die Bibel gttliche Offenbarung und Wahrheit ist, der hat vor allem Fragen der Frage Warum ist berhaupt Seiendes und nicht vielmehr Nichts ? schon die Antwort. 560 Philipse, op. cit., pp. 186 7 & cf. nn. 437-9. 561 Ibid. Philipses use of this italicizing technique is perhaps inspired by Heideggers having said that he was a Christian theologian . Cf. n. 125. 562 Ibid. pp. 187 8.


means nothing less than to retrieve the beginning of our spiritual-historical Dasein and to transform it into the other beginning.563 (EM trans. Philipse). We surmise that this is what was going on in Heideggers 1935 work EM: 1. Poets and philosophers saying Being (Sagen des Seins) grounds the national Dasein. 2. So only poets and philosophers know the greatness of the National Socialist revolution (i.e. in 1935). 3. The Germans, the middle, the metaphysical people, have to decide to retrieve the Greek beginning of Being. 4. But if Plato and Aristotle had already fallen into dealing with beings, where is this revelation of Being to be sought ? 5. In EM Heidegger finds that beginning in Parmenides, for whom noein, thinking, belongs with einai to be. (Since mans essence is grounded in the opening of the Being of beings, Dasein must be the place where Being unveils itself. Heidegger conjectures that history begins with that original distinction (in fact, his own ontological difference) between Being and beings. 6. While Parmenides and Heraclitus marked a zenith, things have been going downhill since. Hence, in Churchillian language, 7. Philipse says that Heidegger sees Plato and Aristotle as both the end of the beginning and the beginning of the end of the western tradition.564 In a sort of tug-of-war relationship, the falling away from Being to beings meant gaining over Being, but also resulted in its veiling itself. The Seinsfrage must remedy this. By 1946 Heidegger has found an even older, Anaximander, fragment and sees it as the beginning: Being itself lights up in beings and claims an essence of man.565 But, predictably, here too this very illumination implies a hiding. (A Christian equivalent would be that man is so busied with creation he forgets the creator.) While we have discussed Heideggers views on interpretation in an introductory chapter and briefly mentioned his startling view that an interpretation must also add something of its own, out of its matter (aus ihrer Sache), and ... has to do so covertly (HW trans. Philipse)566, it is to be acknowledged that Heideggers pronouncements on the pre-Socratics are often held up for criticism on the grounds that he is reading something back into ancient texts, i.e., more specifically, that he is projecting his own postmonotheist leitmotif into text fragments, at that, and thus doing them violence by introducing contemporary, or anachronistic, elements that are totally alien to them. Heidegger readily agrees that its violence. (As discussed, we should be keep in mind that Heidegger claims that there is an element of violence in any interpretation. For Heidegger, this is due to Daseins projecting. What it means to say a given interpretation is violent if they are all violent is still another issue. Yet another question we might want to ask is whether Heidegger isnt doing something similar to medieval texts, but that would be getting ahead of ourselves; thats for another chapter.) So while Heidegger
563 EM, p. 29: Fragen: Wie steht es um das Sein ?-das besagt nichts Geringeres als den Anfang unseres geschichtlich-geistigen Daseins wieder-holen, um ihn in den anderen Anfang zu verwandeln (Heideggers italics). 564 Ibid. pp. 188 ; EM, pp. 137-152 & Wiph, p. 15: Heraklit und Parmenides waren noch keine Philosophen. Warum nicht, Weil sie de greren Denker waren Der Schritt zur Philosophie wurde zuerst von Sokrates und Platon vollzogen. 565 HW, (1946) Der Spruch des Anaximander, p. 310: Grieschisch ist die Frhe des Geschickes, als welches das Sein selbst sich im Seiende lichtet und ein Wesen des Menschen in seinen Anspruch nimmt. 566 Cf. n. 13.


shrugs off this criticism on one level, he rejects it on another. He claims that he is revealing what is really there - if not in words. (Meaning that, due to his position, coming at the end of the western, metaphysical tradition, Heidegger claims to be more Greek than the Greeks, but that a certain violence is needed to arrive at his interpretation.) Once it is realized that the academics who criticize his pronouncements on the preSocratics are dwelling in the oblivion or forgetfulness of Being, all is forgiven. Summarizing, doesnt it seem that Heideggers use of the inverted Lutheran model pushes him into the development of an anti-Christian, postmonotheistic mythology, linking a Greek origin of Being to a new German beginning. That renewal would be said to be embodied in the greatness of the National Socialist revolution. Philipse seems to imply that disillusionment with events on the ground in National Socialist Germany led Heidegger to doubt whether any Greek rebirth would ever take place and it gradually dawned on him that Germany would lose WW II.567 In what amounts to saying that Heidegger was a pragmatist at all costs and that nothing would stop him from playing the role of prophet philosopher, Philipse, for once, takes a swipe at both Heidegger and Christianity: (Discouraged, Heidegger was undaunted.)
The postmonotheist theme turned out to be as flexible as the Christian tradition it meant to replace. The Second World War, provoked by the National Socialist totalitarian state, could be interpreted as a consequence of our oblivion of Being, (the way Heidegger did, in fact, interpret things) rather than as a refutation of Heideggers ontological myth.568 (parenthesis mine).

If the National Socialist movement had not really signaled a new German beginning, that failed to keep Heidegger from feeling Being continued to reveal itself to him
To prepare us for a second coming of Being was Heideggers contribution to what has been called the myth of the 20th century.569

As to analogies between the later Heideggers postmonotheist leitmotif and Christianity, there are several areas worth mentioning. We will go through some briefly. The first point standing out is the uniqueness of Being. Whereas Heidegger continually stresses the unique characteristics of Being, as sui generis, shall we say, can we not still inquire as to the source of this much touted unicity. Doesnt Heideggers nearly obsessive insistence on the unicity of the Seinsfrage and its object, Being, not, despite declarations to the contrary and after all protestation, arise from the God element, i.e. the monotheism some allege inspires the postmonotheist leitmotif ? In short, whereas he is constantly pointing to the oneness of the Being he prophesies about, his stress on the oneness has its real origin in the oneness of the western monotheism he models his leitmotif on (and which Philipse accuses him of maintaining a parasitic relationship with)570. (Philipse interestingly points out that the later Heidegger enunciates more

567 Philipse, 568

op. cit. p. 189. Ibid. 569 Ibid.; Sec. 14C: Deciphering Deep History, pp. 272 276. 570 Ibid. p. 187.


names for Being than there are names for God in the Old Testament.571 But we shall not make the effort of enumerating either list here.) Another element in the leitmotif is Creation and Revelation. Already at the SZ stage, Heidegger felt that the standard creation story was stifling for Dasein in that it dispelled wonder. Instead of marvelling at the dispensation of Being, Christian man saw, or thought he saw, one super being he was told was responsible for begetting the creation around him. More specifically, Philipse, referring to Heideggers hinting that the creation accounts rob man of the sense of wonder at the mere fact that beings are, asks if Heideggers Being isnt identifiable with the very fact that beings are ?572 Sometimes. But more often Heidegger talks about Being as being an agent. In other words, Heideggers postmonotheism is not an emanationism or a deism. It contains an element of postcreationism, meaning involvement. And it has an added advantage over monotheisms. Philipse observes that monotheisms have always had problems in dealing with other religions. If one believes in ones god, isnt the god of any other monotheistic religion a false god? But if so, how is it that our own is real? In our heart of hearts it seems too good to be true. Or, more democratically, if we allow that the other fellows god has some worth, we are still left wondering how our, Christian God could allow such mistaken ideas to enter other peoples heads. (Of course one solution might be to say they are all the same god but some have unsuitable characteristics tacked onto them.) On the other hand, doing away with such a mixup, Heideggers postmonotheist leitmotif provides all monotheistic gods the same status insofar as they are all on the same plane because they are all sent by Being. Philipse puts it:
Postmonotheist Being is at the origin of all gods, including the Christian one and including a possible God who is perhaps bound to arrive. Being sends gods to humans in order to save them, for instance, so that all gods have an equal status. But postmonotheist Being is unique and without rivals.573

The next pertinent element involves the Fall, history and eschatology : as in Christianity, Heidegger is convinced that the autodistinction Being establishes between Being and beings, i.e. the equivalent of creation, has a beginning and an end. Aside from Platos Timaeus, the notion of a beginning of the universe is missing in classical Greek philosophy. Thus, ironically, we see Heidegger imposing a Christian notion on Greek thought of the classical period. Whereas epoch means suspending judgment in Greek and Epoche means a period in German, Heidegger engages in a play of words, saying that Being (schickt) sends a period or epoch whereby it suspends or conceals itself. Real world history (eigentliche Weltgeschichte), Philipse surmises, is the succession (Time) of these periods. All these periods, seen at the end, are Beings eschatology: Being itself, as a fateful sender (geschickliches), is itself eschatological.574 Like Christianity, Heideggers postmonotheist schema is linear, not
Ibid. p. 191. Ibid. pp. 191 192. 573 Ibid. p. 192. 574 HW, (1946) Der Spruch des Anaximander, p. 311: Aus der Epoche des Seins kommt das epochale Wesen seines Geschickes, worin die eigentliche Weltgeschichte ist. Jedesmal, wenn das Sein in seinem Geschick an sich hlt, ereignet sich jh unversehens Welt.
572 571


cyclical. (Should someone wonder about the relationship of the neo-Hegelian leitmotif, i.e. the sending of periods or epochs of history by Being, and the postmonotheist leitmotif, the modelling of the sending of periods or epochs of history by Being on Lutheran Christianity, there are moments when they merge. And this is one of them.)575 Heidegger uses a German pun, that Daseins destiny (Geschick) is sent (schickt) to him - one lost in any other language. Bringing the Hegelian and postmonotheist together, periods of history are sent by Being, as transcendent agent. If Heidegger felt that Hegel was the only philosopher of the tradition who had thought history, we should keep in mind that between the Hegelian dialectic and Heideggers postmonotheist theme we have Nietzsche, announcing Gods death. If Hegel saw the progression of western metaphysics as a gradual self-awareness, i.e. an element of optimistic portents, one hundred and fifty years later Heideggers postmonotheist theme portrays the unfolding of Being as a gradual concealment and darkening of Being. The shadows of Being began falling with Platonic idealism, continued with the progression of western metaphysics (e.g. the medieval period) and the resultant death of God in our hearts, only to culminate in the death of the earth via technology. (This culminates in a certain Heideggerian pessimism portraying Dasein as wandering, lost and destined to go mad on earth, a planet (Irrstern) gone mad.576 Within this world of error, the extinction of the light of Being brings us nearer our topic of interest, i.e. the epoch typified by metaphysics and, particularly, ontotheology: if the inverted Lutheran model lends itself to describing the periods of history as the way metaphysics progressively attempted to reveal how all beings are, it was accompanied by a gradual concealment of Being. Yet even showing beings required some of Beings light. So metaphysicss delineating how entities are throughout the history of metaphysics does not completely extinguish that light of Being. But it does go out! Heidegger says the gleam of light is snuffed out once a being is introduced and held up or advanced as being the super being, erected as the cause of all other beings. Why? Because it purports to represent Being and Being cannot be represented as an omnicsent being a being.577 So the Christian sponsored monotheist tradition has to be demolished. But how if it is sent by Being and Being decides what is to be sent ? The next, related topic is Predetermination. Put concisely the notion of real history (eigentliche Geschichte) as fate or destiny (Geschick) sent to us (geschickt) by Being is Heideggers postmonotheistic equivalent of Luthers notion of predetermination.578 Try as he might, Dasein cannot change the basic way in which Being reveals the totality of entities to us within a given period. If it had become all too clear in SZ that Dasein is a thrown project (Geworfener Enwurf), here, in Brief uber


Ibid. pp. 192. (1946) Der Spruch des Anaximander, p. 311: Jede Epoche der Weltgeschichte ist eine Epoche der Irre ; VA, p. 93: Die Erde erscheint als die Umwelt des Irrnis. Sie ist seynsgeschichtlich der Irrstern . 577 HW, (1946) Der Spruch des Anaximander, p. 336: Vielmehr wird auch die frhe Spur des Unterschieds [between Being and beings] dadurch ausgelscht, da das Anwesen wie ein Anwesendes erscheint und seine Herkunft in einem Hchsten Anwesende finde. (Brackets Philipse) 578 Ibid. pp. 193.
576 HW,


Humanismus, we see the predominant role Being has assumed: Dasein exists in the throw (Wurf) of Being, which sends us our fate.579 Whatever is sent is Beings dictate. Heidegger has an expression: Das Wesen der Wahrheit ist die Wahrheit des Wesen.580, the essence of truth is the truth of essence. Whatever is essential in a given epoch is expressed in one element, one idea, e.g. the medievals way of expressing the essence-existence relationship in the 13th century, or technology today. Philipse refers to a Heidegger absconditus.581 However here our topic is Deus absconditus.582 Isaiah, 45:15 says: Truly thou art a God who hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour. On the theme of the hidden god, Philipse raises what he sees as a problem for monotheism:
Especially when it claims that God is transcendent to nature, monotheism tends to conclude that God is invisible, and it becomes a disturbing problem how we might come to know God. Because God is almighty, this invisibility must be explained by the alleged fact that he hides himself.583 (Italics mine)

(While our central discussion here concerns first and foremost Heidegger, not Philipse, seemingly such an attitude indicates a lack of familiarity with chief characteristics of medieval thought as if Gods immateriality, his intellectual nature, were a sort of drawback.) Continuing on with our postmonotheistic equivalent or analogue, Heidegger has myriad ways of expressing the fact of Beings hiding itself and its motivations for doing so: Being is forgotten (Seinsvergessenheit) ; Being has hidden itself (Seinsverborgenheit) ; Being has abandoned us (Seinsverlassenheit), etc. Much as the people of Israel repeatedly offended God, and yet sought him above all else, so Dasein knows that Being is most worth questioning (das Fragwrdiste), despite the fact that the history of the relationship of Being and Dasein has always been marred by a give and take of Daseins collectively forgetting Being and a resultant hiding on Beings part. If God turns from Israel due to its faults, Being hides itself because Dasein has announced or described it wrongly (culminating in the metaphysical traditions erecting one being as Being). So if we follow through with our analogy is this the postmonontheist equivalent of Gods wrath, i.e. Beings wrath ? Certainly not, but there is the notion of a Fall. (Heidegger is a predeterminist insofar as the Being concealing phases that are sent to man are entirely beyond his control, whereas within the Christian saga, Adam ate the apple of the knowledge of good and evil freely. Within this schema, one may see the negative phases sent following epochs characterized by metaphysics as the postmonotheist equivalent of Gods punishment due for sin. But talking about Beings wrath makes no sense if it is beyond Daseins control.) The

579 Brief ber den Humanismus W, p. 158: Das Da-sein selbst aber west als das geworfene. Es west im Wurf des Seins als des schickend Geschicklichen. 580 Nietzche, I, III p .... 581 Philipse, op. cit., p. 4 & ff. 582 Ibid. p. 193. 583 Ibid. p. 193 - 4.


following shows the area where Heideggers resemblance to Luther appears most clearly: LUTHER: given mans inability to earn his salvation he just has to await Gods freely given grace HEIDEGGER: since man does not control what Being sends in a given epoch he just has to wait and listen until the philosopher announces a better Being donation to come As mentioned earlier, the later Heidegger contains a creation analogue and a Fall analogue. In the Fall, God rejects man and sends him away. It is well known that this narratological sequence is common to many religions, taken together with the next two stages: repentance and redemption. (Giving us the foursome: Creation, Fall, Repentance and Redemption.) Philipse puts it: These four stages constitute what the theologian calls the cycle of paradise, apostasy and enslavement, repentance and deliverance.584 We call this: metaphysics as mourning and repentance. If, for Luther, the measure of the worth of a moral act is the faith of the one performing it, might we toy with the idea (an analogue) that in Heideggers postmonotheist leitimotif, he similarly assesses the worth of the activity of philosophizing in a given epoch as dependent on the fundamental stance toward Being characterizing that epoch. But this is conjecturing. A consequence of applying such a rule would be to judge that most philosophical efforts are, to turn a phrase, damned from the outset, or at least that the efforts of those coming along after the pre-Socratics would be judged to be working at a disadvantage. Returning to the historical circumstances of Heideggers projects, we recall that from the mid 1930s on, Heidegger saw the history of metaphysics as a series of paradigms, shall we say, for describing the totality of beings. (Here again, the merging of the post-Hegelian and postmonotheist leitmotifs becomes apparent.) Thus these paradigms, or teachings, e.g. essence + existence or other, express how Being unveils, sends (schickt), beings to us, a (Geschick). Remembering that Being is not to be represented as a being, it is only once this happens that the light Being affords for seeing beings, goes out, resulting in the postmonotheistic equivalent of Deus absconditus. (in point of fact, it is not just the way in which beings are represented in each epoch that extinguishes Beings light, but the very fact that beings are represented at all.) Philipse sums it up well: Metaphysics is a veil of Being, which Being itself sends to us. It is Beings disguise.585 Here the ontological difference between Being and beings has been destroyed because Being has been foisted on us as a being, namely God. Accepting this to be our plight, what are we to do to better our situation ? In a process strangely reminiscent of a criminal investigation, we should follow the traces (Spuren) or hints (Winke) Being has left despite the increasing shadowiness of its manifestations. If SZ sought an (berwindung), an overcoming of metaphysics, here the
584 Ibid. 585

p. 194 6. Mourning about Metaphysics as Repentance.



attitude has shifted. What is sought now is coping with and mourning over Beings withdrawal.586 Basically Heidegger is saying that no other philosopher has thought of Being (the Ontological Difference) the way he has and, hence, things having gone badly, Being has abandoned us. (We might point out here that it is particularly at this juncture that some existentially minded Thomists have tried to intervene or set things straight, pointing out that unlike his medieval confreres, only Thomas Aquinas dealt with all of being, alleged to be embodied in his faith-inspired, dynamic notion of esse.587) Just like mourning over the loss of a loved one, only a mourning contemplation of Beings retreat will allow us to await a new beginning. Just as Luther felt that man, powerless to gain salvation, must await Gods grace in doing penance, so Heidegger asks us to listen and await Beings return. (It goes without saying that we would be quite wrong to see this treatment of western thought as anything resembling standard scholarship.) In a way reminiscent of John the Baptist588, (and reference here to John the Baptist is Philipses doing ; i.e., we are not suggesting Heidegger made any such reference) Heidegger saw his task as philosopher to be one of preparing for a return of Being, an (Ankunft des Seins). If thinking of Being was doing badly and the place illprepared, the task of preparing is one of opening up a place wherein Being may place man so as to prepare him for the call the second coming involves. In fact, resemblances to the role of John the Baptist and the kingdom of God are striking. Philipse calls this a subleitmotif.589 If we may have been wondering: well what makes Heidegger think that Beings having veiled itself will necessarily, eventually, lead to its more satisfactorily unveiling itself at some future date and time ? The answer is not that abstruse. The corresponding phenomenon might be called bottoming out in financial circles, i.e, a sort of logic of things have gotten so bad they can only get better. This translates into the conclusion that if technology is the end of metaphysics and signals a complete veiling of Being, a new advent can only unveil Being. However, an important phase of decision making lies ahead. Keep in mind that for Heidegger, the enlightenment, the rise of the natural sciences and technology are (bse Geschickt), bad spells, sent to Dasein by Being. Thus it makes no sense to be anti-technological, or anti-scientific. One would be better advised to say: it was all unavoidable. Yet the very fact of reflecting on science and techology should tell us theres a deeper truth. (This is not so much reflection on the fact that Being has done thus and so as it is comparing scientific and/or technological thinking with thinking the truth of Being.) As we might expect, Heidegger thinks the age of science and technology is the darkest period in our abandonment by Being. Still, preparing and opening ourselves to a new advent makes us sacrifice590, in

586 Ibid. p. 195: here Philipse invents the word withdrawment, but we dont see any problem with withdrawal. 587 Cf. for example Lotz, . And Caputo ..Heidegger and AquinasFordham University Press, 19.. 588 Cf. Lk 3, 9 & Lk 3,17. 589 Philipse, op. cit., p. 195. 590 WiM, Nachwort, (1943), p.49: Das Opfer is die Verschwendung des Menschenwesens in die Wahrung derr Wahrheit des Seins fr das Seiende.


anticipating the grace (Gunst) of Being. But we must also bear with Beings decision to respond to us or not.591 For St. Paul and Luther, grace is not something God is obliged to mete out to us, even if we do what the commandments ask of us. It is, if ever, freely given. For Luther, good works and the sacraments never earn us salvation, only grace can. In like fashion, Heidegger says that tasks can prepare our (Opfer) sacrifice but not fulfill it. Only the unpredictable Event (das Ereignis) of Being can do that.592 If it avails me nothing that I deliver up my body to be burnt, if I have not charity, Heidegger feels that no amount of human effort can prevent our being deaf to Being. If Luther insists that salvation cannot be a transaction between God and man, Heidegger feels man can never predict, manipulate or calculate this Event.593 Referring to (das Ereignis) the Event happening, Heidegger says that when the unpredictable advent of the Inevitable occurs, our thinking becomes obedient to the voice of Being.594 Resemblances to the Lord coming like a thief in the night .. when least expected are overwhelming here. Predictably, Heidegger embellishes his postmonotheist analogue of Christs second coming with the richness we have come to expect. The Event (das Ereignis), the new arrival of Being is an advent, a happening, a gift, a salvation, a favor, a parousia and so on. If this happening is so marvelous, its normal that our thinking about it should be a sort of devotion. And so it is, in Heideggers manoeuvering the verbs for thinking. If Denken is thinking, Andenken is recalling ; it sounds like Andacht, meaning devotion, which Heidegger avoids but suggests by Andenkens resemblance to it. What are we to make of this devotion-like thinking ? Philipse suggests that it is easier to understand what it is not, i.e. by looking at Heideggers rejection of both scientific thinking (Wissenschaft) and belief (Glauben). Heidegger is untroubled about taking a part for the whole, that is reducing scientific thinking to counting or reckoning (Rechnen). Calculating is related to wearing down, dominating and, finally to wearing down and destroying the planet.595 (As we know, science and the resulting technology are seen as the final stages in Nietzsches will to power and Heidegger leaves no room for any positive aspects attaching to scientific endeavour, constantly stressing exploitation and destruction.)

Besinnung, (GA, 66), 13, p.46: Die Entscheidung gehrt in das Wesen des Seyns selbst und ist kein Gemchte des Menschen, weil dieser selbst jeweilen aus dieser Ent-scheidung und ihrer Versagung das Grund- Grndhafte oder das Betriebsame und Flchtige seines Wesens empfngt . 592 WiM, Nachwort, (1943), p.49 50: Das Opfer kann durch das Werken und Leisten im Seiende zwar vorbereitet und bedient, aber durch solches nie erfllt werden ; cf. also NII,p.367. 593 WiM, Nachwort, (1943), p.50: Das Opfer ist heimisch im Wesen Ereignisses, als welches das Sein den Menschen fr die Wahrheit des Seins in den Anspruch nimmt. Deshalb duldet das Opfer keine Berechnung Solches Verrechnen verunstaltet das Wesen des Opfers. 594 WiM, Nachwort, (1943), p.50: Das Denken, gehorsam de Stimme des Seins, such diesem das Wort, aus dem die Wahrheit des Seins zur Sprache kommt. Erst wenn die Sprache des geschicklichen Menschen aus dem Wort entspringt, ist sie im Lot. Steht sie aber im Lot, dann winkt ihr Denken die Gewhr der lautlosen Stimme verborgener Quellen ; cf. also NII,p. 29. 595 Der Ursprung des Kunstwerkes, HW, p. 36: Die Erde lt so jedes Eindringen in sie an ihr selbst zerschellen. Sie lt jede nur rechnerische Zudringlichkeit in eine Zerstrung umschlagen.



Ironically, Heidegger, echoing sentiments present in 19th century German romanticism, ends up agreeing with Pauls remark God made foolish the wisdom of the world Corinthians, 1:20 - mentioned earlier. But at the same time, Heidegger does not care to present faith (Glaube) in a good light. As we saw earlier, Heidegger was convinced that the believer is not apt for philosophy since he already has all the basic answers. (No intellectual space is left for the searching believer. He has no room for natural theology.) Returning to our main topic: Heideggers full-blown Lutheran inversion or Heideggers third and final position: he is convinced that Christian belief undermines Being because it fosters a being that is held up as representing Being. (Of course, it might be pointed out that Christian faith and metaphysics are not one and the same procedure, nor does monotheism preach that only God exists) Again, he feels both that onto-theology neglects his ontological difference and that philosophy ought to be silent about God.596 While common language philosophy was convinced that philosophy differed from both scientific thinking and faith, but was related to common sense (Gesunde menchenverstand), Heidegger would hardly agree. Having spoken of madness (in connection with St. Paul), Heidegger, like Hegel before him, judges philosophy as (etwas Verrchtes), something mad. Bringing us back around to folly and the religious dimension of our discussion, Heidegger feels that only a leap (Sprung) will bring us into the (Ortschaft des Denkens), the place of thinking.597 If Kierkegaard felt that the gap between the finite and the infinite necessitated a leap of faith into Christianity, and a leap moves us into Heideggers (Ortschaft des Denkens), the place of thinking, isnt it likely that believings relation to God will have its analogue in thinkings relation to Being? Heideggers descriptions of thinking confirm that it does. A predominant ambiance of piety comes through in the phraseology: thinking makes us belong to Being, questioning is the piety of Being, our very questioning makes us worthy of being related (Bezug) to Being, thinking makes us open to Being, etc. In point of fact, Heideggers theological analogues cover quite a range of theological attitudes: we are summoned to thinking by the highest, the most thinkworthy (das Bedenklichste), if our thinking hears the voice of Being and is obedient to it (horen, Gehorchen), it becomes transformed in itself (Wandlung Verwandlung), and thinking will turn into thanking (Danken).598 Like Luther waiting for

596 Philipse, op. cit. p. 197-198 ; cf. ID, p. 51: Wer die Theologie, sowohl diejenige des christlichen Glaubens als auch diejenige der Philosophie, aus gewachsener Herkunft erfahren hat, zieht es heute vor, im Bereich des Denkens von Gott zu schweigen. 597 WhD, p. 48: Wir versuchen das Denken zu lernen. Der Weg ist weit. Wir wagen nur wenige Schritte. Sie fhren, wenn es gut geht, in das Vorgebirge des Denkens. Aber sie fhren an Orte, die wir durchwandern mssen, um dorthin zu gelangen, wo nur der Sprung hilft. Er allein bringt uns in die Ortschaft des Denkens. ; Beitrge, 4, p. 11: Die Seinsfrage ist der Sprung in das Seyn, den der Mensch als Sucher des Seyns vollzieht, sofern er ein denkerisch Schaffender ist. 598 WiM, Nachwort, (1943), pp. 46-50 talk about the Voice, Sacrifice, thanking, etc: Die Zeit des Weltbildes, HW, p. 89: die Verwandlung des Menschen zu einer dem Sein selbst entspringen Notwendigkeit werden lt ; WhD, p. 93: Also gedenkend und somit als Gedchtnis denkt das Gemt sich Jenem zu, dem es gehrt. Es denkt sich als hrig, nicht im Sinne der bloen Unterwerfung, sondern hrig aus den hrenden Andacht ; p. 94 on thankingm SvGr, pp. 86-91, cf. p. 156: das denkende Hren erfahrt, wenn es recht geschieht, wohin wir immer schon, d. h. eigentlich ge-hren ; ID 22: Im


Gods grace, Being comes whenever it will and may require waiting, in openness and resignation. But, just like Jesus waiting at the door that only opens from the inside, Being itself is waiting too, Heidegger claims in good old Eckhartian style, because it needs us.599 In his Letter on Humanism, heretofore BH, Heidegger claims that Being waits until weve deemed it worthy of our thinking of it. That attention is our highest duty.600 (There are two aspects to thinkings being about Being: 1. Being makes for thinking, rather than conversely, and 2. thinking obeys Being.)601 But what about Daseins relationship to Being ? Commonplace notions characterizing Heideggers famed Kehre comes into play here. If, in SZ, Heidegger attempted to analyze Being via Daseins Seinsverstandnis, Heidegger II has moved on to a more Being oriented configuration. Instead of beginning with or from Dasein, it is mans relationship to Being that will establish and reveal mans essence (Wesen) to us. He has established a more Being-centric view. From an ethical point of view the result of this shift marks Heideggers break with humanism, which is supposed to have been typified in every age by doing metaphysics (an allegedly anthropocentric tendency) and, of course, the resultant abandonment by Being. (We recall that this was said to result because of an effort to view all beings in a way that was sent to that age by Being.) But that effort neglected Being itself and so prevented our thinking mans relation to Being. So man will only become the shepherd of Being again once he has resumed a relationship to Being wherein his essence is thought. Here Heidegger takes up the Eckhartian idea that man is only authentically human as standing openly before God, while substituting Being for God of course. As for morals, Heidegger implies that this overcoming of metaphysics does away with traditional morals in the same fell swoop. (It seems that in 1946 Jean Beaufret asked Heidegger if humanism couldnt be restored ? His answer was Heideggers BH, in which he advocates abandoning humanism for his postmonotheist theme, his own philosophy of Being. We can only speculate as to the relationship, if any, between this overcoming of ethics and Heideggers earlier personal involvement with National Socialism. As for Heideggers views on the natural sciences, his linking man to his version of Being seems to distance him from any naturalistic explanations. While Heidegger does not deny the interest lying in the natural sciences studying man, he assures us that the results will be peripheral. Heidegger comes to use the gerundive expression Wesung,
Menschen waltet ein Gehren zum Sein, welches Gehren auf das Sein hrt, weil es diesem bereignet ist. 599 HW, (1946) Der Spruch des Anaximander, p. 343: Wenn aber das Sein in seinem Wesen das Wesen der Menschen braucht ? (Heideggers italics) ; Die Kehre, TK, p. 38: insofern das Wesen des Seins das Menschenwesen braucht um als Sein nach dem eigenen Wesen inmitten des Seinden gewahrt zu bleiben und so als das Sein zu wesen (Heideggers italics) ; Beitrge, 133, p. 251: Das Seyn braucht den Menschen, damit es wese, und der Mensch gehrt dem Seyn, auf da er seine uerste Bestimmune als Da-sein vollbringe. 600 WhD, p. 93: Der erste Dienst besteht hier darin, da der Mensch das Sein des Seiende bedenkt, d.h. allererst in die Acht nimmt. 601 Brief ber den Humanismus in Wegmarken, pp. 147- 148: Das Denken , schlicht gesagt, ist das Denken des Seins. Der Genitiv sagt ein Zweifaches. Das Denken ist des Seins, insofern das Denken von Sein ereignet, dem Sein gehrt. Das Denken ist zugleich Denken des Seins, , insofern das Denken, dem Sein gehrend, auf das Sein hrt.


coming from Wesen as indicating the origin of something in and from Being (Wesung des Seyns).602 Unlike naturalistic explanations studying man in continuity with animal species, Heidegger, as does Christianity, points to a gulf between man and other animal species. (In Heideggers case this is because other animal species are never in the light of Being (Lichtung des Seins)). For Philipse, this constitutes yet another element analogous to Christianity in Heideggers postmonotheist leitmotif. By way of a conclusion to our look at Luther and in connection with the neoHegelian leitmotif, we might begin by taking a glance at Philipses comparison of Hegel and Heideggers respective attitudes to history:
According to Hegel, historical reality is a temporal realization of Absolute Logic, which is Hegels philosophical and historicized version of Gods mind. . History is progress, and progress culminates at the point where we see the divine nature of historical reality. We saw that Heidegger reverses Hegels optimism. Instead of viewing history as a progression toward an ultimate illumination, Heidegger construes metaphysical history as a regression from Truth, as an ever deeper Fall603

If we agree with Philipse as to Heideggers pessimism, the next question to ask is how his Lutheran inversion, i.e. postmonotheist leitmotif, fits into it. Was it, in fact, the reason for Heideggers pessimistic attitude towards the history of metaphysics, and especially towards onto-theology, or just its vehicle? If we examine the inversions central terms, we may conclude that it was deeply involved and not just a vehicle or literary device. Heideggers use of Luther permitted him to attack both Christianity and a scientific minded type of philosophy he plainly despised. Why? In Heidegger, we seem to have an odd combination typical of a defender of cultural conservatism married to a zeal for the destruction of both Christianity and scientific-minded types of philosophy, such as Scholasticism. (Heidegger seemed to feel that Christianity did not make men hard enough.) What might the destruction of both Christianity and Scholasticism have in store for us ? CHAPTER FOUR CONCLUSION In his biography: Martin Heidegger: Between Good and Evil,604 Rdiger Safranski points out that while it is commonly thought that Heidegger renounced his rectorate and close affiliations with the Nazi party in 1934 because he was disillusioned with people who were not good thinkers, the truth may be that he was himself jettisoned for espousing, in letters and elsewhere, a more romantically minded National Socialist revolution in Freiburg than what the powers that be had in mind at the moment.605 In
Beitrge, 165, p. 287: Das Wesen nicht mehr das sondern Wesung als das Geschehnis der Wahrheit des Seyns ; 166 ; 270, p. 484: Wesung heist das Weise, wie das Seyn selbst ist, nmlich das Seyn. 603 Philipse, op. cit., p. 217. 604 Safranski, Rdiger. Martin Heidegger: Between Good and Evil, translated by Ewald Osers, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Ma. 1998. 605 Ibid. P. 271: In his postwar justification Heidegger claimed that the ministry in Karlsruhe had demanded the dismissal of the deans Erik Wolf and Wilhelm von Mllendorf on political grounds, and that he had been unable to accept this, especially in the case of the Social Democrat Mllendorf, and had therefore resigned from his office. This version does not stand up in light of research by Hugo Ott and Victor Farias.


short, Heideggers rectoral goals were too revolutionary for the party at the time. (We know that in 1933 and in 1934 both his candidacies for a professorship at the U. of Berlin and for directorship of the National Socialist Dozentenakademie were squelched on the expert advice of a hard-line Nazi party psychologist, Jaensch, who thought Heidegger was a dangerous schizophrenic.606 In Safranski and Philipses views, this disillusionment ended up giving Heidegger the time and motivation to redouble his efforts at developing a German religion. (We remember that in the 1933 Nietzsche inspired Rectoral Address, Heidegger saw the break with the metaphysical tradition as the opportunity for a rebirth of the Greek birth of science and philosophy, coupled with a massive rejection of Christianity as rendering the new man of the new beginning unfit for philosophy.607 Did Heidegger see himself as the potential founder of a new German religion or was he advancing his purely academic, Luther-inverting, postmonotheist leitmotif, or both ? We dont know. And if there is one thing weve learned from metaphysicallyminded Aristotelian onto-theologians like Aquinas and others, it is that the object of science is natures, because the individual is, as such, inscrutable. Having studied Heidegger's Lutheran inversions and betrayals by the tradition in both Luther and Heidegger, let us change our perspective somewhat and in Chapter Five compare Heidegger's views on Aristotle and the subject of metaphysics with those of some of Heidegger's contemporaries (Natorp and Jaeger) as contrasted with the views of some contemporary medievalists (McInerny and Courtine).

Heidegger did not resign out of solidarity with a Social Democrat but because party policy, to his mind, was not revolutionary enough 606 Ibid. P. 271: In the background of Heideggers candidacy for the Berlin and Munich posts, there circulated an expert opinion by the psychologist Jaensch, a colleague from Heideggers time in Marburg. This described Heidegger as a dangerous schizophrenic whose writings were just psychopathological documents. Heideggers thinking was essentially Jewish in character, talmudist-rabbinic, and therefore admired by his Jewish followers. Heidegger had skillfully remolded his existential philosophy to the tendencies of National Socialism. A year later, when Heideggers name was considered for the directorship of the National Socialist Dozentenakademie,Jaensch drew up a second expert opinion. This warned of Heideggers schizophrenic babblings, banalities with an appearance of depth. (These critiques make up in color what they lack in balance.) 607 Philipse, op. cit, p. 269: If this interpretation is acceptable, there is no direct relationship between the ideal of authenticity in Sein und Zeit and Heideggers turn to Nietzsche ; The unbearable burden of authentic life can be relieved in two ways: by a leap of faith and by a totalitarian commitment. Only when the first solution seemed to be ruled out (Heidegger had hoped that Daseins necessarily atheistic stance before God would bring a sort of grace. According to Philipse, whatever Heidegger had hoped for failed to happen.) did Heidegger jump to the second. Nietzsches thesis of Gods death explained why the first solution was not available, and the metaphysics of the will to power paved the way to the second solution: Nazism. (In short, authenticity was to prove so unbearable that Dasein placed all its freedom in one cause, a national Dasein.) (parentheses mine).


CHAPTER FIVE: What is the subject of Metaphysics? 3 contemporary responses

CHAPTER FIVE INTRODUCTION In this first section, we attempt to trace a fil conducteur, a guiding thread linking two contemporary interpreters of Thomas to Heideggers various treatments of Aquinass texts. Concentrating in our sources and citations from McInerny and then Courtine608, and with the added help of Philipse from another philosophical tradition, we try to show that what the subject of metaphysics is plays a major, in fact a deciding, role in an assessment of Heideggers interpretation of Aristotle and medieval thought. In Courtines case, he is himself dealing directly with Heideggers text: whereas Ralph McInerny is dealing with Jaeger609 whose views on the scissors and paste nature of Aristotles Metaphyiscs coincide with much of Heideggers Aristotle critique. The simple fact we try to establish is that for both of these writers, McInerny and Courtine, ens commune is the subject genus of metaphysics, and not nous and that that factor is crucial. For if substance, ens inquantum ens , or ens commune be the subject genus of metaphysics rather than any one being or Vorhanden object, the accusation levelled at Aquinas, of practicing onto-theology, loses its pertinence. It will be seen, in turn, that this has ramifications for the respective Aristotle interpretations of any number of medieval authors. We follow Courtines analysis extensively but at a certain point change directions slightly, only to the extent that, whereas Courtine amply shows how and where Heidegger failed to grasp the gulf separating God and creatures for some medieval authors, a position we fully agree with, in his concluding remarks he states that for Albertus Magnus, as for Aquinas, God is the prinicipium scientiae of philosophical theology, and thereby anything but an tant, a Seiende or any particular being. However, Courtine feels that Albertus' doctrine took issue with Aristotle's E, 1. (1026a 21-22). The allegation is that 'nous' would be the subject matter of metaphysics for Aristotle, he having failed to realize... the golfe infranchissable. We tend rather to emphasize McInernys position: that Aquinas is showing us both in his Metaphysics Proeemium, and in the Metaphysics commentary itself, that Aristotle has obtained a subject for his metaphysics in having shown at the end of the Physics that substance can exist without matter. In fact, in Aquinass commentary we very often encounter pedagogical reasons as to why ens commune and not nous has to be the subject-

COURTINE, Jean-Franois, Heidegger et Thomas dAquin, Quaestio I, Yearbook of the History of Metaphysics, 1, Brepols, Turnhout, pp. 213 233 (2002). This text was first presented at the Colloquium: Heidegger et i medievali, Cassino, May, 2000. My page references are to the manuscript of that colloquium. 609 JAEGER, Werner, Aristotle. Fundamentals of the History of His Development, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1948.



matter of metaphysics and we hope finally to show that this is not in contradiction with Aristotle's text. The essential point is that ens commune consists of both substance that MUST be separate from matter and motion secundum rationem et secundum esse, like God and the intelligences and substance as it CAN be found separate from matter and motion secundum rationem et secundum esse, like being, one, act, and potency. Although the former classification, i.e., substance that MUST be separate from matter and motion' includes God, that does not mean that he is the subject of the science. We need to get out of the 'Venn diagram inclusion mindset'. To be subject of the science would mean being amenable to a 'Posterior Analytic type' demonstrative syllogism schema. This is quite subtle: though the science's subject is ens commune, all of it is said to deal with what is separate from matter and motion secundum rationem et secundum esse because this applies both to what NEVER exists in matter, like God and the intelligences, but also to what CAN exist without matter, like ens commune. Thus, the subtlety is that in drawing from the higher, might one say, ens commune is characterized by what it deals with that is most separate from matter.610 This is to say, (in summary fashion): if 'God as simple' were the subject matter of metaphysics, the demonstrative syllogism procedure described in the Posterior Analytics could not be employed, for a simple substance is either known or is not known - all at once. If material substance were the subject matter of the most general science, it would be physics. However, the scientific method of the Posterior Analytics used in studying material substance when be employed in studying ens inquantum ens, the scholastics ens commune, precludes God's being the subject for it would be ungraspable as simple. Hopefully, it will be seen that all of this aids our methods in analyzing McInerny and Courtine.


Cf. McInerny, Ralph, M., "The Science we are Seeking"*, in Review of Metaphyics, Vol 47, pp. 3 18, 1993, p. 8, #5.


SECTION I das Ubersinnlich, das Metaphysische ist ein Gebiet des Seiende unter anderen611 le supra-sensible, le mtaphysique est un domaine de ltant parmi dautres612 die Metaphysik rckt damit in gleiche Ebene mit anderen Erkenntnissen von Seiende in Wissenschaften oder praktisch-technischen Erkenntnissen, nur mit dem Unterschied, da dieses Seiende ein hhres ist. Es liegt ber..., jenseits..., trans..., was die lateinische Ubersetzung des meta ist.613 la mtaphysique recule au mme niveau que dautres connaissances de ltant dans les sciences ou dans des connaissances technico-pratiques, cette seule diffrence prs que ltant est un tant suprieur. Il se trouve au del de...., par del, trans..., ce qui est la traduction latine de meta.614 Das meta zeigt nicht mehr eine bestimmte Haltung des Denkens und Erkennens an, eine eigentliche Umwendung gegenber dem alltglichen Denken und Fragen, sondern ist nur das Zeichen fr den Ort und die Ordnung des Seiende, das hinter nd ber dem anderen Seiende leigt615 Le mta nindique plus une attitude dtermine de la pense et de la connaissance. Il nindique plus une tournure particulire par rapport la pense et linterrogation quotidienne. Il est seulement la marque du lieu et de lordre de ltant qui se trouve derrire et au-del de lautre tant616 By way of entry into our discussion of Heideggers views on St. Thomass Commentary on the Metaphysics of Aristotle, we have presented a few citations from J.-F. Courtine, Heidegger et Thomas dAquin.617 In an expos amply citing Die Grundbegriffe der Metaphysik , 1929-30 and Einfhrung in die Metaphysik, Courtine lays out what he grosso modo describes as being the summary, hasty and practically disdainful attitude Heidegger adopts towards Aquinas, especially in analyzing the Prooemium to Aquinass commentary on the Metaphysics of Aristotle and, more

HEIDEGGER, Martin, Die Grundbegriffe der Metaphysik - Welt - Endlichkeit - Einsamkeit, Gesamtausgabe, Band 29/30, V. Klostermann, Frankfurt am Main, 1983, pg. 66. 612 Les Concepts fondamentaux de la mtaphysique. Monde finitude solitude, tr. Daniel Panis, Paris, Gallimard, 1992, p. 75 ; J.-F. Courtine, op.cit. (manus)., p. 8. 613 Heidegger, op. cit., p. 66. 614 Panis translation, p. 75. 615 Heidegger, ibid.; cf. J.-F. Courtine, op.cit., p. 8. 616 Panis translation, pg. 75 ; J.-F. Courtine, op.cit., p. 8. 617 Courtine, op. cit.



generally speaking, that Heidegger extends towards medieval, scholastic authors... with a notable exception to that being Suarez. However, this is not the only immediate source of our interest in J.-F. Courtines analysis. In his examination of Heideggers Die Grundbegriffe der Metaphysik, his treatment of the divisio triplex618 introduces us to an even more central part of our analysis. The point here is that what Heidegger fails to pay attention to is the divisio triplex in the science that is variously called, theology, metaphysics or ontology/first philosophy, three ways of describing the science by reference to its object. (For example, involving the division between the ways in which substance can or cannot exist in matter and/or be separated from matter. (The hidden premise here being that the reason why ens commune is the subject-matter of metaphysics, and not some Aristotelian nous , is that the members of the divisio triplex correspond to the names given to one and the same science, i.e., metaphysics, theology or first philosophy, meaning by this that it is in passing from material substance to immaterial that we come to know that substance exists sine materia et motu ; these are the first substances, the most universal and the noblest. Hence the three names, metaphysics, first philosophy and (philosophical) theology (what we also call natural theology ). On a more general level and as background, let us mention that one of Courtine's basic complaints is that Heidegger either ignores or pretends to ignore the traditional doctrine of the praeambulae fidei. Briefly, this states that there are some truths which are known only by faith, such as the divinity of Christ, some that are known only by philosophy or science, like the nature of triangle, and still others that are knowable by faith and by reason ..for the initiated such as the existence of God and the immortality of the human soul. Thus, there are two theologies. One, natural theology deals with that knowable by faith and by reason and the other, also called 'sacra doctrina', deals with that knowable by faith alone. Courtine is implying that Heidegger is in bad faith because he pretends that that distinction doesn't exist. It is one thing thing for Heidegger to reject it but he should at least expose it as involved in the medieval doctrine he seemingly wants to explain. To guide us in this, besides J.-F. Courtines article, (cf. supra), we shall often turn to Ralph McInernys article: Ontology and Theology in Aristotles Metaphysics. As the subject matter will make clear we shall frequently have need of both. (Beginning by asking himself how one ought to situate Aquinass commmentary on Aristotles Metaphysics, given this past century of evolutionary theories proposing to explain variances and contradictions in Aristotles texts (especially Jaeger), McInerny underlines the surprise that may await a modern reader, upon discovering that Aquinas treats Aristotles text as a coherent whole.) Let us examine a few lines from McInerny:
What makes Jaegers interpretation of particular interest is his contention that Aristotle had two quite different and incompatible conceptions of the subject of First Philosophy, or metaphysics, and that nowhere in the Metaphysics as we have it was he able to fuse his two conceptions. The result is that metaphysics is not a science that

J.-F. Courtine, op.cit., p14.


Aristotle achieved; rather his treatises which bear that name testify to a noble attempt which nevertheless failed. Instead of a solution, the work presents us with a problem and Jaegers way of solving that problem is by dissolving it into the biography of Aristotle.619

In the simplest of terms, Jaeger was convinced that Aristotle was torn between a view of metaphysics as a study of the nous and another view regarding metaphysics as a study of substance. The former corresponded to an earlier, Plato-inspired theologically minded phase and the latter to an old, more down to earth Aristotle... Textual inconsistencies allegedly correspond to Aristotle's 'wanting to have it both ways'. Later in this section, we shall of course examine directly some of Heideggers texts dealing with what he considers to be the subject of metaphysics for Aristotle; in order to put this in conjunction with Courtine and McInernys analyses, we offer a brief description of Natorps, Jaegers and Heideggers views. This is done with a view toward situating Heidegger between or within two grand or major approaches to this question of whether nous or ens inquantum ens or the former as part of the latter be the subject of metaphysics for Aristotle. Philipse outlines two evolutionary views on the Metaphysics, e.g., Jaegers, Natorps and, subsequently, Heideggers:
There are many interpretative problems regarding Aristotles notion of first philosophy. Why, according to Aristotle, should there be something like first philosophy at all? Why is it concerned with being as such? How is a science or doctrine of being possible if, as Aristotle says, being is not a highest genus, whereas all scientific disciplines are defined by the highest genus of objects they are concerned with? Finally, how can first philosophy be both ontology and theology? . In Aristotle-scholarship, Paul Natorp raised the problem of the ontotheological unity of Aristotles thought in 1888. According to Natorp, whom Heidegger got to know well during his years in Marburg (1923-28), the ontological and theological characterizations of first philosophy contradict each other, and he tried to eliminate the latter, interpreting them as later interpolations. Werner Jaeger agreed with Natorp about the contradiction, but he argued in 1923 that the theological definition of first philosophy reflects an early stage in Aristotles development that was overcome later.Heidegger was right, I think, to apply the principle of charity and to reject the hypothesis that there is a contradiction in Aristotle on this point. However, Heidegger did not go far enough in applying the principle of charity. According to the lectures of 1926 on the fundamental concepts of ancient philosophy, the ontological and theological determinations of first philosophy with objective necessity belong to a problem that Aristotle did not manage to solve and did not even formulate as such, to wit: the problem of being, or more precisely, the problem of the ontological difference between being and beings. It would be more charitable to assume that the determinations fit into Aristotles doctrine of being and that an interpretation of this doctrine should attempt to show why this is the case620

In other words, concentrating on the 'evolutionary' issue, the relationship between Aristotles earlier and later phases can be delineated thusly according to various scholars: Aquinas: the same doctrine throughout. McInerny obviously subscribes to this. Paul Natorp: Whereas the early Aristotle was concerned with natural philosophy, in accord with metaphysics as ontology, passages on the supra-sensible were later addenda.

McInerny, Ralph, "Ontology and Theology in Aristotles Metaphysics" , pp. 233-240 in Mlanges De Koninck, Presses U. Laval, 1968, p. 234. 620 Ibid. pp. 83-4. We note in passing that the sixty-eight year old Paul Natorp's retirement, himself replaced by Nicholai Hartmann, eventually paved the way for Heidegger at Marburg


Werner Jaeger: the supposed tendency is just the opposite of Natorp's schema. Whereas the early Aristotle was still strongly influenced by the Platonic school, a later Aristotle became increasingly preoccupied with natural philosophy. Accordingly, metaphysics as ontology, passages on the supra-sensible were seen by him as embodying contradictions with other parts. (Our target text), Metaphysics E, I represents a failed attempt to remedy this. Martin Heidegger: Not so much an evolutionary view, but one that sees Aristotles corpus as fraught with ongoing conflicts. As Philipse puts it, Heidegger uses Aristotle to criticize Aristotle. On the one hand, Aristotle is too theoretical and fails to ground metaphysics in the existential struggle of Dasein (witness the Natorp paper period, 1920-22). On the other hand, Aristotles fundamental terminology is allegedly too rooted in the practical and has its origin in a practical mode of production by Dasein, i.e. herstellen. (In any case, and this is what is important for our investigation, Heidegger repeatedly asserts that nous or super-sensible being is the subject matter of metaphysics...for Aristotle). Albertus Magnus and J.-F. Courtine: There is an element of irony here inasmuch as it is our contention, based on our exegesis of his conclusion, that J.-F. Courtine shifts his attitude somewhat vis--vis Aquinas. Whereas, ens inquantum ens was said to be the unifying subject-genus of the discipline when he was analyzing the Prooemium to St. Thomass commentary on Aristotles Metaphysics, he later uses citations from Albert, alleging that Aquinas agreed with his master, and pointing out Aristotle's allegedly having failed to establish what he terms the 'unbridgeable gulf' between beings and their cause, Deus, i.e., failing to distance Deus from the subject-genus. With this glimpse at various interpretations in mind, let us return to McInernys discussion of Werner Jaegers evolutionary interpretation:
It will be appreciated that Jaegers interpretation, if valid, would put such efforts as that of St. Thomas in his commentary on Aristotles Metaphysics in an absurd light. Aquinas seems to encounter little or no difficulty in rethinking the first twelve books of the Metaphysics, at least no difficulty that would lead him to doubt the fundamental unity of the work. And since what unifies a work which would develop science is the subject of the science, it must be said that Aquinas finds no lasting ambiguity in the subject of metaphysics. We could of course say that Aquinas ignored the difficulties Jaeger underscores and in an irenic, independent and creative way uses the text of Aristotle to develop a conception of metaphysics that is not unequivocally in the text. This would not be consonant with the latter day view that Aquinas merely explicates Aristotle in the commentary and gives us nothing of his own thought. Nevertheless, it would be a way out of an embarrassment.621 (Italics mine).

(There is an element of irony in McInernys remark here to the effect that it is inconsistent to say both that Aquinass commentary on Aristotles Metaphysics merely explicates Aristotle and does not expose Aquinass own views and that Aquinass is an original, ersatz, reworking of the text, ie. making it say what it does not say for the sake of theological and/or social digestibility. Of course, McInernys comments refer to contemporary exegetical disputes. In a word, he is saying that one cannot have ones cake and eat it, i.e., one cannot say both that Aquinass own Christian-faith-influenced

McInerny, op. cit., p. 234.


views on metaphysics inherently colored his commentary and, yet, that the resulting commentary represented an Aristotle he did not have much of a stake in after all! Via a subtle suggestion, McInerny points out that it would be senseless for Aquinas to fabricate a 'consistent' Aristotle, running headlong and roughshod over the inconsistencies and ignoring the types of difficulties Jaeger raises, if he himself did not agree with Aristotle's conclusions! Yet, oddly enough that is a popularly held view today ! McInerny will attempt to show that based on passages Jaeger regards as crucial, his interpretation is implausible. The central text is Metaphysics E, I. His main thesis is quite straightforward. McInerny attempts:
to show that Jaegers view when considered in the light of passages he regards as crucial does not even have a prima facie plausibility. On the other hand, prima facie., there is everything to commend the approach Aquinas took. Both points, which are but two sides of the same coin, will be made by reading Aristotle ex Aristotele.622

As mentioned earlier, Jaegers basic contention is that Aristotles metaphysics is disunited. What this means basically is that Jaeger feels that Aristotle passed through an initial period during which he was extensively influenced by Platos theory of ideas (not unsurprisingly at first glance). The basic upshot of that was that he held that there existed a realm of transcendental realities. McInerny traces Jaegers position and then excludes it:
Ever since Plato created the Ideas it had been absolutely the problem of philosophy. In formulating the task of metaphysics as he does, therefore, Aristotle starts directly from Platos fundamental question. He expresses it, in fact, precisely as a Platonist would: the transcendental realities that we believe to exist in separation from sensible phenomena, such as the Ideas and the objects of mathematicsdo they truly exist? And if not, can we posit, over and above sensible things, any other kind of supersensible reality? About the sensible world (aisthete ousia) he says nothing whatever.623

Here McInerny narrows down Jaegers option as to the subject of metaphysics for Aristotle. Answer: it is a genus, and the genus of supersensible realities, i.e. those existing separately from matter and motion. This will be key in McInerny's analysis of whether the subject of metaphysics be: 1. Ens in quantum ens, meaning by this substance as it must exist separately from matter and motion secundum rationem et secundum esse OR ELSE 2. Ens commune, is the subject of the science. Firstly, that some substance is immaterial is shown in Physics 8 The whole is said to be concerned with what is separate from matter and motion secundum rationem et secundum esse, because this applies to both what never exists in matter (like God and the intelligences), but also to things that can exist without matter (act, potency, the one, etc.). So being, ens commune, defined secundum rationem et secundum esse applies to both: 'what must and what can, etc. (We shall shortly have the occasion to see how this distinction between the above two options compares with St. Thomass remarks in citations from his commentary.)
622 623

Ibid p. 235. Cf. Jaeger, op. cit., p. 195.


McInerny continues his analysis of Jaegers position:

In his discussion of E.I (pp. 215-218), Jaeger makes abundantly clear what his Platonic Aristotles conception of metaphysics would be. Every science is concerned with a genus of being; there is a genus of beings which exist separately from matter and motion; that is the genus with which metaphysics is concerned. A later Aristotle, having grown disinterested in such supersensible entities, having turned his attention toward sensible substance, would make metaphysics the general science of being without thereby arguing that there is another genus of beings apart from those studied in the particular sciences. E, I contains Aristotles unsuccessful attempt to put these two conceptions together.624

There is a certain element of irony in what follows insofar as it might seem that McInerny is going to tell us that immaterial substance is the subject-genus of metaphysics ... since Aristotle is said to have discovered and to be concerned to preserve supersensible entities as the subject of a science. However, it is just the denial that immaterial substance, exclusively, can be the subject-genus of metaphysics... that rules out Jaegers interpretation.
Jaegers interpretation and the contradiction between the two possible conceptions of the subject of metaphysics which Aristotle was unable to reduce to unity involves the assumption that at some time in his career, a time presumably which does not antedate the writing of the Analytics, (Here McInerny is insisting that the Posterior Analytics model of scientific demonstration is already at work here in Metaphysics Beta. Jaeger would perhaps not so insist.) Aristotle held that supersensible substance, separated being, could be the subject (genus subiectum; to genos to hypokeimenon) of a science. If that assumption lacks plausibility, if it is explicitly excluded by Aristotle, then we can fairly conclude that there is a strong case against taking Jaegers interpretation seriously.625 (Underlining mine)

We shall try to express this clearly. First of all, Aristotle never says that separated substances or a deity are the subjects of the science. In fact, McInerny is saying that if Aristotle was aware of his own Posterior Analytics doctrine, he could never, would never say that the subject of metaphysics is a deity or the deities, for they are simple substances and the subject of a science must be complex. Why? Because, as to what is simple, you either know it or you dont. And science moves from what you know to what you don't know in asking for the middle term of a demonstrative syllogism. On this point we cite St. Thomas's Metaphysics commentary on Aristotle's 7, 17:
(1669) "it is evident that there is no inquiry about simple substances, which are not composed of matter and form. For, as has been stated, in every inquiry there must be something which is known and some investigation about something which we do not know. Now such substances are either totally known or totally unknownhence there is no inquiry about them. (1670.) And for this reason there also cannot be any teaching concerning them, as there is for the speculative sciences. For teaching produces science and science arises in us by our knowledge of why a thing is; for the middle term of a demonstrative syllogism, which causes science, is why a thing is so. (1671.) But lest the study of such (simple) substances should seem foreign to the philosophy of nature, he therefore adds that the method of investigating such things is different; for we come to an understanding of these substances only from sensible substances, of which these simple substances are, in a measure, the cause."626 (Parenthesis mine)

624 625

McInerny, op cit., p. 236. Ibid. 626 Thomas Aquinas, Commentary on Aristotle's Metaphysics, trans. J.P. Rowan, Dumb Ox Books, South Bend. USA, 1995, p. 550.


There is a certain irony however. Natural sciences treat complex substances, e.g., those with essences and existences, and at its end discovers the unmoved mover, i.e., an instance of intellect, ergo, some substance exists without matter. Yet simple or intellectual substance is not the subject of physics (or metaphysics either!) and for the same reason. In fact, this same limitation is at work when the philosopher finally turns his attention to the divine. How can such a first cause of substances be studied? Since the unmoved mover is known to exist via moved movers, i.e., his effects, all science of it must be through those effects. In characterizing the effects as universally as one can one strives toward a language of science of both material and immaterial substance that is freed of the characteristics of descriptions of material substance. That subject is ens inquantum ens. The subject of metaphysics is, proportionately, being in its fullness, with a view to attaining science of a cause of being that is correspondingly unlimited. Turning our attention once again to McInernys views on Jaeger:
First, with respect to Book Beta, which in Jaegers view is early and Platonic, there can be no doubt that the structure of science as we are familiar with it from the Posterior Analytics is very much in Aristotles mind. In speaking of whether or not this science should study the axioms, for example, he points out that any science studies a subject matter whose properties it attempts to demonstrate by having recourse to axioms (Meta., 996 b26-997a 15) Earlier, in speaking of metaphysics, Aristotle calls it the science of the causes. ... many have spoken as if the first causes could be the concern of this science, or any human science, in the sense of its genus subjectum. Could Aristotle himself have seriously entertained such a possibility?627 (Underlining mine)

McInernys answer is obviously no. (Whereas the obvious import of the problem is that Aristotle is of course not about to envisage causes of the first causes as the subject of any science, we shall come to see that the question of how the separated substances are the principii subiecti of philosophical theology or metaphysics, plays a key role in what may turn out to be at least a slight divergence between McInernys and J.-F. Courtines interpretations.)
It has already been pointed out that Jaeger sees in E, I, the clearest indication of Aristotles failure to establish any unity in the various concerns of the First Philosophy ; that is Aristotle has no one view as to the subject of the science. For Physics deals with things which exist separately but are not immovable, and some parts of mathematics; while the first science deals with things which both exist separately and are immovable. (1026a 12-15).628 Aristotle here seems to be assigning as the subject of metaphysics those substances which exist separately from matter and motion. Such entities are divine if anything is and the science of them is called theology. (Here McInerny is playing the devils advocate by seeming to suggest that these substances ALONE might form the sciences subject.) Aristotle then poses Jaegers question. For one might raise the question whether first philosophy is universal, or deals with one genus, i.e. some one kind of being... Not only does Aristotle pose the question, he goes on to answer it. We answer that if there is no substance other than those which are formed by nature, natural science will be the first science; but if there is an immovable substance, the science of this must be prior and must be first philosophy, and universal in this way, because it is first. And it will belong to this to consider being qua beingboth what it is and those attributes which belong to it qua being. (1026a 27-33.) (Parenthesis and Underlining mine)629 McInerny, op cit., p. 236. Authors note: a variant reading of 1026a 12, accompanying the English of St. Thomass commentary has it: For the philosophy of nature deals with things which are inseparable from matter but not immobile. Nota bene: these 2 variant readings depend on whether one read koristos or akoristos, i.e., separable or inseparable. 629 McInerny, op cit., p. 236-7.
628 627

McInerny continues:


McInerny asks himself what Jaeger makes of this passage?

Aristotle has been talking of a special kind of being (on ti kai genos ti), namely unmoved and transcendent being. He wants to make the study of this kind of being the task of a science other than mathematics or physics. But this is to make metaphysics but another special science.630

And Jaegers reaction to this:

But now this determination of the nature of metaphysics purely by means of its subject-matter, namely unmoved and transcendent being, makes it one special science among others.631

What is going on here is not all that mysterious. Jaegers reaction is quite understandable. Aristotle has said that IF there is an immaterial being the science of being will be more inclusive to make room for it, and that the cause of developing this more inclusive science will be (in fact is for him) that immaterial being or beingsare shown to exist by proof. Jaeger concludes that the cause of the more inclusive science is its subject, and not extended to both material and immaterial being. An approximation of his modern, normal thought process might read something like this: now that weve learned about B, well go on to A, (instead of supposing a more inclusive science having both A and B as its subject-matter). Again, this is not surprising but turns out to have rather weighty consequences if they are applied to certain problems, e.g., as regards Heideggers and J.-F. Courtines respective views on Aristotle and Aquinas. McInerny remarks on Jaegers reaction:
If metaphysics has for its subject-matter a special kind of being, how can it be the science of being as being, a general science distinguished from the particular sciences because the latter study only one type of being? The question and answer (....) quoted earlier is described by Jaeger as a later note, added when Aristotle saw the contradiction he was in. In a note that obviously breaks the train of thought, and must therefore be a later addition, he makes the following remarks632 Jaeger takes Aristotle's answer to mean that the first science is universal because it deals with the first object.633

Here McInerny concentrates his attack on what he sees as Jaegers combined, chronological and systematic arguments. In short, the chronological argument (i.e., that there is an early, Platonic Aristotle, interested in a science of supersensible entities and a later, more down-to-earth and scientifically-minded Aristotle, interested in a science of ontology concentrating on sensible entities) only arises once one makes the exegetical (or systematic) mistake of seeing metaphysics qua ontology and metaphysics qua theology as two, complementary sciences. McInerny continues, recapitulating:
Jaeger takes Aristotles answer to mean that the first science is universal because it deals with the first object and he (Jaeger) continues to suggest that it makes sense to speak of the divine as if it could be the subject of an Aristotelian science. One can only marvel at the self-assured clairvoyance which enables Jaeger to identify the passage as a later note. The final sentence of Aristotles resolution of the problem does not detain Jaeger and of course in that sentence Aristotle speaks in a recognizable way of the subject of the science, namely being as being, whose per se attributes will be sought in the science of metaphysics. .634 (Italics mine)

630 631

Ibid., p. 237. Jaeger, op. cit., p. 217. 632 Jaeger, Ibid. 633 McInerny, op cit., p. 237. 634 Ibid.


Before considering what arguments McInerny might muster against Jaegers view, let us for a moment summarize it in two points: 1. Jaeger feels that Aristotles remark that if there is an immovable substance, the science of this must be prior and must be first philosophy (1026a 30) is a later addendum, neccessitated by his desire to unify two visions of metaphysics. 2. That other science is a particular science having as its subject-matter the divine. (The obvious result is that the feasibility of a science having the divine as it subject has to be assessed. One hint might be that if science seeks causes, then the causes of the divine must be sought in this science. A related notion comes to to the fore in connection with Suarez in J.-F. Courtines interpretation.) Considering Jaegers view, McInerny asks whether a science can have the divine as it subject:
What obvious checks to the hypothesis advanced by Jaeger are to be found in Aristotle? Can we find, for example, a clear statement that separate substance, God, could not be the subject of science in the strict sense called for?635

We must keep in mind that a separatio is involved in our knowing that not all that is is material. The separatio is, in fact, simply the result of the 'unmoved mover' demonstration of Physics 8. So to be substance is not necessarily to be material. So ens commune must be the subject of the new, more inclusive science. But the subject of the science is the genus whose causes we seek, and not the causes themselves. And while ens commune is the science's subject, it is said of all of those substances that always exist without matter and those that can exist without matter. This 'amassing' of it subject matter might be called metaphysics proceeding horizontally. But it proceeds vertically too. It seeks the cause of its subject. And universal being, ens qua ens, will have a proportionately universal efficient and final cause and in that sense God and immaterial, separated substances may be considered to be the ultimate principles of the subject of the science Relatedly, McInerny reminds us:
A first and very general impediment to the (Jaeger's) hypothesis is found in the fact that scientific knowledge is knowledge of something in its causes; if then there are first causes, they cannot enter into any science as its subject since this would suggest there are causes of first causes.636

We shall see that this involves the nature of the subject of metaphysics in the view of St. Thomas... and, of course, in the views of Heidegger and J.-F. Courtine as well. The extent to which Deus enters into metaphysics as its goal or as the PRINCIPLE OF ITS SUBJECT, thus affecting the distance of God or Deus from other beings, will be at the crux of Heideggers critique of Medieval onto-theology, J.-F. Courtines critique of that Heideggerian critique and, finally, the positions J.-F. Courtine finally adopts (cf. pp 21-23) vis--vis Aristotle, Aquinas, Albert and Suarez. Referring to their being no science comprising causes of first causes, McInerny moves the discussion into a phase with two basic features:
635 636

Ibid., p. 238. Ibid.


1. There is no investigation concerning simple entities; based on the Posterior Analytics model of scientific method, science as the middle term of a demonstrative syllogism is only possible when one knows something and does not know something else; this is impossible with simple entities. 2. Since there is no investigation concerning simple entities using the scientific method of the Posterior Analytics, science or knowledge of them is only possible via a posteriori proofs demonstrating their existence, proofs moving from the material to the immaterial (what he will called the vertical procedure). In McInernys view, St. Thomas supplies us with an example of such a proof, referring to this proof as accomplished in Physics VIII, 4, comm. Lectio, #593637There is an element of irony in this procedure in that while:
simple substances cannot be the subject of a science in Aristotles strict sense of science. Nevertheless, it belongs to first philosophy or metaphysics to treat of divine being and thereby to be a theology. It must do so with reference to its subject matter which is being as being. The model of propter quid demonstration is saved in metaphysics insofar as the metaphysician asks after commensurately universal properties of being as being; insofar as he asks what belongs to substance as such, i.e., not as material substance but insofar as it is substance; insofar as he asks what pertains to accident as such and not insofar as it is material, etc., etc.638

This is what is central in McInernys analysis. There are two basic points: 1. That the famous problem of finding the unity of the subject-genus of metaphysics is resolved: commensurately universal properties of being as being, but the procedure will turn out to be one of a posteriori proofs, moving from material to immaterial substance. This is what INITIALLY provides a subject-matter for metaphysics. (We note that the author takes this to be a commonplace, and thinks that it is so for St. Thomas too, yet it is neglected or denied by most contemporary Thomists and almost all Aristotle scholars.) Here again McInerny describes what he will call (infra) metaphysics horizontal procedure:
Proceeding horizontally, so to speak, this science will seek knowledge of what belongs per se to being after the fashion of properties of its subject.639

We do not have to rely on such a generality, however ; Aristotle tells us quite explicitly that any explanation is of something complex and that without complexity no scientific question can be asked. It is evident therefore that there is no investigation or instruction concerning simple entities; but there must be some other way of dealing with them. cf (Meta, Z, c.17, B1041, b 9-11; Comm. in VII Meta, lect. 17, n. 1669-1671.) Infert quoddam corollarium ex dictis; dicens, quod ex quo in omnibus questionibus quaeritur aliquid de aliquo, sicut de materiae causa, quae est formalis vel causa formae in materia, ut finis et agens: palam est, quod in substantiis simplicibus, quae non sunt compositiae ex materia et forma, non est aliqua quaestio. In omni enim quaestione, ut habitum est, oportet aliquid esse notum, et aliquid quaeri quod ignoramus. Tales autem substantiae vel totum cognoscuntur, vel totae ignorantur, un in nono infra dicetur. Unde non est in eis quaestio. (1670) Et propter hoc de eis etiam non potest esse doctrina, sicut est in scientiis speculativis. Nam doctrina est generatio scientiae ; scientia autem fit in nobis per hoc quod scimus propter quid. Syllogismi enim demonstravi facientis scire, medium est propter qui est. Sed non videatur consideratio talium substantiarum omnino aliena esse a physica doctrina, ideo subjungit, quod alter est modus quaestionis talium. In cognitione enim harum substantiarum non pervenimus nisi ex substantiis sensibilibus ut notis, et per eas quaerimus substantias simplices... Ed ideo in doctrinis et quaestionibus de talibus, utimur effectibus quasi medio ad investigandum substantias simplices, quarum quidditates ignoramus. 638 McInerny, op cit., p. 238. 639 Ibid., p. 240.



In other words, the metaphysician can proceed taking ens commune as a subjectgenus (and not Deus or Nous as Jaeger, Natorp and Heidegger would have it), insofar as he asks what belongs to substance as such, i.e., not as material substance but insofar as it is substance ; insofar as he asks what pertains to accident as such and not insofar as it is material, etc. Proceeding vertically, so to speak knowledge of God can be had in metaphysics only through his commensurately universal effect, namely being as being. Thus, metaphysics can be theology insofar as its subject is common being, being qua being.640 As was mentioned, there is a certain irony here inasmuch as he is paraphrasing, saying something like this: ens commune allows knowledge of God insofar as it is its universal cause, (but, in concreto, in Physics VIII, the unmoved movers existence is demonstrated by an analysis of any given two moved movers.) In other words, metaphysics proceeds horizontally by its subject genus ens commune, but this subject genus is only shown to exist, necessitating a more inclusive procedure than Physics provides, via a vertical procedure. McInerny concludes his exegesis with a categorical rejection of the supposed 'one or the other but not both choice' between nous or ontology as the subject genus for metaphysics:
The options Jaeger sees Aristotle vacillating between simply do not exist for Aristotle.641

Next, leading us into an analysis of St.Thomass commentaries on the relevant passages, McInerny recalls that it is Jaeger himself who .
presents his problem against the background of the Aristotelian doctrine on the division of theoretical philosophy into three kinds, a doctrine sketched in E, I. This doctrine leads inexorably, according to Jaeger, to the conclusion that first philosophy is concerned with separate or divine substance as with its subject genus. That is it is concerned with a particular kind of being and cannot be at the same time a universal science of being as being.642

The view alluded to here is one shared by many modern Aristotelian scholars. Admittedly, seemingly, the only way out of it is that sketched by St. Thomass commentary. Let us unpack these two options somewhat:
The latter (universal science of being as being) would have another subject genus distinct from the formers (i.e., first philosophy, concerned with separate or divine substance); that is (Jaegers) Aristotle is faced with a choice between theology and ontology.643 (Italicized text mine)

The final section of our examination of McInernys analysis deals primarily with three or four key texts from Aquinass Aristotle commentaries, with the exception of a first one from his exposition of the De trinitate of Boethius. The main points involve showing: 1. That there are two ways in which substance can be separated from matter and motion (Boethii De Trinitate, ed. Bruno Decker, Q. 5, art. 4.); 2. that if there were no substantia immobilis Physics would be first philosophy (in IV Metaphysic ., lect. I, n. 1170) and (in VII Metaphysicam, lect. 17, n. 1660).
640 641

Ibid., p. 238. Ibid. 642 Ibid. 643 Ibid.


3. not only substance that MUST be separate from matter and motion is the subject genus of metaphysics, but also substance that CAN be separated from matter and motion. Thus ens commune, is the subject genus of the science of metaphysics. The whole is said to be concerned with what is separate from matter and motion secundum rationem et secundum esse, because this applies to both what never exists in matter (God and the intelligences), but also to things that can exist without matter (as shown in Physics 8), like ens commune. So being defined secundum rationem et secundum esse applies to both (Our procedure is somewhat meticulous, yet perhaps excusable insofar as these texts are a common source of exegetical conflict.) The Boethius exposition text is used here as an occasion to zero in on a 'third sort' of abstraction from matter which is separatio, and then to distinguish the two operations. As McInerny points out:
Aquinas shows why removal from matter and motion is an essential requisite of science: the mental faculty is immaterial and science is of the necessary and unchanging. Consequently, insofar as there are formally different ways in which objects of science are separated from matter and motion there are formally distinct theoretical sciences. There are three such kinds of separation or abstraction.644

1. In natural philosophy, the mind abstracts from singular sensible matter although the definitions of this science include common sensible matter. 2. The objects of mathematics: defined without sensible matter; there is no commitment that they exist in the way they are considered. 3. Metaphysics excludes all matter from its definitions and is founded on the certainty that some immaterial and immobile thing or things exist. If not every being is material, then materiality cannot pertain to being as such. (This will turn out to be pivotal.) Being which CAN exist immaterially AND being which MUST exist immaterially are the subjects; they comprise ens commune. Why is this so central? We shall see that if one takes the position that theologia (1) philosophica busies itself exclusively or almost exclusively with being which CAN exist immaterially TO THE DETRIMENT OR NEGLECT of being which MUST exist immaterially, leaving the latter to that theologia (2) sacrae doctrinae, then one is in line to say that metaphysics, i.e., that theologia (1), in only pointing to the principium subiecti of its science, has little to do with being which MUST exist immaterially, which, however, Physics VIII, shows to be the raison dtre of the science of metaphysics in the first place.) Some things that exist are material and some are immaterial. The reference is Aquinass to the proof in Physics VIII. We cite a few phrases:


Ibid., p. 239.


645 (parenthesis mine)

And McInerny concludes from this that a general science of being, a study of what belongs per se to being, cannot therefore be the study of sensible being as such or of immaterial being as such. Rather, it will be concerned with the communia entis. In other words BOTH are involved. This is fairly straightforward. However, what follows is not. As mentioned, we shall see that determining exactly what St. Thomas means by principia communia, will prove telling in J.-F. Courtines conclusions in his analysis of Heidegger and Suarez, McInerny summarizes the same message from another source: That is why St. Thomas. distinguishes between the things which sometimes exist in matter and sometimes do not, on the one hand, and, on the other, things which never exist in matter Looking at the relevant section of the Exposito super Boethii De Trin:

Comm. in IV Meta, Lectio #593. Sancti Thomae de Aquino, Expositio super Librum Boethii De Trinitate, (ed. Bruno Decker, Leiden, Brill, 1959). Q. 5, art. 4. Utraquae (theologia) autem est de his quae sunt separata a materia et motu secundum esse, sed diversimode, secundum quod duplicitur potest esse aliquid a materia et motu separatum secundum esse. Uno modo sic, quod de ratione ipsius rei, quae separatus dicitur, sit quod nullo modo in materia et motu esse possit, sicut deus et angeli dicuntur a materia et motu separati. Alio modo sic, quod non sit de ratione eius quod sit in materia et motu, sed possit esse sine materia et motu, quamvis quandoque inveniatur in materia et motu. Et sic ens et substantia et potentia et actus sunt separata a materia et motu, quia secundum esse a materia et motu non dependent, sicut mathematica dependebant, quae nunquam nisi in materia esse possunt, quamvis sine materia sensibili possint intelligibili. Theologia ergo philosophica determinat de separatis secundo modo sicut subjectism de separatis autem primo modo sicut de principiis subjecti. Theologia vero sacrae scripturae tractat de separatis primo modo sicut subjectis, quamvis in ea tractentur aliqua quae sunt in materiae et motu, secundum quod requirit rerum divinarum manifestatio...



McInerny summarizes this: examples of the former (uno modo) are God and the angels; examples of the latter (alio modo) are being, substance, act, potency, one, etc. The subject of metaphysics is said to be ens commune and what pertains to it per se and yet the science is fittingly called theology because the chief thing it seeks to know is God. This last sentence is telling. Why is God the chief thing it seeks to know, especially if God is merely the principium subjecti? Courtine's analysis of Albertus Magnus's text seems to allude to Albert's seeing a lack of distancing or lack of awareness of an 'unbridgeable gulf' between God and creatures in Aristotle's Metaphysics, E, 1. That is, that in not there distinguishing between 'God and the intelligences' Aristotle would not pay justice to that certain 'unbridgeable gulf' Albert and Aquinas were aware of. The next text we wish to consider is from St. Thomass commentary on Meta, E, I: in IV Metaphysic., lect. I, n. 1170:

This obviously parallels in octo Physicorum, #593. As well as saying that if all were material, Physics would be first philosophy, there is however the affirmation of what might be considered key from the viewpoint of our argument: eadem est scientia primi entis et entis communis. Since any immobile substance is prior to natural substance, its science and the science of being qua being will be the same. In concluding, McInerny continues to stress that the path of wisdom, as a search for causes (and universal causes by the universal science) is one leading from a knowledge of material substance to some immaterial cause of it. Metaphysics exists insofar as the need for a science with a more inclusive subject-matter has resulted from a demonstration in Physics 8, and, furthermore that this typifies and recapitulates the order of human knowledge, moving from the material to immaterial, from the more to the less known. In a horizontal procedure, a new subject comes to exist, comprising, with material substance, some immaterial cause of it. Not that such a cause is included as a genus but is pointed to as cause of the subject-matter. McInerny:
Since philosophy is the study of wisdom and wisdom is the knowledge of all things in their ultimate causes, philosophy is aimed from the beginning at what whatever knowledge can be attained of God. However, given the debility of our knowing faculty, the ultimate object of human knowledge can never be the subject of a human science. In the study of natural things, we are compelled to appeal to causes which are not themselves natural and we come thereby to see that not everything which is is material. This serves as the basis for seeking yet another science which


in IV Metaphysic., lect. I, n. 1170.


will have as its subject, not being of a particular kind, but being as such. Proceeding horizontally, so to speak, this science will seek knowledge of what belongs per se to being after the fashion of properties of its subject.648

This horizontality mirrors the image of Aristotelian metaphysics qua ontology. What is particular to McInerny and, in his view St. Thomas and Aristotle for that matter, is what he describes as metaphysicss vertical procedure, vertical for it seeks the cause of all:
In what may be described as a vertical procedure, it will seek the cause of its subject, the efficient and, preeminently, the final cause of whatever is, of being as being. The success of that effort puts one in possession of sapiential knowledge par excellence. Thus, in order to be a theology, metaphysics must have as its subject being as being. Once more, in the Proemium to his commentary to the Metaphysics , it is St. Thomas who summarizes in magisterial fashion the doctrine concerning the unity of metaphysics and that summary makes it abundantly clear that, for one who understands Aristotle, Jaegers contradiction could never be seriously entertained. ibid. p. 240

This Proemium text is important for it indubitably states the subject of metaphysics as being not only those things which can never exist in matter, which are said to be separate from matter in their intelligible constitution and in being, such as God and the intelligible substances, but also those things which can exist without matter, such as ens commune.
649(parenthesis and underlining mine).

This is quite subtle. Ens commune is at once wider and less demanding as a logical qualifier; it is being that can but need not exist without matter, and more inclusive, as including both being that can and being that must exist without matter. This will prove to be a crucial interpretation point in our upcoming discussion of J.-F. Courtines examination of Heideggers treatment of St. Thomas Prooemium and other of Aquinas's texts.

648 649

Ibid., p. 240.

Cf. Metaphysicorum Aristotelis Expositio, Prooemium, M.-R.Cathala et R.M. Spiazzi (ed.), Turin, Marietti, 1964, p. 2.


SECTION II: (Analysis of Hermann Philipses source material) Before analysing J.-F. Courtines article and in order to add another contemporary, non-thomist perspective as well as another interpretation of Aristotles teaching on the subject of metaphysics, let us look at Philipse650 on this. As we recall, his pluralistic approach is typified by five leitmotivs. Needless to say our work on Heideggers interpretation of medieval ontology, insofar as it involves his interpretation of Aristotles theology, ontology or first philosophy, will fall within this meta-Aristotelian leitmotiv. Let us summarize what Philipse has to say about the major issues falling within what he terms Heideggers meta-Aristotelian leitmotiv. As to the Seinsfrage: put quite bluntly: Philipse wonders whether Aristotle asks a Being question at all?651 Summarizing Philipse procedure in the briefest way, each of the five leitimotivs has the following nine formal features he allegedly finds in Heidegger, although with varying semantic features.652 Their 'formal structure' is as follows. According to Heidegger, there is: (1) One unique and fundamental question of philosophy or thought: the question of Being (Seinsfrage). Man has (2) an understanding of (this question of) Being and this understanding characterizes man in his essence (Seinsverstandnis). Nevertheless, (3) we live in forgetfulness of the question of Being, and, indeed, of Being itself (Seinsvergessenheit), because (4) we do not distinguish between Being and beings, that is, we fail to observe the ontological difference (ontologische Differenz ). Implicitly or explicitly we endorse (5) the ontology of presence (Ontologie der Vorhandenheit ). The task of the thinker is (6) to wrest us from the oblivion of Being by (7) raising the question of Being anew and by (8) retrieving the tradition of metaphysics, which embodies the ontology of presence (Destruktion, Verwindung ). Only in this manner (will) (9) man turn in upon his essence and origin again.653

650 Philipse, Hermann, Heidegger's Philosophy of Being , Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 1998. Philipses Heidegger interpretation might be said to be inspired by an anglo-saxon, linguisitic type of philosophy. 651 We ask: could it be that given the structure of scientific knowledge delineated in the Posterior Analytics, you just cannot ask the Seinsfrage, in that, for any question, there has to be something one knows and something one does not ...yet... know. 652 We note that Philipse's interpretation of Heidegger I involves 5 leitmotivs; that of Heidegger II involves only 2 leitmotivs. 653 Philipse, op cit., p 76.


In a quite interesting text, related to this existential context, Philipse describes Heideggers conception of Aristotles Metaphysics. The point here is that the role of the factical qua human [existential] struggle vs factical qua daily human productive behaviour is pointed out. We see a play between the two senses of factical in this text:
The fundamental sense (Grundsinn) of "philosophy," Heidegger argues, is determined both by the way in which Aristotle gains access to the phenomenon of sophia, a phenomenon that Heidegger calls "pure understanding" (reines Verstehen), and by the manner in which Aristotle interprets sophia.654

One wonders what Heidegger means here by reines Verstehen, or pure understanding here insomuch as there is no a a priori whatsoever in Aristotle. All knowledge begins with perception. If Philipse is correct, this seems unavoidably characterizable as a Germanic readover of Aristotles presuppositions. Seemingly apriorism had become so ingrained in German thought that Heidegger could not help seeing apriorism as the sign of the final or ultimate stages of knowledge. Philipse:
Heidegger stresses that in Metaphysics A, 1-2, Aristotle develops the notion of sophia as the last stage of a series of degrees of knowledge. The first stages of the series, such as sensation (aisthsis), memory (mnm), and art (techn), clearly derive their point from the concerns of practical life. In other words, Aristotle gains access to his notion of sophia via the point of view of practical human concerns. From this observation on the genesis of the notion of sophia Heidegger draws a conclusion that also stands out prominently in Sein und Zeit : that purely theoretical knowledge-that is, both epistm and sophia in Aristotle-somehow originates from the fact that we are concerned with our own life.655

This is what particularly interests us: whereas (aisthsis), memory (mnm), and art (techn), clearly derive their point from the concerns of practical life, sophia loses touch with factical human concerns.656 While the first three, and especially the last, (techn), arise out of Daseins practical mode of behaviour, e.g. engaged in herstellen, production, the last, sophia, is different. Heidegger seemingly felt that as sophia progresses, the urgency of the factical is lost, resulting in what he saw as an alienation. As Philipse remarks in this connection:
Apparently, in its tendency to gain more and more insight, (the transition to concern with metaphysics) factical life comes to the point of giving up its concerns with acting and making, for factical life does not figure in Aristotle's interpretation of sophia itself.657 (parenthesis mine)

Ibid., p. 80. Ibid., p. 81. 656 Cf. Arendt, Hanna, The Human Condition, Chicago U. Press, U.S.A., 1958. It would be interesting to compare Heideggers configuration of practical vs. theoretical human concerns with Hanna Arendts, in her analysis of life in the Greek polis . The practical includes everything domestic and economics refers to the hearth, the foyer. The theoretical, like the political, is the domain of public discussion, by men. Therein Hanna Arendt points out that contemporary society inverts this quite completely. The economical is the domain of Wirtschaft, public, working life. And Wirtschaft also equals politics. The domain of the theoretical and the religious is the private. 657 Philipse, op cit., p 81.



Philipse clearly feels Heidegger saw an alienation in what was, moreover, passed on to Christianity The transition is from a survival mode to a theoretical mode. Heidegger frowns on this transition, but: 1. Seemingly, there is a false premise on Heidegger's part. He began by presuming that Aristotle's theoria or sophia had its origins in factical concern and then, when it lost its way, shall we say, he branded it alienated. But the error is in seeing sophia as factical in the first place. Heidegger just cannot leave room for the theoretical. Seemingly because it has no object, given his criteria 2. Once this factical mode is abandoned out of concern for what we might call a theoretical mode, things are not satsifying either! For the simple reason that it draws its inspiration from a theoretical subject of study, i.e. eternal substances and the Deity. In a word, if the first was too everyday, the latter is too detached.658 We should keep in mind here that the Heideggerian texts Philipse uses here are from the Natorp Essay, dating from 1922. The main goal of Daseins comportment at that stage of Heideggers writing is Karakter. Heidegger is on the way to Sein und Zeit, but not yet there. In fact, there is a sort of pedagogical gap in that Aristotle states repeatedly that whereas acting and making seek a good beyond themselves, theoretical science does not. All of this seems to express Heideggers modern impatience with Aristotles Weltanschaung. Seemingly, Heideggers dissatisfaction stems from his refusal, of the configuration distinguishing between the practical virtues and the theoretical virtues (and their objects) as delineated in the Nicomachean Ethics. The first involve what Heidegger and his peers would call the factical.., the latter not. Philipse:
This exegesis leads Heidegger to a radical critique of Aristotle's notion of (first) philosophy. If Aristotle derives his notion of philosophy from an interpretation of a factical tendency of human concern, it is paradoxical that in sophia , the last stage of this tendency in human life, human life disappears as an object of our concern: according to Aristotle, philosophy is not concerned with human life, but with first principles and with the Deity.659

At the Natorp Essay stage, Heidegger thinks theoretical philosophy should be forged in Daseins struggle. This is motivated by two elements: Heidegger feels that adequate philosophy emerges out of such existential struggle, coupled with his conviction that philosophy should not delve into the theoretical concerns reserved to theology.... in the modern sense. Philipse continues his analysis:
Furthermore, Heidegger rejects also (sic) Aristotle's notion of the Deity, according to which the Deity is not concerned with humans but merely reflects on itself. (This view is shared by most contemporay Aristotelians but not by Aquinas and other medieval commentators.) As Heidegger says, "for Aristotle. the idea of the divine did not derive from an explication of something that became accessible in a religious fundamental experience." (This passage is from the Natorp Essay.) On the contrary, Aristotle's conception of the Deity is the result of his analysis of movement, which requires an unmoved mover as a highest being.660 (both parentheses mine)

Cf. Gillespie, Michael, op. cit., Heidegger insisted on seeing phronesis as superior to sophos, despite evident contradictions with Aristotle's intentions. Furthermore that phronesis must needs be or lead to a Volkgeist, a Stimmung of the people. 659 Ibid. 660 Ibid.



In our upcoming analysis of Heidegger on St. Thomass Prooemium to his commentary, J.-F. Courtine will accuse Heidegger of showing bad faith vis--vis St. Thomas. Here we can say at the very least that there is a sort of blockage. As in the Grundprobleme, Heidegger insists either that the idea of the divine should derive from an explication of something that became accessible in a religious fundamental experience or else is a purely practical concern. And this is because he is convinced that the terminology deriving this science HAS ITS ORIGINS IN PRACTICAL CONCERNS. The only way to break such a stalemate would seem to involve a detailed analysis of the philosophy of language or the medieval equivalent, material logic, governing Aristotelian and medieval vocabularies present in such texts. Of course Heidegger will see Aristotelian conceptions of a deity as having unfortunate consequences, resulting in what he terms: medieval onto-theology, to introduce a term we shall see often, and elaborate on in our upcoming Courtine section. Philipse again:
In other words, both Aristotle's notion of (first) philosophy and his notion of the Deity, which have decisively influenced the Christian conception of God's relation to man and of man's relation to himself, disguise the fact that they originated from human concerns. These notions are articulated in categories that were derived from the analysis of movement (kinesis ) in Aristotle's Physics, not from the phenomenon of human existence.661

Philipse describes two or more of Heideggers concerns in this passage. It is quite dense and worth expanding a bit: (1) Aristotle's notion of (first) philosophy and his notion of the Deity, (two of the three names for metaphysics, qua first philosophy, ontology and theology ) which have decisively influenced the Christian conception of God's relation to man and (2) man's relation to himself, (we are in the domain of ethics or moral theology ) disguise the fact that they originated from human concerns. In saying that these notions are articulated in categories that were derived from the analysis of movement (kinesis ) in Aristotle's Physics, Heidegger emphasizes his outright rejection of the classical method of procedure. He wants to extract all philosophy from the domain of natural science and ally it to Daseins project. In short, Heidegger no doubt felt that natural science was now self-reliant and philosophy should deal primarily with human existence. For Philipse, the results of past procedures (wherein Greek philosophy influenced Christianity) have led to situations that might well have been avoided (at least for the Heidegger of 1922):
As a result of Aristotle's influence on Christianity, (the reference here to scholasticism is only too evident) human life and man's relation to God have been understood in the (read western) Christian tradition in terms of categories that have been borrowed from another ontological region;662 (parentheses mine)

This represents a basic critique that Heidegger repeatedly launches at Aristotelianism and scholasticism. A central Heideggerian theme (while he himself divides ontology into regions), is that the terms apt for a Dasein analysis are far removed from those apt for designating what is vorhanden. And Philipse concludes his analysis of the Natorp Essay:
661 662

Ibid. Ibid.


hence the Christian tradition has been alienated from itself Although the critical tendency of Heidegger's retrieval is not as clear in the Natorp essay as it would become later, we may conclude that Heidegger wanted to destroy the Aristotelian notions of philosophy and of God, because they allegedly express an alienation. Whereas their origin lies in human concerns, Aristotle derived their content from the physical analysis of movement. This tension between origin (human) and content (nonhuman) supposedly explodes the Aristotelian conceptions. One might say that Heidegger used Aristotle in order to criticize Aristotle.663(Italics mine)

This is an interesting comment; one we have already noted. Aristotle is, to use the expression, damned if he does and damned if he doesnt. On the one hand, the origin of terms in a category of activities stemming from Daseins productive mode of behaviour, rendered Aristotelian conceptions TOO PRACTICAL. But once his metaphysics deals with the Deity or Nous and eternal substances, it is TOO THEORETICAL. Philipse continues:
Accepting the Aristotelian genesis of the idea of philosophy, he felt himself justified in rejecting its content, because the content allegedly contradicts the genesis. Heidegger's retrieval of the Aristotelian notion of philosophy seems to be a prime example of internaI criticism or deconstruction.664

We recall that for two or our Aquinas exegetes, McInerny, and, as we shall see, J.-F. Courtine, the subject-genus of Aristotles metaphysics or first philosophy is ens commune. But, if this conjunction of metaphysics as being: 1. first philosophy; 2. ontology; 3. ousiology; 4. theology, or even onto-theology (?) may not pose a crucial, systematic problem for them, this is not the case for many contemporary Aristotle scholars and commentators. As we have noted, Philipse relies heavily on Routila665. We shall attempt to sketch their views briefly and see how they compare with Heideggers and with our medievalists. (For his part, Heidegger shares

Ibid. Philipse offers an alternative explanation of Heidegger's rejection of the content of Aristotle's notion of philosophy. However, there is another view of the Natorp essay that comes nearer to the truth. According to this alternative view, which I endorse, the essay is not an internal criticism of Aristotle at all. Heidegger interpreted Aristotle's notion of philosophy from the point of view of his own notion, which he derived from Luther Kierkegaard, and Dilthey. Only because he had decided in advance that philosophy has to be an autointerpretation of human existence, he felt justified in rejecting the content of Aristotle's notion of philosophy, according to which philosophy is concerned with the first principles and with the Deity. Heidegger's destruction of Aristotle is motivated not by internal tensions in Aristotle but by his own preconceptions, and in the Natorp essay he already practices the applicative method of interpretation he advocates in Sein und Zeit . There is no attempt at all in Heidegger's retrieval of Aristotle to list everything Aristotle says about first philosophy and to explain the latter's notion of philosophy in a purely historical manner. Heidegger's retrieval is a partial one, and it explains neither the notion of first principles nor, interestingly, the fact that first philosophy should raise the question of being, even though in Aristotle these two topics are narrowly related. To the extent that the question of being emerges at all in the Natorp essay, it is primarily concerned with our own human mode of being, and Heidegger claims, as he does in Sein und Zeit , that the point and sense of regional ontologies is derived from the ontology of our factical life. In short, Heidegger's retrieval of Aristotle in 1922 neither explains nor justifies the primacy of the question of being at all (ibid, p 82). 665 ROUTILA, L. (1969) Die aristotelische Idee de ersten Philosophie. Untersuchungen zur ontotheologischen Verfassung der Metaphysik des Aristoteles . Amsterdam, North Holland, 1969.



certain problematics with some contemporary commentators, but many of his problematics go beyond those of contemporary classicists.) God is not the subject of metaphysics for Aquinas. The subject of metaphysics is ens commune although that notion after a fashion includes God and separate substances, i.e., those that are always separate666, as well as those that are sometimes separate, non solum illa quae nunquam in materia esse possunt, sicut Deus et intellectuales substantiae, sed etiam illa quae possunt sine materia esse, sicut ens commune.667 Now that is not at all the procedure we find in Philipse and Routilas analysis of Aristotles Metaphysics. They seek a reduction in three stages: from being to being as said in categories to substance to divine substance. The end result being that for them, as for Heidegger, the subject of metaphysics is divine ousia and sublunary ousia, but the latter in a way far different from Thomas's. As Philipse describes the problem:
We may distinguish three stages in Aristotle's reduction of the plurality of being to a generic unity. First, he eliminates two senses of the term "being" as irrelevant to first philosophy. "Being" in the sense of (1) being something coincidentally is irrelevant because what something is coincidentally must escape serious scientific examination. And "being" in the sense (3) of being true does not belong to the province of ontology either, for being true and being false do not exist in the world: they pertain to thought. As a consequence, the problem of being is primarily concerned with the second and the fourth ways of saying being, that is, with (2) being as it is divided into the categories, and with (4) being potentially and actually......However, because act and potentiality are modes of being of the first category, substance (ousia), the problem of being is in fact reduced to a problem concerned with one way of saying being only: (2) being in the sense of the categories. This first reduction of four ways of saying "being" to one, that of the categories, does not yet solve the problem of being.668

And not just secundum rationem like mathematicals, but secundum esse, sicut Deus et intelligentiae. Wording from St. Thomas's Metaphysicorum Aristotelis Expositio, Prooemium. 667 Cf. Thomas Aquinas, Metaphysicorum Aristotelis Expositio, Prooemium. Cf. also McInerny, Ralph, M., "The Science we are Seeking"*, in Review of Metaphyics, Vol 47, pp. 3 18, 1993. *Presidential Address to the Metaphysical Society of America, p. 8: "5. How may we characterize this Science? Although the subject of this science is ens commune, the whole is said to be concerned with what is separate from matter secundum rationem et secundum esse, since this is applicable both to what never can exist in matter (God and intellectual substances), but also to things which can be without matter, such as ens commune. Hoc tamen non contingeret, si a materia secundum esse dependeret." In short, what God and intellectual substances have in common with the ens commune they belong to is that they can exist without matter secundum rationem et secundum esse. 668 Philipse. op. cit., pp. 88-91; pg 91: As soon as we focus in on the categories, we see that a new differentiation emerges, because there are ten categories....How, then, is a homogeneous science of being possible if being is not said homogeneously in the categories? Clearly, a second reduction is needed. Philipse debates whether it is a pros hen predication or an analogical one. (This dispute is beyond the scope of our discussion.) He opts for the latter and says it paves the way to the third and final one: We must conclude that the second reduction that Aristotle needs in order to explain how first philosophy is possible is a paronymous reduction of using "to be" in all categories to using it in the first category, that of ousia or substance. According to the conception of the categories as highest genera, ousia is a highest genus, so that ontology is possible as a science of one homogeneous genus, the genus of substance. Indeed, Aristotle's doctrine of substance is the heart of his metaphysics.



Let us try and summarize the three reductions Aristotle carries out in the Metaphysics as they are described by Philipse, relying on Routila. There are three stages of reduction of the plurality of being to a generic unity. (the term genus in itself is fraught with questions.). Mentioning the four modes of being from Metaphysics V.7: then Aristotle first eliminates the ways we say being that are irrelevant to science.. A certain unity is obtained by eliminating (1) accidental being, ens per accidens, and (3) being as true, ens ut verum. That leaves the second (2) (being as divided into the categories and the fourth (4) sense of being (being divided in act and potency). Now since act and potency only have to do with substance, the first category, then only (2) (being as divided into the categories) remains. But as Philipse said, this does not end the matter, in the sense that we do not yet have the 'subject matter of metaphysics. Philipse concludes that '' the second reduction Aristotle needs in order to explain how first philosophy is possible is a paronymous reduction of using 'to be' in all categories to using it in the first..that of ousia or substance. However a third reduction Philipse describes sets his views apart from Aquinas's Philipse calls the reduction to ousia the second of three pros hen reductions: one of the categories to the first category, ousia, and a second of the ousia to permanent substance in pros hen relation to the Nous.669 In short, since science is of the permanent, he sees a special role for supposedly eternal material substance. In other words, there exists perishable substance, eternal material substance and immaterial substance. Identifying the nous with the last, Philipse says that they are in pros hen relation to the nous. This last differs from what we find in St. Thomass commentary It might just be pointed out that if abstraction results in natures representing the substances of perishable substance, this need for permanence, via eternal planetary substances, falls away! Completing his summary of Aristotle's doctrine of being, Philipse discusses the problem of the so-called ontotheological unity of his metaphysics. (Incidentally, it is not the ontotheological unity of metaphysics that causes the variance; it is the conception of the relation between the other ousia and theos that is in sharp contrast to the thomistic commentary interpretation.)
Why does Aristotle say that first philosophy is both concerned with ousia and with the Deity? And what is the relation between this ontological or ousiological definition of first philosophy and its theological definition?670

And Philipse, relying heavily on Routila's analysis:

... first philosophy as ontology or ousiology reduces paronymically to theology. This is the third stage in the reduction of the differentiation of being to unity, and, like the second, it is a pros hen reduction. Why is this third reduction necessary? Did we not already find a homogeneous domain for first philosophy, the domain of ousia ? Again, we must try to reconstruct Aristotle's problem before we can understand his solution. And again, the problem concerns the possibility of a science of being as such. This time, the requirement that causes the problem is not that of generic unity. Rather, it is the requirement that scientific knowledge (epistm ) should be concerned with
669 670

Ibid p. 92. Ibid p. 91.


eternal objects, a requirement that applies to metaphysics as well, because metaphysics is the highest and most fundamental kind of true knowledge. All scientists aim at universal knowledge, because universal knowledge, if true, does not become obsolete: it is applicable in all situations of the relevant kind.671

Now we see that Philipse and Routilas views as expressed here differ radically from what McInerny described. The failure to at least take into consideration the three ways of abstracting from matter leads them to suppose that there is a requirement that sublunary substances imitate eternal ones. Philipse continues:
Plato and Aristotle erroneously assumed that universal knowledge, because it is in itself immutable, must be concerned with immutable objects, such as ideal geometric forms. Consequently, scientific knowledge is impossible unless there are immutable entities. In Plato's case, these entities are the immutable Forms, which are supposed to exist apart from temporal reality, and Plato identifies ousia with Form. However, the immutability requirement causes a problem for Aristotle, because Aristotle denies that the Forms exist separately, apart from spatiotemporal reality. According to Aristotle's view of ousia or substance, the ousia is typically a concrete individual entity consisting of Form and Matter, such as an individual animal, plant, or human being. But if the ousia is a concrete individual, which changes over time and perishes in the end, how is a science of ousia possible? (Here again a difference in the role of the theory of abstraction in Aristotles procedure.) Aristotle's conception of ousia seems to exclude that first philosophy as a science of ousia is possible, because science requires immutable objects, whereas the individual ousia is perishable. This, Routila suggests, was the problem that forced Aristotle to connect ousiology and theology.672 (Italics and parentheses mine)

There are two central items that vary in the two analyses: 1. As mentioned, instead of reference to the well known Scholastic three ways of abstracting from matter, Philipse, following Routila, supposes that there be a requirement that sublunary substances imitate eternal ones. 2. The other item missing in Philipse's analysis is absence of any reference to Aristotles demonstration of the existence of a substance that MUST exist without matter. This is the well known Physics IV, 8, (Comm. Lectio 593). This needs to be stressed. This absence requires Routila to propose a pros hen dependence of all ousia on the first ousia, the nous. Philipse lays out Routilas solution:
Why and how did he do so? The clue to this problem is to be found in the composition of book XII of Aristotle's Metaphysics, the book on theology. In chapter 1. Aristotle distinguishes three kinds of substance (ousia): (1) sensible and perishable, (2) sensible and eternal, and (3) not sensible and eternal. Substances of the first kind, such as plants and animals, are the object of Aristotelian physics; substances of the second kind are the object of astronomy; and substance of the third kind is the object of theology. In chapters 2-5 of book XII, Aristotle discusses change and perishable objects, whereas he starts his discussion of theology in chapter 6 and discusses astronomy in chapter 8. Now Routila suggests correctly that the composition of book XII is explained by the hypothesis that according to Aristotle perishable substances are pros hen connected to the Deity in the same sense in which heavenly bodies are connected to the Deity.673

Two minor conclusions:

671 672

Ibid p. 92. Ibid. 673 Ibid.


Responding to Philipse and Routila: so if perishable and non perishable substances are similarly related to the Deity, the fact of their being sensible and eternal, rather than perishable and material, is a relative detail and the way paved to ens commune being the subject of Aristotles Metaphysics. Additionally, whether or not Nous is a subject of metaphysics, in the sense that ens commune is for Thomas, is not clear in Philipse and Routila. In the Thomistic view, ens commune does not involve God as the subject of metaphysics. In metaphysics, we see that ens commune needs a cause and that points to God as an efficient and final cause of all. Relatedly, whereas Heidegger claims to have derived his Being question (Seinsfrage) from Aristotle, Philipse wants to say that the evidence is against this and that there is in Heidegger a fundamental rejection of Aristotle's doctrine of Being; he asks himself why Heidegger rejected this doctrine? His answer in brief is that Heideggers conception of philosophy and the Being question were already different from Aristotle's by 1922:
Admittedly, both Aristotle and Heidegger believed that (first) philosophy is the most fundamental discipline, and that it raises the question of being. (Here one might ask what makes a philosophy first if they turn out to be so different.) They also believed that philosophy is essential to human life, because by doing philosophy we become really ourselves (This is somewhat anachronistic on Philipses part; it is a formulation foreign to Aristotles vocabulary.), either by actualizing our specific Form (Aristotle) or by grasping the possibility of authentic existence (Heidegger). However, this formal similarity masks a fundamental difference between Aristotle's and Heidegger's conceptions of philosophy. Whereas according to Aristotle, philosophy is the science of the first principles and causes, which studies being(s) in general and provides man with a comprehensive view of the cosmos (This is key), Heidegger defines philosophy in the Natorp essay as the attempt to grasp explicitly the fundamental movement of human life. (Parentheses in italics mine).674

We see immediately that there is a basic 'modern slant' to Heideggers thought, i.e., he eschews speculation on the cosmos and espouses existential, individual struggle. In order to remind us of a basic goal of this study, i.e., what the subject of metaphysics is for Aristotle as well as what Heidegger says it is, we shall examine one basic question. Presupposing as we do that for Heidegger, as for Natorp, Jaeger, Philipse and Routila, the object is Nous, i.e., the divine substance, arrived at by a three stage reduction, (at least for Philipse and Routila), how does this accord with an existential philosophy like Heideggers that elects to be 'atheistic'. This is obviously central given our presupposition of the Nouss role. Philipse develops a related theme:
In the Natorp essay, Heidegger stresses that philosophy should be atheistic, and I will argue ... that Sein und Zeit is also atheistic in this sense. But Heidegger's atheism does not consist in the conviction that God does not exist. It

Ibid., p. 94. Moreover, whereas according to Aristotle philosophy makes man divine, because philosophy consists in the pure activity of contemplation that characterizes the Deity, Heidegger stresses in Paulinian manner that philosophy should make life more human by making it more difficult, because the human condition is difficult. By explicitly grasping the fundamental movement of human life, philosophy annuls the alienation that consists in our attempt to make ourselves comfortable and to flee into worldly occupations.



rather springs from the notion that philosophy, which seeks to grasp the most authentic possibilities of human existence, should restrict itself to possibilities that are within its own power,''675

This, although it might startle some, might be characterized as a form of question begging, or petitio prinicipi. By that I mean that Heidegger is assuming that we cannot know the sorts of things about Nous or about God that are described by classical philosophers.
''and that theorizing about God la Aristotle is a temptation that leads us astray.''676

But isn't the metaphysical, philosophical question at stake here not WHETHER ONE OUGHT to prove the existence of Nous or God, but rather WHETHER ONE CAN?
''Heidegger says that only in this manner can philosophy stand honestly before God.''677

Heidegger claims that given the origin of the expressions used in Aristotelian Metaphysics in regional ontologies with their roots in a productive mode of Daseins behaviour (herstellen), one CANNOT demonstrate such things. But one wonders whether Heidegger was not already convinced that one OUGHT NOT demonstrate such things, and, thus only afterwards decided that one CANNOT do so Philipse again:
If Heidegger read Aristotle from the vantage point of his own notion of philosophy, we must conclude that Heidegger's question of being cannot be derived primarily from Aristotle.''678

Elsewhere, Philipse will say it originates in a Husserlian procedure Heidegger inherited.

''On the contrary, Heidegger approached Aristotle from an external, Christian point of view, and Heidegger's "destruction" of Aristotle resembles Luther's attempt to liberate the Christian experience of life from the Scholastic, Aristotelian tradition.679

This establishing an analogy between Heidegger's "destruction" of Aristotle and Luther's approach brings to mind our Luther chapter.680 And it does seem to answer many questions of interpretation raised therein. There are two more themes we would like to examine regarding Philipses analysis of Heidegger's retrieval of the Aristotelian doctrine of being in the Natorp Essay. There is one guiding question that might at first glance appear to enclose two. We are already acquainted with the Heideggerian claim that the origin of the expressions used in Aristotles Corpus, including the Metaphysics, lie in regional ontologies having their roots in a productive mode of Daseins behaviour (herstellen). This is not new. However, this commonplace doctrine now takes a new turn. The
675 676

Ibid. Ibid. 677 Ibid. 678 Ibid. 679 Ibid. 680 Cf. Chapter Four: Heidegger's appropriation of Luther.


standard analysis is that this origin in prakt contaminates and robs these terms and their categories of a suitable theoretical ground. However, that intepretation turns out to be a two-edged sword. Might it just be that this these Aristotelian, ontological concepts, such as ousia, form, matter, dunamis, energeia, and entelecheia, turn out to be metaphors for rest and completion. Transferred to a motor role in the Aristotelian corpus, they contribute to treating Dasein as an accomplished entity, i,e., something that is not in movement and strife and so is alien to Daseins ownmost, struggling nature? We see here that we have come full circle and have come back to what Philipse said earlier: One might say that Heidegger used Aristotle in order to criticize Aristotle and that Daseins productive mode of behaviour, rendered Aristotelian conceptions TOO PRACTICAL. Once his metaphysics dealt with the Deity and eternal substances, it in turn became TOO THEORETICAL.681 These two basic themes are interrelated. 1. For Heidegger, Dasein is not just another entity that belongs to a more comprehensive domain of entities;682 2. A basic Heideggerian critique of Aristotle is that his image, shall we say of Dasein, if he may fairly be said to have had one, is as if Dasein were merely one vorhanden object among others. If the categories of the Nicomachean Ethics and other texts originate in physical and natural domains, the resulting sciences will be alien to Daseins real nature of movement and struggle. (This of course relates directly to what we will conclude as to Heideggers treatment of St. Thomass Prooemium to his commentary on Aristotles Metaphysics, for it also matches what Heidegger will say to the effect that Deus in the Middle Ages is just one more vorhanden object or Seiende among others, i.e. a super being among beings.)683 In summarizing his meta-Aristotelian leitmotif, Philipse sums up what Heidegger feels Aristotle accomplished and failed to accomplish.
681 682

Philipse, op. cit., p. 81. Ibid., p. 95: How does Aristotle interpret human existence? Is Aristotle's interpretation of human life derived from a fundamental experience of life itself, or does he simply conceive of human Dasein as"being an entity that belongs to a more comprehensive domain of entities? How does Aristotle conceptualize our human mode of being, and being in general? This guiding question is implied by Heidegger's conception of philosophy in 1922. Moreover, it presupposes the antinaturalist assumption that if one wants to interpret human life on the basis of a fundamental experience of Dasein itself, one should not conceive of Dasein primarily as an entity belonging to a more extensive domain, for instance, the domain of all living beings. 683 Philipse, ibid, p. 95) Heidegger argues in 1922 that Aristotle's ontological concepts, such as ousia, form, matter, dunamis, energeia, and entelecheia, are drawn from the sphere of artifacts or manufactured goods. Although these notions originate in Aristotle's analysis of change (kinesis) and growth in his Physics, their real empirical source is the structure of artifacts, which are Aristotle's typical examples where he develops his ontological concepts. When an artifact is completed, a matter is formed and an entelecheia has passed from dunamis to energeia. Being is being at rest, being completed, being manufactured, and being available. Aristotle generalizes these concepts and applies them in his analysis of human existence in the Nicomachean Ethics and in De Anima. According to Heidegger this implies, however, that Aristotle analyzes human existence in terms that are alien to Dasein, so that Aristotelian ontology is an alienation that has to be destroyed if we want to be able to grasp the movement of our life as it really is.


Although Aristotle raised the question of being (1), Heidegger claims that he did not succeed in really doing so, because he reduced being to an entity, God, and because he applied alien categories to human existence. That is, Aristotle allegedly overlooked the ontological difference (4). As a consequence, he became the founding father of (3) forgetfulness of being and (5) the ontology of presence. This is why we have to destroy Aristotelian ontology (8) and raise the question of being anew (7), in order to wrest us from the oblivion of being, that is, of our own being (6). Heidegger rejects Aristotle's notion of philosophy because Aristotle betrays the fact that philosophy should be concerned with the mode of being of us humans, that is, with our understanding of our own manner of being (2). ... Nevertheless, we are still groping after the content of Heidegger's question of being.684

Philipse says that the meta-Aristotelian theme seems to originate in a purely internal criticism of Aristotle, as Heidegger himself suggests, but this is not true: Heidegger's conception of philosophy of 1922 as "explicitly grasping the movement of human life" is not Aristotelian, and Heidegger only in part retrieves Aristotle's own conception of philosophy ... (a) similar point can be made with regard to Heidegger's rejection of the Aristotelian notion of God as a prime mover. How is Heidegger able to say that this notion did not derive from a religious fundamental experience?''685 If the Greek religious experience was partly cosmological, and if the Greek conception of heavenly rotations gave rise to Aristotle's notion of the Deity, one cannot thereby conclude that that notion is areligious Yet this view that the Greek conception of heavenly rotations gave rise to Aristotle's notion of the Deity is typical of many interpretation failing to attribute much significance to what Aquinas calls Aristotles demonstration that some substance always exists without matter, i.e. the unmoved mover. Philipse sees more personal reasons at work in forming Heideggers attitudes.686 Finally, Philipse feels that Heideggers resentment at the fact that Greek philosophy did not succeed in acknowledging the ontological difference between being and beings, while feeling that this difference would have been its internal telos, is misplaced. In a word, he feels that this is not the only time Heidegger fails to take thinkers maturally, in their own right, rather than imposing his own distinctions on them687. We shall see in dealing with J.-F. Courtines text that Heideggers treatment of medieval commentators can be demanding and sometimes hard in tone

Ibid., p. 97. Ibid. 686 Ibid., p. 98: Is it rash to assume that Heidegger read Aristotle's texts with a notion of religious experience in mind which was alien to Aristotle, and which he acquired during his Catholic upbringing and his studies of St. Paul, the Scholastics, Luther, and Kierkegaard? Such a hypothesis is the more probable because Heidegger argued in his lectures of the winter semester 1920-21 that the problem of characterizing the movement of factual human life was discovered by early Christianity. 687 Ibid., p. 98: Should we not rather conclude that Heidegger projected the notion of an ontological difference onto the Greeks?



SECTION III: Examination of J.-F Courtines essay Heidegger et les mdivaux . J.-F Courtine688 begins his discourse689, Heidegger et Thomas d'Aquin, by briefly asking how such a comparison is possible. We see that his inquiry, in fact, involves three main goals: 1. Showing that Heidegger persists in reducing Aristotles Metaphysics, as St. Thomas understood it in his thirteenth century commentary, to what Heidegger calls a scientia regulatrix, (the term is not central in St. Thomass commentary) AND, what is more important, Heidegger says that the unity of ONE science is exploded into THREE sciences. 2. J.-F. Courtine tells us clearly that Heideggers characterization of medieval ontology as onto-theology is the cl de voute of Heideggers deconstruction. This is amply borne out. 3. Elements of argument inspired by Suarezs Disputationes Metaphysicae enter here twice. a. Once with regard to Heideggers high estimation of Suarezian systematization of medieval ontology and b. A second time, ironically, involving the Suarezian systematization of Scholastic ontology. J.-F. Courtine feels Suarez typifies what is devoutly to be avoided if one wants to eschew what Heidegger disdains in medieval onto-theology and precisely what, in J.-F. Courtines view, Suarez, ironically, falls prey to if any medieval figure involved here does. Another, and last preliminary point, involves element 3b: we might also note that J.-F. Courtines work has somewhat of an innovative ending in that he makes a few closing references to Albertus Magnus, thereby introducing a new metaphysical vocabulary that does not directly concern the discussion theretofore. The end result will be somewhat predictable in that J.-F. Courtine affirms that Deus or Nous is, if not in some way a subject (or at least a principium subjecti ) of Aristotles Metaphysics, as explained by St. Thomas; he additionally feels that throughout the medieval tradition, the very vastness of the gulf separating Deus or Nous from Seiende, or from any other substances or creatures, rules Deus or Nous out from constituting the subject matter of Aristotles Metaphysics for St. Thomas, which last may also be called theologia philosophica, what we have called theologia (1). (A few points are rather subtle here.) For J.-F. Courtine, a failure to acknowledge that gulf separating Deus or Nous from Seiende would have plunged medieval or Scholastic metaphysics into what one might term a Suarezian style configuration,
COURTINE, J.-F., Heidegger et Thomas d'Aquin: Quaestio: Yearbook of the History of Metaphysics, 1, Brepols, Turnhout, pp. 213 233, (2001). 689 Authors note. I have not translated Professor Courtines French. If I include his remarks before and/or after his Heidegger citations, which I cite in the French translation..This favors imparting the tone and flavour of his textual analysis.


wherein God is included in the conceptis entis, which configuration, is itself, ironically, subject to Heideggers critique of amounting to no more than onto-theology! The central Heidegger text employed here in the programme of his confrontation Heidegger-Thomas involves Heidegger's subsection: le concept de mtaphysique tel qu'il est expos par Thomas d'Aquin dans le Proemium de son Commentaire d'Aristote ...... et la question de l'ontothologie.690 As a preliminary to his subject he also cites three well known references Heidegger makes to Aquinas at the beginning of Sein und Zeit . J.-F. Courtine terms them:
trois rfrences particulirement topiques (et en un sens, avec ces trois rfrences passablement euphmises, tout est dit), puisque la premire intervient ds l'introduction, ... pour caractriser les prjugs qui d'emble barrent la route une rptition de la question du sens de l'tre.691

We will repeat these references here before turning our attention to the Prooemium text. At the risk of being trite they may be stated as follows: 1. Being (n.b. as Seiende) is what the mind first knows. 2. The soul is in a way all things. 3. The Adequatio theory; a medieval version of the correspondence theory of truth.692 The heart of the Heideggerian critique of scholasticism: 693

Heidegger, Martin, Die Grundbegriffe der Metaphysik, GA, 29/30; J.-F. Courtine provides his own translation. As mentioned in note 2, we choose to cite his translations and his commentaries on them all in French. 691 Courtine Manuscript, p. 2. 692 The first reference: le premier est celui qui conoit l'tre comme le concept le plus gnral: Illud quod primo cadit sub apprehensione est ens, cujus intellectus includitur in omnibus, quaecumque quis apprehendit (Ce qui tombe le premier sous l'apprhension, est l'tant dont l'intellection, la notion est incluse dans toutes choses, peu importantes lesquelles, qu'on apprhende). The second reference: concerne, propos de la thse aristotlicienne de De anima , Gamma 8,: l'me est d'une certaine faon <tous> les tants, la reprise thomasienne du verum comme l'un des transcendantaux: cette intgration dans les transcendantaux du verum est possible, remarque Heidegger, ds lorsque lon fait appel un tant dont le mode dtre est tel quil peut convenir avec tout tant, quel quil soit: cet tant insigne, cest lme: ens quod natum est convenire cum omni ente. (Here, already, we get an insight as to where Heideggers interpretation will go: if the soul is apt to receive the natures of any substance it is because it itself is a special sort of being (insigne). The third reference figures in the central S&Z paragraph 44, quand il sagit dexposer le concept traditionnel de la vrit en le reconduisant ses fondements ontologiques. Cette laboration de lessence de la vrit comme adaequatio intellectus et rei est trs prcisment rfre Thornas dAquin, qui, note Heidegger, renvoie lui-mme propos de cette dfinition Avicenne, qui lavait lui-mme reue du Livre des Dfinitions dIsaac Israli. On le voit, ces rfrences sont tout sauf simplement ornementales. 693 J.-F. Courtines remarks in French are followed by mine in English.



Sy trouve galement clairement formul ce qui demeurera le fond de la critique heideggrienne: la scolastique a contribu trivialiser (trivialisieren) ce que, avec Platon et Aristote, la pense tait parvenue arracher aux phnomnes prive de sol, coupe de ses racines, la scolastique croit encore parler de ltre, mais elle ne traite que de ltant.694

From our discussion of Philipse, we recall that a basic critique of Aristotles categories was that their origin was allegedly in a productive comportment of Dasein. Aristotles ontological categories were judged TOO PRACTICAL in their origin, but once employed in his Metaphysics, they were held to be TOO THEORETICAL. Perhaps correctly, they were said not to arise from a fundamental religious experience founded in Daseins experience. In short, here Heidegger now redirects something strongly resembling that Aristotle-aimed-critique at medieval authors. What contaminated Greek ontology, an etymology of terms grounded in prakt, will now turn into rootlessness due to medieval authors Christian appropriation of Greek ontologys terms. Needless to say, the point of departure of that decline is precisely Greek ontology! Heidegger:
"Ainsi, au moyen ge lontologie dvale en tradition, la tradition la laisse dgnrer en lieux communs et la rduit un simple matriau susceptible dtre retravaill neuf. ... Lontologie grecque, coupe de ses racines, est devenue au moyen ge un bloc doctrinal (Lehrbestand) usage denseignement".695

One element that comes to the fore repeatedly is Heideggers insisting on his metaphor of mass production. The image of medieval, Christian philosophers feeding a corpus of maleable doctrine to a passive, receptive mass albeit intellectual? audience is conjured up by Heidegger. J.-F. Courtine introduces Heidegger:
Et alors quelle nest quune reprise dogmatique des conceptions grecques fondamentales sur ltre, il reste encore cette scolastique mdivale, beaucoup de travail faire pour que sa systmatisation dpasse le stade dune bauche 696

A novel element appears here. Although a simple material to be reworked anew, it nonetheless needs .... of all things .... a systematization! Irony enters in. Well aware of this, J.-F. Courtine continues, also citing SZ:
Do limportance capitale de Surez, aux yeux de Heidegger, puisque cest avec lui que sachve ce travail de systmatisation: Avec lempreinte que lui a laiss la scolastique, la philosophie grecque passe pour lessentiel, travers les Disputationes Metaphysicae, jusque dans la mtaphysique et la philosophie transcendantale des Temps Modernes... 697

J.-F. Courtine continues:

694 695

Ibid., p. 3. Heidegger, M., Sein und Zeit; traduit par F. Vezin Etre et Temps, Gallimard, 1986, p 22. 696 Ibid. 697 Ibid.


En mme temps, et c'est trs remarquable, Heidegger ne parat jamais se poser la question de savoir si et dans quelle mesure cette systmatisation suarzienne de l'hritage scolastique, qui, en un sens, a valeur de rcapitulation, ne trahit pas ou ne dforme pas de manire significative et rgle, ce qu'elle transmet.698

The ramifications are simple. Heidegger has just told us that Scholastic philosphy is nothing but a fester Lehrbestand (a closed body of doctrine - firma doctrina), whose fault would seem to be its over systematization. Yet we are told it needs further systematization! So how can systematization be advantageous to a metaphysics already in decline for the very reason of its being nothing more than a pedagogical reworking of terms borrowed from Greek ontology? Based on these brief Sein und Zeit references, J.-F. Courtine asks two questions:
peut-on soutenir que la scolastique mdivale aura jamais constitu un fester Lehrbestand (un corps arrt de doctrine - firma doctrina) (?).699

The answer to this first question involves his fairly extensive analysis of Heideggers treatment of the Prooemium of St. Thomas, in his 1929-1930 course (GA 29/30: Die Grundbegriffe der Metaphysik ); And the second question:
(et peut-on soutenir) ... que les Disputationes metaphysicae de Suarez en constituent la systmatisation lgitime et ncessaire, ainsi que l'interprtation ou l'explicitation comprhensive (umfassende Auslegung)?700

In answering the second question, J.-F. Courtine will lead us from his rejection of Heideggers delineation of the names of Metaphysics in the Prooemium of St. Thomas to a version that is reasonably comparable to McInernys analysis of this Prooemium section. In any case, we shall draw two conclusions: One. is J.-F. Courtines: that Suarezian systematization represents precisely what is to be avoided given Heideggers own criterial advisories about avoiding treating Deus or nous as just another tant, seiende, etc... even if it is a supersensible being, tant or seiende. Two. another is our own: there remains a slight divergence in interpretation of the Prooemium of St. Thomas between J.-F. Courtine and McInerny on one point, as to the consequences of their agreement that ens commune is the subject-genus of metaphysics for Aristotle. If Deus remains the principium subjecti of theologia (1) philosophica in J.-F. Courtines view, are separate substances of the subject-genus or principii subjecti of theologia (1) philosophica? We can leave this question open for the instant We proceed with J.-F. Courtines analysis of Heideggers treatment of the Prooemium of St. Thomas (GA 29/30: Die Grundbegriffe der Metaphysik701). J.-F.
Courtine Manuscript, p. 4. Ibid. 700 Ibid. 701 Heidegger, Martin, Die Grundbegriffe der Metaphysik; Courtine uses the French translation by Daniel Panis: Les concepts fondamentaux de la mtaphysique. Monde-finitude-solitude, Gallimard, Paris, 1992.
699 698


Courtine provides us with a few archetypical characterizations illustrating Heideggers approach:

Dans son cours de 1929-1930 (GA 29/30: Die Grundbegriffe der Metaphysik), Heidegger envisage en effet lorigine et lhistoire du mot mtaphysique , avant de souligner les contradictions ou la tension interne du concept traditionnel de mtaphysique (le 12 sintitule: Unzutrglichkeit des Begriffes der Metaphysik ). Cest cette tension interne, non fconde, qui expliquerait aussi lextriorit et le caractre superficiel de ce concept traditionnel de mtaphysique: le mtaphysique (Dieu et lme immortelle y est envisag comme l-devant , sous-lamain (vorhandenes), ft-ce titre dtant suprieur.702

It is evident that Heidegger has chosen two doctrines dear to the heart of scholastics of all persuasions as typifying what is metaphysical. Proofs for the existence of God and the immortality of the human soul are praeambulae fidei and if anything is other than l-devant , sous-la-main vorhanden), it is just these articles. Heidegger knows this only too well and it is his way of showing his rejection of a tradition. Not only is there rejection of a traditional procedure, there is also rejection of the intention of the thinkers who philosophized that way. J.-F. Courtine continues:
La thse heideggrienne est formule ici de manire assez rapide et triviale: ce qui sentend aujourdhui (en 19291930) couramment sous le nom de Mtaphysique nest quun Ersatzgebild.703

(If it is merely an Ersatzgebild and lacks systematization, then one would suppose that it is rendered innocuous by virtue of its very disorganization. As mentioned above, J.-F. Courtine quite rightly points to a lack of consistency in these criticisms.) This Ersatzgebild is allegedly: une formation de remplacement ou une formation substitutive pour la Grundstellung, la position de fond par rapport
ltant et au suprasensible, position qui caractrise le Christianisme ou mieux la christliche Dogmatik704, telle

Ibid., p. 6.; GA 29/30: Die Grundbegriffe der Metaphysik, p.60; French translation, p. 76. "produits de remplacement" in the French translation, p. 73. 704 Ibid.; cf also a footnote wherein Professor Courtine cites a passage from Einfhrung in die Metaphysik, (1935) is helpful for understanding the difference between a fundamental position and a Grundstellung. We will cite it with relevant comments: (GA, p. 21, Kahn trans, p. 39) Heidegger voquait: la question mtaphysique (au sens des mdivaux): pourquoi donc ltant est-il? Et il remarquait: En questionnant ainsi, nous partons de ltant. Celui-ci est. Il est donn, il est en face de nous... Dans le cadre mdival, doctrinal donc, on sinterroge alors directement sur cet tant donn de cette faon pour savoir quel est son fondement... Devant ltant pris en totalit, comme subsistant (vorhanden), on demande: o est le fondement? et quel est-il? Ce type de question snonce dans la forme simple: Pourquoi ltant est-il ?. O est son fondement et quel est-il ? Sans le dire, on cherche un autre tant, plus lev. Mais ce nest pas du tout vers ltant en totalit que la question se dirige. (One might note that the attitudinal posing or choosing in questioning that Heidegger feels is lacking is just not appropriate in the scientific procedure the Posterior Analytics describes.) - Notons que cette analyse serait tout fait clairante si elle visait dgager le propre du questionnement philosophique, par rapport au questionnement ordinaire et ontique mais elle devient tout simplement arbitraire et premptoire quand il sagit dopposer une Grundstellung proprement philosophique, celle qui ouvre la question: Pourquoi y a-t-il quelque chose plus que rien et une position fondamentale caractristique de la dogmatique chrtienne.



quelle a travers tout loccident: cette dogmatique chrtienne qui sest labore et a trouv sa forme dfinitive en sorientant sur la philosophie ancienne et sur Aristote.705

In other words, for Heidegger, the Grundstellung, or fundamental position, is usurped or poorly replaced by the Ersatzgebild such medieval metaphysics represents. Lest we think that metaphysics typifies the Middle Ages in Heideggers view, he feels that it is an inadequate, jerrybuilt substitute for the spirit of that age. He calls it christliche Dogmatik. Other texts in Courtine's analysis The remainder of our study of Courtine on Heidegger will be taken up with his treatment of short passages from: Einfhrung in die Metaphysik, Die Grundbegriffe 29/30, Was ist Metaphysik and Der Satz vom Grunde. A. His goal in citing them is simply to illustrate repeatedly Heideggers insistence that medieval ontology ended up treating Deus, Nous as just another Seiende, albeit a supersensible, super-tant. A number of Courtines citations seek to show how Heidegger failed to appreciate the golfe infranchissable separating God and creatures, which J.-F. Courtine feels is very much in evidence in the many medieval authors he enumerates. B. Courtine then goes on to show that St. Thomass understanding of Aristotles Metaphysics as said triplicitur is not accurately reported by Heidegger who refers to three sciences, and a 'scientia regulatrix metaphysics', as if the trio were not part of metaphysics but rather metaphysics governed them.706 C. The next and last of Heidegger's central exegeses on St. Thomas involves what J.-F. Courtine alleges (correctly, in our view) to be Heideggers failure to distinguish between two sorts of theology, i.e. theologia (1) philosophica and theologia (2) sacrae doctrinae. As a consequence of this failure (or refusal to see), Heidegger does certain things: 1. He makes a number of insinuations that doctrines appearing to be rationally based are in fact rationalizations of christliche Dogmatik. 2. What is more, Heideggers accusations to the effect that the failure to see Deus as the principium subjecti of theologia (1) philosophica but rather as another, albeit super being, makes medieval metaphysics, taking any number of authors together now, seem to usurp the role of theologia (2) sacrae doctrinae via theologia (1) philosophica. This too is targeted in J.-F. Courtines objections. 3. Heidegger raises the objection that inquiry into the nature of Seiende thereby ceases as all solutions can be found in a salvation oriented schema.
(Obviously the properly philosophical Grundstellung prepares one for the Seinsfrage. But, ironically, a counter-question might be asked. Can such a question as why is there something rather than nothing? be asked?) 705 Courtine manus., p 6: Courtine paraphrases the Die Grundbegriffe der Metaphysik, p.63; French translation, p. 73. 706 Courtine manus., p. 11-14; Die Grundbegriffe der Metaphysik, p.74-75; French translation, p. 82.


D. In a final section, J.-F. Courtine uses passages from Albertus Magnus to distance both Albertus Magnus and Aquinas from such accusations. And he adds that if such a characterization fits anyone, it is Suarez ... Heideggers preferred metaphysician.707 In concluding, J.-F. Courtine shows how the charge of onto-theology does in fact fits Suarezs conceptus entis, which includes Deus as well as other substances! Let us examine a sampling of J.-F. Courtines remarks on the first point708:
Heidegger, qui expose trs sommairement la reprise de lenqute mtaphysique aristotlicienne (E 1). par le christianisme, dclare dans le cours de 29-30 - l encore de manire assez premptoirement (Grundbegriffe p 66): ce qui est ici fondamental (Grundstliches), c'est que le supra-sensible, le "mtaphysique" est un domaine de l'tant parmi d'autres ( das Ubersinnliche, das Metaphysische ...ist... ein Gebiet des Seiende unter anderen ). En un sens, tout est jou avec cette rduction du mtaphysique au suprasensible. Mais il prcise encore: la mtaphysique recule au mme niveau que d'autres connaissances de l'tant dans les sciences ou dans des connaissances technicopratiques, cette seule diffrence prs que l'tant est un tant suprieur. Il se trouve au-del de..., par del, trans..., ce qui est la traduction latine de meta. 709

And J.-F. Courtines direct reaction:

On reste un peu interloqu ! O donc Heidegger a-t-il t chercher cela'? Il est bien difficile, semble-t-il, de mconnatre davantage la dtermination de la mtaphysique comme science transcendantale - scientia transcendens (chez Albert, chez Thomas, et surtout Scot....710

Quand il est pass en latin (romano-latin), meme Le mta nindique plus une attitude dtermine de la pense et de la connaissance. Il nindique plus une tournure particulire par rapport la pense et linterrogation quotidienne. Il est seulement la marque du lieu et de lordre de ltant qui se trouve derrire et au-del de lautre tant.711

La mtaphysique est nivele et rendue superficielle dans la connaissance quotidienne, ceci prs quil y est question du supra-sensible.712

Heidegger actually seems convinced that metaphysics is unnecessary in daily life because it deals with the supersensible. He actually seems to be pointing to an anthropomorphic change in medieval man as influenced by christliche Dogmatik. Medieval man's attitude or haltung toward the metaphysical is transformed, as Heidegger adds: (lequel est de surcrot tabli par la rvlation et la doctrine de lEglise)''.713 Metaphysics is rendered superfluous by revelation. Heidegger is not so much describing a fideism as a trivialization of the domain:

707 708

This is of special interest for us in light of our Suarez Section above. We note in passing that the Metaphysics E 1 text mentioned here is the basis of the McInerny analysis present in the Thomas Section above. 709 Courtine manus., p. 6-7; Die Grundbegriffe der Metaphysik, p.66; French translation, p. 75. 710 Ibid., p. 7. 711 Ibid., p. 8; Die Grundbegriffe der Metaphysik, p.66; French translation, p. 75. 712 Ibid., p. 8-9; Die Grundbegriffe der Metaphysik, p.67-8; French translation, p. 75. 713 Ibid.


Le mtaphysique (das Metaphysische) est lui-mme un tant parmi dautres, ce qui veut dire que cela sur quoi je me dirige, en me dtournant du physique, ne se distingue pas fondamentalement de celui-ci, hormis par la diffrence quil y a entre le sensible et le supra-sensible714

Courtine continues:
la diffrence ontologique, prsente et directrice laube de la pense grecque, mme si, comme le dira un Heidegger plus tardif, elle na jamais t pense comme telle, se trouve prsent rduite et comme monnaye en distinction du sensible et du supra-sensible.715

Courtine continues:
mais ... cest une parfaite msinterprtation de ce qui, chez Aristote, est en tant que theion, laiss au moins comme problme.716

In analyzing Aristotles metaphysics, the origin of terms in productive modes of Dasein tainted the theorizing; here the problematic nature it possessed is lost. Heidegger concludes:
Cest en cela - parce que le mtaphysique est devenu un tant se trouvant l (vorhanden), parmi dautres, quoique un niveau suprieur - que rside le caractre superficiel et lextriorit du concept <scolastique> de la mtaphysique.717

J.-F. Courtine assesses this attack:

Voil bien une entre en matire qui ne laisse rien prsager de bon pour ltude qui va suivre immdiatement dans le Cours, ltude du Proemium du Commentaire la Mtaphysique dAristote, rdig par Thomas dAquin.718

In J.-F. Courtines exegesis of St. Thomass Prooemium to Aristotles Metaphysics, we shall soon see where dicitur triplicitur comes into play. Just before moving on to that we note that some five years later, Heideggers position had changed further, as declared: Au moyen ge, il ny a pas, et il peut pas y avoir, dclare Heidegger, de philosopher .719 Courtine points to what he terms Heidegger's brutal conclusion. Finally there is no such thing as medieval philosophy.720 In a new phase of his expos, J.-F. Courtine remarks:
Revenons saint Thomas et la reprise thomasienne de la question aristotlicienne on h on ou plutt son incomprhension que trahissent les expressions ens communiter consideratum , ens in communi .721
714 715

Ibid. Ibid. 716 Ibid. 717 Ibid. 718 Courtine manuscript, p. 9. 719 Courtine cites Einfhrung in die Metaphysik, Kahn translation. 720 Courtine manuscript, p. 9.; Die Grundbegriffe der Metaphysik, p.58-60; French translation, p. 68-69.


He cites Heideggers Grundebegriffe text:

Lorsque j'interroge sur ce qui choit chaque tant en tant que tel, je passe ncessairement au-del de l'tant particulier. Je passe aux dterminations les plus gnrales de l'tant: ceci que chaque tant est quelque chose, qu'il est l'un et non pas l'autre, qu'il est diffrent, qu'il est oppos, etc. Toutes ces dterminations: quelque chose, unit, altrit, distinction, opposition, sont telles qu'elles se trouvent au-del de chaque chose particulire. Mais dans leur tre-au-del, elles sont entirement diffrentes de l'tre-au-del de Dieu relativement n'importe quelle chose. Ces deux genres fondamentalement distincts de ltre-au-del sont coupls dans un concept .722 (Italics mine)

What interests us here and is very telling is Heideggers last line. This melting of finite substances, where there is a distinction between essence and existence, and ipsum esse, where there is none, into one concept is just exactly what Suarez does via his conceptus entis, but which St. Thomas does not do! Courtine stresses the point:
Cest ainsi que la mtaphysique a cess de faire problme, tout le comme le mta: Si lanalyse ... peut valoir, en un sens pour Suarez, elle est en tout cas, tout fait non pertinente, sagissant de Thomas dAquin.723

To summarize: J.-F. Courtine is trying to prepare us for Heideggers treatment of the triplex consideratio of the three names of metaphysics, i.e., as naming the maxime intelligibilia as, one, furthest from matter, two, the causes of all things and, three, what is attributable to all being, ens inquantum ens.. It all goes on almost as if Heidegger realized why Aquinas was laying down, delineating three aspects of one science of metaphysics (in the Aristotelian sense) and was determined to thwart it. As J.-F. Courtine says this verdict extends beyond Thomas:
Ce qui affecte le concept thomasien de mtaphysique (mais au del de Thomas, le verdict stend toute la philosophie mdivale), cest donc la Veruerlichung, la Verworrenheit, la Problemlosigkeit (lextriorit superficielle, la confusion, la non-problmaticit). Pour le montrer, Heidegger commente et paraphrase le Prome du Commentaire de la Mtaphysique et souligne lidentification (Gleichsetzung ) qui y serait loeuvre de la prima philosophia, de la metaphysica et de la scientia divina. ... Cela a lair aristotlicien, indique Heidegger, mais cest tout diffrent (certes !).724

J.-F. Courtine continues paraphrasing Heidegger:

La mtaphysique a d'abord t apprehende comme scientia regulatrix, et ce titre elle doit tre maxime intellectualis, i.e. tourn vers ce qu'il y a de plus intelligible quae circa maxime intelligibilia versatur.725

The maxime intelligibilia are understood tripliciter, in three ways, but, in any case, Heidegger reduces what is highest and most knowable to what is the most supersensible (am meisten und hchsten erkennbar - am meisten ubersnnlich)
721 722

Ibid., p. 11. Courtine manuscript, p.11.; Die Grundbegriffe der Metaphysik, p.68; French translation, p. 76. 723 Ibid, p. 12. 724 Ibid. 725 Ibid.


Connatre est de manire trs gnrale saisir quelque chose partir de ses causes , avant de passer ensuite des primae causae la prima causa, dont la foi nous apprend que c'est Dieu, Dieu comme crateur du monde !726

Here J.-F. Courtine points out the disparity between Heideggers allegations, obviously confusing what is known by faith and by reason, and what the Prooemium actually says. Heidegger continues:
Quelque chose est maxime intelligibile, quand elle prsente en soi la prima causa, la cause supreme. 727

What St. Thomas does do in his Prooemium is to distinguish theologia (1) philosophica from theologia (2) sacrae doctrinae. What Heidegger is in fact (seemingly on purpose) doing, is approaching them. Where Thomas writes:
''Dicitur autem prima philosophia, inquantum primas rerum causas considerat,''728

Heidegger comments:
Also ist die prima philosophia Erkenntnis der hchsten Ursache, Gottes als des Schpfers - ein Gedankengang, der Aristoteles in dieser Form vollkommen fernlag. - Ainsi la prima philosophia est connaissance de la cause suprme, de Dieu comme crateur - un mouvement de pense qui, sous cette forme, est trs loign d'Aristote.729

First cause is the first of three senses of maxime intelligibilia. Since the other two are: universality and immateriality, the first involves being as cause. However Heidegger takes the liberty of identifying causa prima with creator or Schpfer, an identification Aquinas studiously avoids making within the schema of theologia (1) philosophica. Heidegger then goes on to analyze another, second sense of maxime intelligibiliaens inquantum ens Courtine characterizes it:
celle qui s'tablit de la comparaison de l'intellect au sens: dans cette nouvelle perspective, cette consideratio, les maxime intelligibilia se prsentent comme les principia maxime universalia, comme ce qui universellement et sans exception choit tout tant, ce qui correspond chez Aristote lenqute qui porte sur lon h on, et que Thomas nomme ici ens et ea quae consequuntur ens. Par l indique Heidegger, la mtaphysique est bien gal ce quon appellera plus tard ontologie."730

This second sense corresponds to St. Thomass Prooemium:

726 727

Ibid., p. 13. Courtine manuscript, p.13; Die Grundbegriffe der Metaphysik, p.69-71; French translation, p. 78-79. 728 Courtine manuscript, p.13; Prooemium. 729 Courtine manuscript, p.13. 730 Courtine manuscript, p. 13-14; Grundebegriffe, p. 72-74; French trans., p. 81.


Quamvis autem subiectum huius scientiae sit ens commune, dicitur tota de his quae sunt separata a materia secundum esse et rationem. Quia secundum esse et rationem separari dicuntur, non solum illa quae nunquam in materia esse possunt, sicut Deus et intellectuales substantiae, sed etiam illa quae possunt sine materia esse, sicut ens commune. Hoc tamen non contingeret si a materia secundum esse dependeret.731 (underlining mine)

(Evidently 'ens commune', in comprising substances that cannot exist separated from matter and those that can, as well as those that never exist materially, does not represent ONLY those maxime intelligibilia). Whereas the subject genus of metaphysics, ens commune, with all its types of substance, is known to exist via a demonstration of the existence of immateriality, it is a negative immateriality, it is the immateriality of considering all things, even material things, apart from any consideration of materiality as such. God and the angels can only be considered apart from matter since they are positively immaterial, but material things may be viewed both with regard to their material constitution, i.e. insofar as they move and change and are material, and with regard to their being, or unity, or act. Thus those existing in matter are considered here in the formality of their aspect of immateriality. Heidegger then goes on to the third sense of maxime intelligibilia realities that are: maxime a materia separata: Here J.-F. Courtine is paraprhrasing on Heidegger this:
spares de la matire, non pas seulement secundum rationem, sicut mathematica, mais encore secundum esse, sicut Deus et intelligentiae. Avant de commenter - de manire un peu tendancieuse, car il sagit pour Thomas de rendre compte dune pluralit de dnominations quil rencontre et quil ninvente pas (trois noms: philosophie prima, metaphysica, scientia divina) -: la connaissance de cet au-del et de ce spirituel au sens suprme (?) (die Erkenntnis dieses im hchsten Sinne Jenseitigen und Geistigen) est la connaissance de Dieu mme, la scientia divina, et comme telle, la thologie732

Heideggers finale, that the subject of metaphysics is knowledge of God himself, is just plain inaccurate because he mixes two kinds of theology. We saw above that ens commune is precisely not knowledge of Deus et angeli, substances that must exist without matter, except insofar as theologia (1) philosophica points to them as the principii subjecti . (It is Heidegger who insists on painting medieval metaphysics as being an ambitious, maybe perhaps overly ambitious in his view, undertaking.) J.-F. Courtine points to this tendency:
Heidegger qui ne sarrte pas sur la proposition fondamentale: haec autem triplex consideratio non diversis, sed uni scientiae attribui debet (cette triple considration ne doit pas tre attribue des sciences diverses, mais une seule et mme), prtait Thomas lintention de dfinir diffrentiellement trois sciences, pour les ramener ensuite arbitrairement lunit733

From Heideggers Grundebegriffe:

De sorte que la philosophie premire traite des causes premires. la mtaphysique traite de ltant en gnral, et la thologie traite de Dieu. Toutes trois sont ensemble une science unitaire, la scientia regulatrix. Je nai pas besoin de
731 732

Cf. end Prooemium. Courtine manuscript, p.14; Grundebegriffe, p. 74-75; French trans., p. 82. 733 Courtine manuscript, p.14.


revenir sur le fait que la problmatique interne de la scientia regulatrix nest en ralit apprhende ici d aucune manire, mais que cest par une systmatique empruntant un tout autre chemin, essentiellement dtermin par la foi, que sont tenues ensemble ces trois orientations interrogatives. Autrement dit, dans cette ambigut multiple, le concept du philosopher nest pas orient sur la problmatique interne mme: ce sont des dterminations disparates du dpassement (Hinbergehen) qui sont ici associes.734 (accentuation mine)

While there are some ramifications of this misunderstanding of the triplex consideratio, we shall move on to the third consideration in this survey of J.-F. Courtine. As mentioned, this next and last main exegesis of Heidegger on St. Thomas involves what J.-F. Courtine alleges (in our view correctly) to be Heideggers failure to distinguish between two sorts of theology, i.e. theologia (1) philosophica and theologia (2) sacrae doctrinae. In fact, this is linked to the issue just studied above. Thus, linking the two, lets borrow one more line from J.-F. Courtine, referring to Heideggers insistence on metaphysicss reliance on faith:
O Heidegger a-t-il vu dans le Prome un chemin ou une dmarche dtermin par la foi? Thomas en appelle simplement un principe lmentaire de l'pistmologie aristotlicienne.735

In this problematic, the role assigned substantiae separatae within theologia (1) philosophica can be used to illustrate the contradiction between Heideggers interpretation and what Aquinas in fact says in his Prooemium. Put simply, if the science has 3 names: First philosophy = studying the first causes Metaphysics = studying the most universal, ens inquantum ens, and Theology = studying the most immaterial, i.e, separate substances and immaterial soul.which is the most fundamental name for the science ? St. Thomas decides that metaphysics is most fundamental name because it studies the subject genus (ens commune) and what is its cause (first causes). we cite the relevant 7 of the Prooemium in extenso):

736 734 735

Cf. manuscript, p.14; Grundebegriffe, p. 72-74; French trans., p. 81. Courtine manuscript, p.15. 736 The Rowan translation: "Now this threefold consideration should be assigned to one and the same science and not to different sciences. For the separate substances mentioned above are the universal and first causes of being. Moreover, it pertains to one and the same science to consider both the proper causes of some genus and the genus itself: for example the philosophy of nature considers principles of a natural body. Consequently, it must be the office of one and the same science to consider separate substances and being in general, ens commune, which is its genus, loosely speaking, of which the substances mentioned are the common and universal causes."


What is new here? Below we shall see that Heidegger collapses theology (2) into theology (1). But, what is the exact configuration expressing the status of these: i.e., God and the substantiae separatae with regard to theologia (1) philosophica? We suppose that they are only the principii subjecti but now are told that this science of metaphysics studies: Ejusdem autem scientiae est considerare causas proprias alicujus generis et genus ipsum yet the subject is ens commune because it includes both. In other words, the subject-genus has to be kept general, i,e., ens commune because it comprises both substances that HAVE TO BE separate AND those that CAN BE separate. Although, as it happens, we only reason to the existence of the former due to the latter, the subject matter ens commune, again, has to be proportionately general.737 And so, coming back to our list of the three names of the science: First philosophy, studying the first causes, Metaphysics, studying the most universal, ens inquantum ens, and Theology, studying the most immaterial, i.e, separate substances and immaterial soul.which is the subject matter of the science? The answer is the second, ens commune. St. Thomas's Prooemium again:

J.-F. Courtine concludes his assessment of Heideggers remarks on these two theologies on a more general level: faisant totalement abstraction de la distinction thomiste majeure des deux thologies (la thologie des philosophes et la thologie de la sacra scriptura)"739. Courtine cites Heideggers Grundebegriffe):
la tension non rsolue rside dans le fait que1'interrogation qui demande ce qu'est l'galit, la distinction, l'opposition, qui demande comment ces notions se comportent les unes envers les autres, et comment elles font partie du dploiement essentiel (Wesen) de l'tant, est quelque chose de totalement autre que la question en qute du fondement ultime de l'tant.740

737 For St. Thomas, Physics VIII, 4 referred to in IV Metaphysicorum, #593 shows that Aristotle deduces that substance that HAS TO BE separate DOES exist. 738 St. Thomas, Prooemium; (One gets the feeling that in the case of metaphysics 'one is walking an extremely fine line' because, as we see, St. Thomas maintains both: that whereas the subject of any natural science is a subject-genus and not its causes, nonetheless, and without contradiction, in the case of metaphysics, we know that a subject-genus, i.e.,ens commune, exists by virtue of a proof demonstrating first causes!) 739 Cf. manuscript, p.15. 740 Cf. manuscript, p.15; Grundebegriffe, p. 74-75; French trans., p. 83. Courtine modifies the translation a bit.


And J.-F. Courtine explains:

La tension ou l'incompatibilit (Unzutrglichkeit ) des deux questions ressort davantage encore dans la thologie mdivale, puisque le concept aristotlicien de thologie y est saisi dans le sens d'une conception tout fait dtermine de Dieu en tant que personne, conception oriente sur la rvlation chrtienne (trad. 84). Dsormais, note encore Heidegger, l'existence entire de la mtaphysique est a priori dtermine par l'orientation sur la thologie au sens chrtien.741

There is not much else that can be said about Heideggers attitude. Some general remarks leading us into a final section and conclusions Here, J.-F. Courtine will illustrate what he calls St. Thomass ddoublement rigoureux of theology, in introducing some passages from Albertus Magnus. This allows Albert to point to metaphysics as primum omnium fundamentum for him. Specifically, J.-F. Courtine will employ Alberts texts to distance God (and separate substances)? from being the subject of metaphysics or theologia (1) philosophica, and that for both Sts. Albert and Thomas. In contradistinction, the Suarezian conceptus entis, in some way inclusive and logically prior to God, as including God as a being, will, ironically, be guilty of all of Heideggers accusations of ontotheologizing! However, returning to McInerny and Courtine on Albert and Thomas on Aristotle, and McInerny on Thomas and Aristotle, we shall now draw some very tentative conclusions regarding how what the subject-matter of metaphysics may be ends up affecting Heideggers exegesis and Courtine's analysis. J.-F. Courtine continues the theme on what he calls St. Thomass ddoublement rigoureux of theology, now introducing texts of Albertus Magnus:
Ce ddoublement rigoureux de la thologie est justement ce qui rend possible une dtermination strictement ontologique de la mtaphysique. Cest cette mme accentuation nettement ontologique de la mtaphysique quon trouvait dj chez Albert le Grand dans sa Metaphysica (la rdaction en est termine avant 1263 - le commentaire de Thomas date des annes 1270-1272): la mtaphysique qui a pour fonction dtablir solidement (stabilire) les principes de toutes les autres sciences particulires, est bien science premire et du premier ; elle est mme science fondamentale, en ceci quelle est science du primum omnium fundamentum, avoir de ltant ou, comme dit encore Albert, de lesse simplex. 742

Cf. manuscript, p.15; Grundebegriffe, p. 74-75; French trans., p. 84. Cf. manuscript, p.18; Albert, op. cit: En effet, comme cette science est la premire de toutes, il faut quelle porte elle-mme sur ce qui est premier, savoir ltant, et comme elle tablit fermement les principes tant complexes quincomplexes de toutes les choses particulires, et que ces principes ne peuvent tre tablis fermement Si ce nest par ce qui leur est antrieur, et quil ny a rien qui leur soit antrieur, Si ce nest ltant et ce qui est de ltant..., il faut que les principes de toutes choses soient fermement tablis par ceci quelle (cette science premire) est science de ltant, ltant qui est le premier fondement de tout, lui mme fond en rien qui lui soit antrieur. Cum enim sit prima ista inter omnes scientia oportet quod ipsa sit de primo. hoc autem est ens et cum stabiliat omnium particularium principia tam complexa quam incomplexa nec stabiliri possint nisi per ea quae sunt ipsis priora. et non sint eis aliqua priora nisi ens et entis... oportet quod omnium principia per istam scientiam stabiliantur per hoc quod ipsa est de ente. quod est primum omnium fundamentum in nullo penitus ante fundatum...



And therefore we are a far cry from confounding it with a theology in the second sense, i.e., a sacra doctrina. Courtine:
On ne confondra videmment pas cet esse simplex ou ce fundamentum in nullo penitus ante se fundatum avec Dieu, sujet dune autre scientia divina, dune autre thologie: Albert rcuse expressment cette possible interprtation thologique de la mtaphysique.743

Here is Alberts text, denying that, for him at least, God is the subject of metaphysics:

(As we have said, Aquinas too denies that God is the subject of metaphysics.) J.-F. Courtine continues:
Non, le sujet de la mtaphysique est et n'est rien d'autre que l'ens pris comme tel, l'ens comme primum,1'ens comme fundamentum, sans que ce fondement (Grund) ne se confonde avec Dieu qui est bien plutt cause de l'tre, et qui n'en constitue pas l'exemplification, la figure paradigmatique ou le sommet (akrotaton). Bien plus, les formulations d'Albert - et il sera suivi en cela par Thomas - semblent mme aller directement contre l'analyse aristotlicienne d'E. 1. (Accentuation mine.)745

This last sentence calls for some analysis. Indeed, with that configuration of Albert's formulations, in turn attributable to Aquinas, Courtine raises questions as to the Aristotelian origins of their metaphysical analysis. While thorough resolution of these questions is beyond the scope of this work, and since we are combining Courtine and McInerny, we can give McInerny's, one, possible answer to this aporia. Referring directly to E, 1, b1026 a27-33.

Courtine manuscript, p.18-19. Albertus, op. cit. with Courtine's translation: "Il y a en parmi les Latins qui soutiennent que Dieu est le sujet de cette science, parce que, disent-il, la science la plus noble doit avoir le sujet le plus noble, et la science premire le sujet premier, et la science divine et la plus haute le sujet divin et le plus haut." 745 Courtine seems to be nuancing things a bit here. Cf. Courtine manuscript, p.19: Aprs avoir distingu trois sciences thortiques, la mathmatique, la physique et la thologique, le Stagirite notait en effet que Si le divin est prsent quelque part, c'est manifestement dans une nature (physis) de ce genre, celle des ralits spares et immobiles, et il ajoutait: the most honorable of the sciences must deal with the most honorable class of things (1026 a 21-22): or c'est la formule mme que reprendront quidam Latinorum , ceux qu'Albert critique ici, tout comme il pourrait bien viser aussi la thse de K. 7 (1064 a 2829): and of these the last mentioned (theology) is the highest of all: l'tant en effet, comme premier, comme fondement, l'tant dans sa gnralit (non contractum ad hoc vel illud) n'est justement pas spar. Ainsi l'universalit de la mtaphysique ne renvoie pas quelque protologie, celle d'un premier ou d'un theon mais bien plutt au caractre rsolument transcendantal de son sujet: L'ens inquantum ens, l'esse simplex. A l'articulation authentiquement aristotlicienne de l'universel et du premier, l'articulation qu'on peut nommer, avec Rmi Brague, katholou-protologique, Albert oppose un tout autre rapport: le rapport/non-rapport d'une distance infranchissable, celle que nomme ici l'effluxio ou la creatio.



"Aristotle then poses Jaeger's question. "For one might raise the question whether first philosophy is universal or deals with one genus, i.e. some one kind of being" Not only does Aristotle pose the question, he goes on to answer it. "We answer that if there is no substance other than those which are formed by nature, natural science will be the first science; but if there is an immovable substance, the science of this must be prior and must be first philosophy, and universal in this way, because it is first. And it will belong to this to consider being qua being""746

In other words there is a unity to the science for the unmoved mover and immaterial substances, those that must exist immaterially, are the causes of the others. Returning to our look at J.-F. Courtine's analysis:
Si la mtaphysique a en effet pour principe premier et fondamental l'esse simplex, le fundamentum comme tel, celuici n'est fondatif et stabilisateur que parce qu'il a d'abord t cr, parce qu'il est prima effluxio Dei747

And J.-F. Courtine continues his citation from Albertus Magnus:


And Courtine's translation of same:

"L'tre en effet que cette science considre, elle ne le reoit pas comme contract en ceci ou en cela, mais pour autant qu'il est la premire effluxion de Dieu, et le premier cr, avant quoi rien n'est cr."749

And his analysis of it:

Ainsi Dieu, cause de l'tre, est cause du sujet de la mtaphysique; mais par l justement il n'y est pas inclus dans son sujet, (It is one thing to say God is not the subject nor included in the subject, but he is the principle of the subject.) il ne relve pas de la mtaphysique; il n'est pas compris sous, son concept le plus gnral, le conceptus entis, et cela de telle manire qu'il puisse ensuite fait l'objet spcial d'une praecipua pars.750

This recalls the end of St. Thomass Metaphysics Prooemium:



McInerny, Ralph, M., "Ontology and Theology in Aristotles Metaphysics", (233-240), Mlanges offertes la mmoire de Charles De Konninck, Presses de lUniversit Laval, 1968, p. 236-7. 747 Ibid. 748 Courtine manuscript, p. 20. 749 Ibid. 750 Ibid. 751 St. Thomas, Prooemium


Returning to our analysis of J.-F. Courtine He tells us who or what he thinks Heidegger seems to have had in mind in accusing St. Thomas of doing onto-theology. While agreeing about Suarez, one wonders if it is the only reason for his accusing one thinker of what seems to better characterize another. (The irony seems to lie in the fact that while seeming to prefer Suarez over Aquinas, or other medieval authors, for that matter, it is just what displeases Heidegger that most seems to typify Suarez here.) J.-F. Courtine goes on:
Dans ce que refusent ici conjointement Albert et Thomas, on aura reconnu la solution suarzienne, celle que Heidegger semble avoir en vue quand il caractrise la mtaphysique comme ontothologie.752

And J.-F. Courtine confirms his sentiment that Heidegger's accusations best suit Suarez:
Si donc la mtaphysique considre aussi Dieu et les divina (de deo et divinis), elle ne les prend en vue qu'autant qu'ils sont principes de l'tre universel, et par l qu'ils sont principes de l'tant vritable, savoir selon qu'il est tant (est tamen de his, secundum quod illa sunt principia universi esse, per hoc quod sunt principia entis vere, secundum quod est ens) (VI, tr. 1, c. 3). Ainsi l'esse simpliciter ou encore l'ens inquantum est ens simpliciter est bien propius effectus Dei, comme le redira Thomas d'Aquin (.), ds lors que l'tant s'entend, comme chez Thomas, ab actu essendi, et qu'il n'est pas pris, comme chez Suarez, titre de nom.753

752 753

Courtine, op. cit., p. 20 Ibid.


CONCLUSIONS ON THE COURTINE-MCINERNY DISCUSSION We see that towards the end of his rebuttals of Heideggers many attacks on flaws Heidegger feels apply to various medieval authors, Courtine widens the discussion to a series of controversial issues. To wit: for him, Suarez is one for whom ens commune or, in Suarez's language, conceptus objectivus entis, includes Deus; he then cites Albertus Magnus together with a few passages from St. Thomass Quaestiones disputatae de Potentia Dei, to the effect that God is the principium subiecti scientiae rather than the science's subject. McInerny and J.-F. Courtine agree on that element of the Metaphysics Prooemium. Nonetheless Courtine points to what he sees as a certain Albertine departure from dependence on the authority of Aristotle, the latter a trait that seems to mark both Aquinas's Physics and Metaphysics commentaries. Initially we thought we might be able to be convinced that we were using both McInerny and Courtine in a joint interpretation against the respective positions of Jaeger and Heidegger (i.e., Jaegers view that for, Aristotle, supersensible reality is the subject of metaphysics and Heideggers view that, allegedly, God is the subject for some medievals), but there seems to be a slight divergence between McInerny and J.-F. Courtine's positions: put simply, whereas McInerny outlines Aquinas's dependence on Aristotle, J.-F. Courtine hints that Albert and Thomas were going against Aristotle's view at E, 1: "Bien plus, les formulations d'Albert - et il sera suivi en cela par Thomas - semblent mme aller directement
contre l'analyse aristotlicienne d'E. 1."754

Keeping this in mind, in other words, were we to take Aristotle to be referring to the nous, or unmoved mover then we have to conclude that St. Thomas's Prooemium schema is different. But if we conclude, like McInerny, that the timiotin' or unmoveable substance does not refer to the nous as subject of metaphysics then there is compatibility with St. Thomas's Prooemium schema. That is, finally, the subject of metaphysics would be, for Aristotle and St. Thomas, substance as it CAN exist without matter and substance that MUST exist without matter. But the latter does not mean God or 'nous'.755 So, again, J.-F. Courtine seems to shift directions a bit and disagrees with McInerny just on this last point. In concluding this section, we might still feel confronted with a dilemma. How can it be that ens commune is the subject of metaphysics and yet that God is not? The error comes from thinking that God's being included among those things that must be separate from matter and motion secundum rationem et secundum esse, means that God is the science's subject. We are not dealing with a simple matter of 'Venn diagram like' class inclusion. Being the subject of a demonstrative science requires more than that. And Metaphysics's limited, simple knowledge of God as merely answering the question an sit, does not permit that.

754 755

Cf. n. 57. St. Thomas, on Meta, B1026 a27-33.


CHAPTER FIVE CONCLUSIONS As to the ontotheological dispute over Metaphysics, there seem to be two conclusions, or two plateaus, beyond which one cannot go without passing into one camp or the other. #1. If ens commune communia entis, common being, is indeed the subject of metaphysics, and if most contemporary scholarship, including therein Jaegers, Natorps and Heideggers, is mistaken as to what the subject of metaphysics is for say, Aquinas, then God or nous is not its subject, or shall we say, is the principle of the subject. And so the criticisms launched by Heidegger and based on the idea that the terminology employed to treat nous, substance, ousia, category, etc., in ancient and medieval ontology, are drawn in an alienated fashion, from productive modes of behaviour or comportments of Dasein and involve everydayness, fallenness and/or Verfallenheit, find less support. #2 This also applies to the essence/existence deployment as standing opposed to Heideggers ontological distinction between Sein and Seiende. For the two points seem to stand or fall hand in hand. (The only way to go beyond this standoff is to ask whether the terms used, i.e., to treat form, matter substance, ousia, category, etc. are rightly condemned to this fallen status due to their etymological origins? (The only way out of this impasse in paradigms might be to ask whether there is not, in Scholastic material logic, an explanation of the terminus a quo and terminus ad quem of terms, i.e., something Heidegger was not familiar with or else replaced by another language theory of his own or of Husserls making.)


General Conclusion
We have been led to understand the relationship between essentia and existentia in the distinction between them as problematic and often and variously expressed in Scholasticism. This has involved a perennial and central philosophical question. We came across it here in two 13th, and one 15th century formulation. All three formulations of it were commented on by Heidegger in 1927. Of course, our first task has been exegetical: how has Heidegger presented the distinction between essence and existence as described in the philosophies of, respectively, Thomas Aquinas, Duns Scotus and Suarez, in Chapter 2 of his GP? Our investigations have shown us that Heidegger is guided by Suarez throughout. From an Aegidian Thomas, through a Scotus interpretation guided by references to Suarezs Disputationes metaphysicae, to and including Heidegger's treatment of Suarez himself, Suarezian vocabulary and formulations have predominated. By the way, we found nothing especially remarkable about the second interpretation in our trio, i.e., Heidegger's Scotus interpretation, couched though it be in Suarezian terms. And, unsurprisingly enough, we find Heidegger's Suarez interpretation fairly accurate. On the contrary, we found that the first interpretation in our trio, i.e., what we might call the Aegidian duae res Thomas to be basically wrongheaded. As to the adjacent philosophical task, involving essence and existence, that we took on in the course of the second part of the Thomas Section, we have tried to provide some answers to the nagging question of what we are after all doing when we predicate essence and existence of this or that natural, material substance. We have done that in using Heidegger's own GP references to a Quodlibetal text as our point of departure. We were led to an exegesis of Thomas Aquinas's Commentary on the Posterior Analytics, book 2. This exegesis was carried out while placing heavy reliance on Ralph McInerny's analysis of both Quodlibetal and In Posterior Analytics, book 2, texts, as well as many other complementary thomistic texts. The results of that investigation in the 'Thomas section' revealed a simple, if seemingly contradictory, doctrine that we suggested Thomas Aquinas at least held to involve his explanation of his commentary on Aristotle's Posterior Analytics, book 2, as well as his commentary: in V, 7 Metaphysics. Finally, in trying to provide an answer of sorts to the-above-mentioned question: "How are we to understand the relationship between essentia and existentia?" we concluded that the two questions might be better put in asking: what are we doing when we say that a finite substance exists, or when we ask what it is? On a historical level, in our use of the Aristotle commentaries to buttress our approach, we assumed there that Thomas did not take the time out of his projectpacked career to comment on Aristotle to fill a historical gap but, rather, that he commented on Aristotle because he more often than not agreed with him. That conclusion is of course the fruit of research. We have contended, based in part on analysis of that same source, i.e., part two of McInerny's 1959 article, Being and Predication, that not only are the Aegidian duae 256

res doctrine Suarez hints at and Heidegger attributes to him, foreign to the doctrine emerging from Thomas's Aristotle commentaries et alia, but that also, furthermore, the very term 'real distinction' is nowhere to be found there, and that its centrality in the debate is very likely the historical consequence of Giles of Rome's writings. THE REAL DISTINCTION'S ORIGIN? An eventual step in our work might well be an encounter with a Heideggerian rejoinder that might run something like this: 'it is all well and good to have shed light on the relationship between essentia and existentia in Aquinas, or any other medieval figure for that matter, in 'medieval philosophy' terms, but having done that you must face the Heideggerian, phenomenologically based objection, in its 1927-29 state of evolution, that any medieval ontology involves a derivative situation, that is, that it represents a stage in onto-theology..' The reason allegedly being that the terms employed have their origin in the productive mode of Dasein's activity. Our rather categorical response may have been somewhat startling. It is that that very Heideggerian, phenomenologically based Aristotle interpretation is challenged by our conclusions in Chapter 2 (cfr. Our pg. 83) where we take to task Heidegger's very contention that (Herstellen), production is the model for Aristotelian, and subsequent medieval, ontology. According to the Heidegger of GP, chapter two there is, supposedly, a reversal of look and form in Greek ontology (cf. the Hofstadter text, p 86, GP, 120121). Our analysis of the examples used to explain change in Aristotle's Physics have shown that Aristotelian ontology, his 'Greek ontology', at any rate, begins with an analysis of the more proximate or more evident (quoad nos) accidental change or artificial production (Herstellen) only to move on, via analogy, to an analysis of natural, substantial change. (Thus there is no reversal of look and form at work there in Aristotle's Physics.) There is an order of perception ... perception of natural substances for example, and an order of imagination, e.g., as aimed at production; the two: look and form, are neither reversed nor collapsed into one by Aristotle. Except, and this is paramount, that in the explanation of change in the Physics what is first in re is second in the order of our knowledge. In producing, some preconceived idea, or look must precede the coming-to-be of the accidental form, morph, the natural substance will be given, but not in the order of perception where the look is garnered from the form and not the other way around. What we are saying is that Heidegger has failed to observe the Aristotelian and Scholastic adage that what is first in the order of our knowing is oft last in the order of reality. In his famous 'bed' example, Aristotle uses the artifact to explain natural coming-to-be, all the while aware that the latter, natural coming-to-be, precedes the former, 'bed-coming-to-be fabricated.


WHAT ABOUT HEIDEGGER'S ONTOLOGICAL DISTINCTION? Zeroing in a bit on what we mentioned as a major secondary source, i.e., Ralph McInernys 1959 article, Being and Predication756, let us for a moment ask ourselves what exactly we have been calling into question in Heideggers Thomas interpretation? After citing Aquinas's De Veritate757, Heidegger said, as he had earlier, that esse, or existere, is conceived of also, in distinction from quod est or esse quod, as esse quo or ens quo. The key transition involved esse being conceived as ens quo. Now we would not have badgered Heidegger over one word except for the fact that its what has made feasible his Aegidian Thomas.) In his Posterior Analytics commentary, we found Thomas drawing the rather startling conclusion: ''and these are the questions that we ask''758. What he means to say is: these 4 structures are incarnated in any question we formulate. What we have tried to do is to employ the first 2 out of that series of 4 questions, figuring prominently in Aquinass Metaphysics V, 7 commentary and in the Posterior Analytics II (lectios 1-7) commentary to show that there are 2 orders in questioning, the an sit, asking whether the thing exists and the quid sit, asking what that thing is. We have also suggested that myriad texts of Aquinas point out the basic nature of the distinction between the an sit, asking whether the thing exists and the quid sit, asking what that thing is. What is the pertinence of all this? (The only obvious eventual relevance of this to our interests is, of course, that we are saying that the answer to the an sit question is the accidental predication and proposition, expressing existence and that the answer to the quid sit question, asking what that thing is, (the predicate, not the predication mind you), is the predicate of the definition expressing the essence.) Returning for a moment to Heideggers de Veritate, 27, 4 citation, we read:
Omne quod est directe in praedicamento substantiae, compositum est saltem ex esse et quod est; 759

We have tried to show that, for Aquinas, the esse quo cannot be fairly equated with ens quo, as Heidegger pretends, for were that to be the case it would be equivalent to quod est. (Were that to be the case one consequence would be a doubling of ens and an Aegidian, duae res Thomas. In a nutshell:l what we have suggested is that Heidegger wants to infer that that doubling is there but that the texts he cites do not match that interpretation at all.) We have also attempted to show that esse and quod est
MCINERNY, Ralph, Being and Predication, in Thomistic Interpretations, CUA Press, Washington, D.C.1986, pp 173 - 228. This text was originally published in two parts. The first part, entitled Some Notes on Being and Predication, appeared in The Thomist, 22,3, July 1959, pp. 315 335; the longer, concluding part, Notes on Being and Predication, appeared in the Laval Thologique et Philosophique, Vol. 15, 2, 1959. pp. 236 274. 757 De Veritate, 27, 4. 758 Commentary on Posterior Analytics II 759 Heidegger, op.cit., pg. 92.


belong, respectively, to the order of the answers to the questions an sit and quid sit as illustrated above. Finally, in the central part of our work, in the Thomas Section, an attempt was made to show that at least one exegetical reason for the Aegidian duae res Thomas was a failure to observe the an sit, quod sit delineation, as it is laid out in Thomas's Posterior Analytics commentary. At the end of our work, in the Courtine chapter, in similar fashion we attempted to show that Heidegger's misinterpretation of Thomas's Prooemium to his Metaphysics commentary was at least in part due to Heidegger's collapsing the object of metaphysics (theologia 1 in Courtine's language) into the object of sacra doctrina (theology 2 in Courtine's language). And that was due to Heidegger's failure to take into account that the model of science proposed, here again, in Thomas's Posterior Analytics Bk II commentary guides Thomas in the Metaphysics Prooemium. A conclusion of this is that God is not the object of the science of Metaphysics as Heidegger says Thomas suggests. But, generally speaking, what we do see in common in these two problematics, the essentia and existentia question and the object of metaphysics question, is a failure to do Scholastic philosophy using the tools, the Aristotelian organon, in the way Aristotle and the medievals themselves did. Our conclusions will thus involve a pedagogical enjoinder. Short of urging thinkers to do philosophy like that all the time, we might say that exegesis has to be approached in that systematic way from time to time if we are to understand the interrelationships of the various parts of the corpus of a given ancient or medieval system.


WORKS BY MARTIN HEIDEGGER (In alphabetical order followed by translations.) Der Satz von Grund. Pfullingen, Neske, 1957. Gelassenheit, Pfullingen, Neske, 1959. Translated by John M. Anderson and E. Hans Freund as Discourse on Thinking, Harper & Row, New York, 1966. Holwege (1950). 4th ed. Frankfurt a/M. : Klostermann, 1963. Kant und das Problem der Metaphysik, Frankfurt a/M. : Klostermann, 1929, 1973. Translated by Richard Taft as Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics, Bloomington, Indiana U. Press, 1997. Nietzsche (1936 - 46). 2 vols. 2

ed. Pfullingen, Neske, 1961.

Phnomenologische Interpretationen zu Aristoteles. Einfhrung in die phnomenologische ForschungThe Phenomenological Interpretations of Aristotle: Initiation into Phenomenological Research, commonly called the Natorp Essay (September 1922) in the Dilthey-Jahrbuch fr Philosophie und Geschichte der Geistwissenschaften, vol. 6 (1989) pp. 237- 274 ; English translation by M. Bauer in Man & World, vol. 25, 1992, pp. 355-393. Sein und Zeit, Max Niemeyer, Tbingen, 1927..... 1986. Translated as Being and Time by John Macquarrie and Edward Robinson, Basil Blackwell, 1962. Unterwegs zu Sprache, Neske, Tbingen, 1965. Was heit denken? (1951-52). Tbingen : Niemeyer, 1967. Was ist das-die Philosophie? (1955). Pfullingen, Neske, 1956.. Was ist Metaphysik ? (1929). With introduction (1949) and postscript (1943). 10th ed. Frankfurt a/M. : Klostermann, 1969. Wegmarken. Frankfurt a/M.: Klostermann, 1967. (Brief uber Humanismus, p. 145). From the Gesamtausgabe: Frhe Schriften, Band 1. Vittorio Klostermann, Frankfurt am Main, 1972. Habilitationsschrift: Die Kategorien- und Bedeutungslehre des Duns (Dissertation und Habilitation sind enthalten in dem Band 1.).



Duns Scotus Theory of the Categories and of Meaning. (1915a). Translated from the German and with Introduction by Harold Robbins. Dissertation. DePaul University 1978. Die Grundprobleme der Phnomenologie , GA, Band 24, Vittorio Klostermann, Frankfurt am Main, 1975. Translated as .... The Basic Problems of Phenomenology , translated by Albert Hofstadter, Indiana University Press, 1982. In French: Les problmes fondamentaux de la phnomnologie, texte tabli par Friedrich-Wilhelm von Hermann ; trad. de l'allemand par Jean-Franois Courtine, Paris, Gallimard, 1985. Die Grundbegriffe der Metaphysik , GA, Band 29-30, Vittorio Klostermann, Frankfurt am Main, 1983. Translated as The Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics, World, Finitude, Solitude, by William McNeill and Nicholas Walker, Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 1995, 2001. (Nb. Sect 14 on Suarez, pp. 51-55.) French translation by Daniel Panis: Les concepts fondamentaux de la mtaphysique. Monde-finitude-solitude, Gallimard, Paris, 1992. Aristotle's Metaphysics, Theta, 1-3, On the essence and actuality of force, (1931) translated by Walter Brogan and Peter Warnek, Indiana U Press, 1995.

COLLECTIVE EDITIONS OF HEIDEGGER On Time and Being. Translated by Joan Stambaugh. New York: Harper & Row, 1972 Contains: 1. Time and Being. (1962c) 2. The End of Philosophy and the Task of Thinking. (1964a) 3. My Way to Phenomenology. (1963a) Basic Writings. Edited by David F. Krell. New York: Harper & Row, 1993. BOOKS ON HEIDEGGER BAMBACH, Charles, Heidegger, Dilthey and the Crisis of Historicism, Cornell U. Press, Ithaca, 1995. BRISART, Robert, La phnomnologie de Marbourg ou la rsurgence mtaphysique chez Heidegger l'poque de Sein und Zeit, Pub. Fac. Saint-Louis, Brussels, 1991. BRITO, Emmanuel, Heidegger et l'hymne du sacr, Cerf, 1999. BRITO MARTINS, Manuela, L'hermneutique originaire d'Augustin en relation avec une r-appropriation heideggerienne, (13/14), Medievalia, Porto, Portugal, 1998.


CAPELLE, Philippe, Philosophie et thologie dans la pense de Martin Heidegger, Paris, Cerf, 1998. CAPUTO, John D. An Essay on Overcoming Metaphysics : Heidegger and Aquinas, Athens, Ohio Univ. Press, 1971; Re-edited: New York, Fordham University Press 1982. _________, (1986). The Mystical Element in Heideggers Thought. New York, Fordham University Press. ________, (1993). Dymythologizing Heidegger, Indiana University Press, Bloomington, Indiana. CARMAN, Taylor, Heideggers Analytic : Interpretation, Discourse and Authenticity , Cambridge University Press, 2003. CHASSARD, Pierre, lEtre pens, 196p Mengal, Brussels, 1988. COURTINE, Jean-Franois, Heidegger et la phnomnologie, Vrin, Paris, 1990. GELVEN, Michael, A Commentary on Heideggers Being and Time, Harper and Row, New York, 1970. GUIGNON, Charles, B. Heidegger and the Problem of Knowledge, Hackett, Indianapolis, 1983. __________, (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to Heidegger, Cambridge University Press, 1993. JUNG, Matthias, Das Denken des Seins und der Glaube an Gott. Zum Verhltnis von Philosophie und Theologie bei Martin Heidegger. Wrzburg : Knigshausen & Neumann, 1990. KISIEL, Theodore, The Genesis of Being and Time, U of California Press, 1993. KISIEL, Theodore and Van BUREN, John, (eds.): READING HEIDEGGER FROM THE START. Essays in his Earliest Thought. Albany (NY), SUNY Press, 1994. KONTOS, Pavlos, Dune phnomnologie de la perception chez Heidegger, PHAENOMENOLOGICA, vol. 137, Leuven, Kluwer, 1996. LOTZ, Johannes Baptist, Martin Heidegger und Thomas von Aquin, Mensch Zeit Sein, Pfullingen, Neske, 1975. _____, Martin Heidegger et Thomas dAquin, homme, temps, tre, translated by Philbert Secretan, Paris, P.U.F, 1988.


MEYER, Hans, Martin Heidegger und Thomas von Aquin, Munich, Schningh, 1964. OLAFSON, Frederick, Heidegger and the Ground of Ethics, A Study of Mitsein, Cambridge University Press, 1998. PHILIPSE, Hermann, Heidegger's Philosophy of Being, Princeton University Press, 1998. Book Reviews of the above: Crowe, Paul: Herman Philipse: Heidegger's Philosophy of Being (Rez.). In:Tijdschrift voor Filosofie 63 (2001), pp. 593-599. KAUFER, Stephan, Review of Herman Philipse, Heidegger's Philosophy of Being in International Studies in Philosophy, forthcoming. OLAFSON, Frederick, Philipse on Heidegger on Being, Inquiry, Vol. 42, 3&4, 1999, pp. 475-485. TAMINIAUX, Jacques, Lectures de lontologie fondamentale, Ed. Jrome Millon, Grenoble, 1989. THOMSON, Iain, Heidegger On Ontotheology Technology and the Politics of Education, Cambridge University Press, 2005. ARTICLES ON HEIDEGGER CAPUTO, John D. (1978). The rose is without a why : an interpretation of the later Heidegger , Philosophy Today, 15, Spring 1971, pp 3 -15. ________, (1986). Meister Eckhart and the Later Heidegger : The Mystical Element in Heideggers Thought. In Macann (1992), vol. 2, chapter 21. ________, (1993). Heidegger and Theology. In Guignon (1993), pp. 270-288. CARMAN, Taylor, On Making Sense and Nonsense of Heidegger, a review of Philipses Heidegger's Philosophy of Being, appearing in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, vol. 63, n. 3, Nov. 2001, pp. 461-572. Cot, A., "L'objet de la metaphyique est-il la meme pour Heidegger et Thomas dAquin?", Revue des Sciences Philosophiques et Thologiques, v. 2, 2000, pp. 217246. COURTINE, Jean-Franois, Une difficile transaction : ''Heidegger, entre Aristote et Luther", in Nos Grecs et leurs modernes, textes runis par Barbara Cassin, Le Seuil, 1992, pp. 337-362.


________, Heidegger et Thomas dAquin, Quaestio I, Yearbook of the History of Metaphysics, 1, Brepols, Turnhout, pp. 213 233 (2002). ________, Une difficile transaction: Heidegger, entre Aristote et Luther. In Nos Grecs et leurs modernes. Edited by Cassin Barbara. Paris: Seuil 1992. pp. 337-362. DOMBROWSKI, Daniel, Hartshorne on Heidegger, in Process Studies, vol. 25, 1996, pp. 19 33. DONDEYNE, Albert, La Difference ontologique chez Heidegger, Revue Philosophique de Louvain, T. 56, (1958) 35-62, 251-93. GILLESPIE, Michael, "Martin Heidegger's National Socialism", in Political Theory, Vol. 28, No. 2., p. 140-166, April, 2000. GREIDER, Alfons, What did Heidegger mean by essence? Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology, 19, p. 64 89 (1988). HEMMING, Laurence, P., "Heidegger's God" in The Thomist, 62, 3, (1998) 373-418, n. 51. KISIEL, Theodore, "The Missing Link in the Early Heidegger", in J. J. Kockelmanns, ed.), Hermeneutic Phenomenology, Lectures and Essays, Washington, Center for Advanced Research in Phenomenology, 1988. KNASAS, J, A Heideggerian Critique of Aquinas and a Gilsonian Reply, The Thomist, vol. 58, n# 3, 1994, pp. 415-39. KREEFT, Peter. (1971). Zen in Heideggers Gelassenheit, International Philosophical Quarterly, 11,4, Dec. 1971, pp 521 -45. LAWRENCE, Fred. (1999). Athens and Jerusalem, Gregorianum, 80, pp. 223 - 44. MARION, Jean-Luc, S. Thomas et lontotho-logie , Revue Thomiste, 95, March 1995, pp. 67-85. McCoy, Charles, "The Historical Position of Man Himself", (2 ??-231), Mlanges offertes la mmoire de Charles De Konninck, Presses de lUniversit Laval, 1968 McInerny, Ralph, Book Review of Marjorie Grenes Martin Heidegger, Hillary House, NY, 1957, appearing in the Thomist, V. 22, 1959, p. 427-8. ..(McInerny expresses interest in Heideggers Aristotle interpretations.). OLAFSON, Frederick, Heidegger on Being , Inquiry, Vol. 42, 1999, p. 475 486.


_________,. What is a Human Being ? A Heideggerian View , Cambridge University Press, 1995. _________, Heidegger And The Ground Of Ethics: A Study Of Mitsein, Cambridge University Press, 1998. PHILIPSE, Hermann, Husserl and the Origins of Analytic Philosophy in The European Journal of Philosophy 2: pp. (165-184), 1994. ___________, Transcendental Idealism in Barry Smith and David W. Smith, eds., The Cambridge Companion to Husserl , New York, Cambridge University Press, ___________, Heidegger and Ethics, Inquiry, Vol. 42, 3&4, 1999, pp. 439-474; (a book review of Frederick A OLAFSON, Heidegger and the Ground of Ethics: A Study of Mitsein.). Dietrich Papenfuss and Otto Pggeler, ed., Sprache, bersetzung, Auseinandersetzung, (Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann, 1990), 29298. PHILIPSE, Herman, Heidegger and Ethics, Inquiry, Vol. 42, 1999, p. 439 474. ________________. Manifesto, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 63 (2001). SHEEHAN, Thomas, Martin Heidegger, in A Companion to the Philosophers, ed. Robert L. Arrington, Oxford and Oxford, U. K. : Blackwell, 1999, pp. 288 297. RAFFOUL, Franois, ed., Heidegger and the Subject , translated by Gregory Recco and David Pettigrew, Humanities Press (Contemporary Studies in Philosophy and Human Sciences). New Jersey, 1998. RAFFOUL, Franois, PETTIGREW, David ed., Heidegger and Practical Philosophy, (SUNY Series in Contemporary Continental Philosophy). New York, 2002. TAMINIAUX, Jacques, Gnostique et SZ, 33-4 in Etudes Phnomnologiques, (2001), pp. 91-109. TAMINIAUX , Jacques, From One Idea of Phenomenology to Another , in Heidegger and the Project of Fundamental Ontology , translated and edited by Michael Gendre, SUNY Press, 1991. THOMSON, Iain, Ontotheology, Understanding Heideggers Destruktion of metaphysics, in International Journal of Philosophical Studies, 8, (2000), pp. 297-327. TRAYLOR, Anthony D., Heidegger and the Catholic Philosophical Tradtion: Is Existentia no longer a Theme for Future Ontology?, Current Studies in Phenomenology and Hermeneutics, 2003.


YI, Jinnam, A Critical Assessment on Caputo's Retrieval of St. Thomas, Current Studies in Phenomenology and Hermeneutics, 2003. VAIL, Loy, M. Heidegger and the Ontological Difference, Penn State U. Press, 1972. VAN BUREN, John, "Heidegger's early Freiburg courses 1915-1923", Research in Phenomenology, v. 23, n. 1, 1993, p. 132-52. BIOGRAPHIES OF HEIDEGGER SAFRANSKI, Rdinger (1994). Ein Meister aus Deutschland. Heidegger und seiner Zeit. Mnchen, Carl Hanser Verlag. ___________, Martin Heidegger, between Good and Evil , English translation by Ewald Osers, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Ma., 1998. ___________, Heidegger et son temps, French translation by Isabelle Kalinowski, Biblio-essais, 1996. BACKGROUND ON HEIDEGGER HUSSERL, Edmund, Logical Investigations, Translated by John Findley, 2 volumes, Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1975. KANT, Immanuel. Critique of Pure Reason. Translated by J.M.D. Meiklejohn, E.P. Dutton, New York, 1969. WORKS BY AQUINAS (Leonine editions, where available, are listed first followed by modern editions and translations.) SANCTI THOMAE AQUINATIS, Opera omnia iussu Leonis XIII P. M. Edita. Some fifty works have appeared. Others are in preparation. http://leonina.nerim.net/?Opera S. THOMAE DE AQVINO Expositio libri Peryermenias, editio altera retractata, [ed. R.-A. Gauthier]. Ed. Leon., t.I*-1. Roma - Paris: Commissio Leonina - Librairie Philosophique J. Vrin, 1989. S. THOMAE DE AQVINO Expositio libri Posteriorum, [ed. R.-A. Gauthier]. Ed. Leon., t.I*-2. Roma - Paris: Commissio Leonina - Librairie Philosophique J. Vrin, 1989. S. THOMAE DE AQVINO Expositio libri Posteriorum, [ed. R.-A. Gauthier]. ... CARAMELLO et synthesi doctrinali C. MAZZANTINI, Taurini-Romae: Marietti, 1950. Thomas de Aquino, In Aristotelis libros Peri hermeneias et Posteriorum analyticorurm expositio. Cum textu ex recensione Leonina. Ed.: R. M. Spiazzi (Marietti, Taurini Romae, 1955) XVIII, 439 pp.


Aristotle On interpretation: Commentary by St. Thomas and Cajetan (Peri Hermeneias) / Translated from the Latin with an introduction by Jean T. Oesterle, Marquette U. Press, Wisconsin, 1962. Commentary on the Posterior Analytics of Aristotle, translated by F.R. Larcher, Magi, Albany, NY, 1970. S. THOMAE DE AQVINO Commentaria in octo libros Physicorum Aristotelis. Ed. Leon., t.II. Roma, 1884 In Octo Libros Physicorum Aristotelis Expositio, Angeli Pirotta, ed., Marietti, TauriniRomae, 1953. Commentary on Aristotle's Physics, Richard J. Blackwell, Richard J. Spath, W. Edmund Thirlkel (Translators), Dumb Ox Books, Notre Dame, Indiana, 1999. S. THOMAE AQUINATIS, In duodecim libros Metaphysicorum Aristotelis expositio. Ed. M. R. CATHALA, R. M. SPIAZZI (2 ed.: Marietti, Taurini-Romae, 1971). Commentary on Aristotles Metaphysics, translated by John Rowan, Random House, 2 volumes, 1961; Dumb Ox books, Notre Dame, Indiana, 1995. S. THOMAE DE AQVINO Sentencia libri De anima, [ed. R.-A. Gauthier]. Ed. Leon., t.XLV-1. Roma - Paris: Commissio Leonina - Librairie Philosophique J. Vrin, 1984. In De Anima Aristotelis, Angeli Pirotta, ed., Marietti, Italy, 4th ed.,1959. Commentary on Aristotles De Anima, translated by Kenelm Foster and Silvester Humphries, Routledge and Kegan Paul, London, 1951. S. THOMAE DE AQVINO Expositio Super Librum Boethii de Trinitate, Becker ed., Brill, Leiden, 1955. Disputed Questions and Quodlibetal Questions: St. Thomas Aquinas, Quaestiones De Anima: A newly Established Edition of the Latin Text with Introduction and Notes, ed. J.H. ROBB, Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1968. S. THOMAE DE AQVINO Quaestiones de quolibet, [ed. R.-A. Gauthier]. Ed. Leon., t.XXV.1-2. Roma - Paris: Commissio Leonina - Les ditions du Cerf, 1996. Quodlibetal Questions 1 and 2, translated by Sandra Edwards, PIMS, Toronto, 1983. Opusculae: _______, De ente et essentia, Opera omnia iussu Leonis XIII P. M. edita, t. 43, (Editori di San Tommaso, Roma, 1976) pp. 315-381. An English translation by MAURER, Armand, On Being and Essence, P.I.M.S., Toronto, 1968. _____ , Opuscula Philosophica, Marietti, Roma, 1954. Summae


Summa Theologiae, Vivs Paris, 1872; (We point out that Heidegger used the Vives edition.). Summa contra Gentiles. Vivs, Paris, 1874. Thomas de Aquino, Liber de veritate catholicae Fidei contra errores infidelium seu Summa contra Gentiles, Marietti, Taurini - Romae, 1961. THOMAS AQUINAS, Summa Theologiae, Latin & facing English translation, Blackfriars, Eyre & Spottswood, London, 1964.

WORKS ON AQUINAS DOIG, James, C., Aquinas on Metaphysics. A historico-doctrinal study of the commentary on the Metaphysics. Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, 1972. McInerny, Ralph, The Logic of Analogy. An Interpretation of Saint Thomas, Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, 1961. McInerny, Ralph, Studies in Analogy, Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, 1968. McInerny, Ralph, Aquinas and Analogy , Catholic U. America Press, Washington, 1996. ___________, Boethius and Aquinas, Catholic U. America Press, Washington, 1990.

ARTICLES ON AQUINAS Boulnois Olivier, "Quand commence l'ontothologie ? Aristote, Thomas d'Aquin et Duns Scot," Revue Thomiste 95: 85-108 (1995). Boulnois Olivier, "Heidegger, l'ontothologie et les structures mdivales de la mtaphysique," Quaestio. The Yearbook of the History of Metaphysics 2: 379-406 (2001). COURTINE, Jean-Franois, Heidegger et S. Thomas dAquin, Collection: Heidegger e i Medievei, Casino, May, 2000. ________, Jean-Franois, Difference ontologique et analogie de lltre, in HISTORIA PHILOSOPHIAE MEDII AEVI, Band I, Gruner, 1991. DEWAN, Lawrence. (1999). St. Thomas and the Distinction between Form and Esse in Caused Things, Gregorianum, 80, pp. 353 70.


LEE, Patrick. (1988). Existential Propositions in the Thought of St. Thomas Aquinas, Thomist, V. 52, pp. 505-626. (Authors note: Lee makes extensive use of McInernys "Being and Predication".). MCINERNY, Ralph, The Logic of Analogy, New Scholasticism, vol. 31 (1957) p 157. ____________, "Esse ut actus Intensivus ", in ACPA Proceedings, 1964. ____________, "Ontology and Theology in Aristotles Metaphysics", (233-240), Mlanges offertes la mmoire de Charles De Konninck, Presses de lUniversit Laval, 1968. ____________, "Boethius and St. Thomas ", in Rivista di Filosofia Neo-Scolastica , 1976. ____________, "Boethius and Aquinas", in Speculum, Vol. 67, No. 2, pp. 452-454. April, 1992. ____________, "Being and Predication", pp. 165 - 228 in Being and Predication. Thomistic Interpretations, Washington, DC, The Catholic University of America Press, 1986. ____________, "The Science we are Seeking"*, in Review of Metaphyics, Vol 47, pp. 3 18, 1993. *Presidential Address to the Metaphysical Society of America STONE, Abraham Dean, On Husserl and Cavellian Skepticism with Reference to the Thomistic Theory of Creation, Doctoral Thesis, Harvard U. 2000. WOODS, Martin T, The Reduction of Essence in Aquinas and Husserl, The Thomist, vol. 53, n# 3, p. 443- 60 (1989). WORKS BY SCOTUS DUNS SCOTUS, JOHN, Opera Omnia. ("The Vatican edition") Civitas Vaticana: Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis, 1950-. So far includes Books 1 and 2 of the Ordinatio (vols. I-VII) and Books 1 and 2 of the Lectura (vols. XVI-XIX). Opera Philosophica. St. Bonaventure, NY: The Franciscan Institute, 1997-2006. The question-commentaries on Porphyry's Isagoge and Aristotle's Categories (vol. I), on Peri hermeneias and Sophistical Refutations, along with the Theoremata (vol. II), the Quaestiones super libros Metaphysicorum Aristotelis (vols. III-IV), and the Quaetiones super Secundum et Tertium de Anima. DUNS SCOTUS, JOHN, OPERA OMNIA JOHANNES DUNS SCOTI, ed. WADDING, Luc, Vivs ; Paris, 1895; (We point out that Heidegger used the Vives edition.). DUNS SCOTUS, JOHN Sur la connaissance de Dieu et lunivocit de letre, traduction et commentaire par Olivier Boulnois, 269

Duns Scotus, Johannes, God and creatures: the Quodlibetal Questions, translated by Felix Alluntis and Allen B. Wolter, Catholic University of America Press, Washington, D.C., 1975. Duns Scotus, Johannes, Obras del doctor sutil Juan Duns Escoto: Cuestiones cuodlibetales, version de Felix Alluntis, La editorial catolica, Madrid, 1968.

WORKS ON SCOTUS CHEVALIER, Jacques (1992). De Duns Scot Suarez, (Histoire de la Pense, V. 4) Editions Universitaires CROSS, Richard, The Physics of Duns Scotus, Oxford (Clarendon), 1998. CROSS, Richard, The Physics of John Duns Scotus, Oxford University Press, 1998. CROSS, Richard John Duns Scotus, Perfection, Infinity and Religious Language, Oxford University Press, 1999. CROSS, Richard, The Metaphysics of the Incarnation, Thomas Aquinas to Duns Scotus, Oxford University Press, 2002. CROSS, Richard, Duns Scotus on God, Aldershot : Ashgate, 2005. GILSON, Etienne, JEAN DUNS SCOT, Vrin, Paris, 1952. HARRIS, C. R. S., Duns Scotus, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 2 vols., 1927. MCINERNY, Ralph, "Scotus", in Master Works of Catholic Literature, 1965. ____________, " Scotus and Univocity ", in Being and Predication, a Thomistic Interpretation, Catholic University of America Press, pp. 173- 228, 1995. WOLTER, Alan B., The Philosophical Theology of John Duns Scotus, edited by Marilyn McCord Adams, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, 1990. WOLTER, Alan B., The Transcendentals and their Function in the Metaphysics of Duns Scotus, Dissertation, St. Bonaventure U. Press, NY, 1946, (cf. ch. 7: The Pure Perfections.) ARTICLES ON SCOTUS BOEHNER, Philotheus, o.f.m., Miscellanea. Scotus Teaching according to Ockham on the nature communis , Franciscan Studies , Sept. 1946.


BOULNOIS, Olivier, Relles intentions : nature commune et universaux selon Duns Scot , Revue de Mtaphysique et Morale, vol. 97, 1992, p. 3-33. _________, "Preuve de lexistence de Dieu et structure de la mtaphysique selon Jean Duns Scot", in Jean Duns Scot et la Mtaphysique classique, (Extrait de la Revue des Sciences Philosophiques et Thologiques), Paris, J. Vrin, 1999. _________, Quand commence lontologie ? Aristote, Thomas dAquin et Duns Scot, pp. 85-108, in Saint Thomas et lonto-thologie, Revue Thomiste, 95, March 1995. NOONE, T.B., La distinction formelle dans lcole scotiste in Extrait de la Revue des Sciences Philosophiques et Thologiques, pp. 53-72, Paris, J. Vrin, 1999. OWENS, Joseph, Common nature : A Point of Comparison Between Thomistic and Scotistic Metaphysics, Mediaeval Studies, vol. 19, p. 1-14, 1957. WORKS BY SUAREZ SUAREZ, Francesco, Disputationes Metaphysicae, Vols. 25 and 26 of the Omnia Opera (Paris: Vives, 1856-1878). WORKS ON SUAREZ COUJOU, J-P, Le vocabulaire de Suarez, Ellipses, Paris, 2001. COURTINE, Jean-Franois, Suarez et le systme de la mtaphysique, pithme, P.U.F., 1990. WELLS Norman, The Distinction of Essence and Existence in the Philosophy of Francis Suarez, doctoral dissertation, U. of Toronto, 1955.

TRANSLATIONS OF SUAREZ Surez, Francis, On the Essence of Finite Being As Such, On the Existence of That Essence and of Their Distinction (DE ESSENTIA ENTIS FINITI UT TALE EST, ET DE ILLIUS ESSE, EORUMQUE DISTINCTIONE), translated and commented by Norman J Wells, Milwaukee Marquette U. Press, Milwaukee, U.S.A, 1983. ARTICLES ON SUAREZ FORLIVESI, Marco, "La distinction entre concept formel et concept objectif chez Suarez, Pasca et Mastri", in Les Etudes philosophiques, 2002, n.1, 3-30. cf n.1 3-30 et 12-15 et 29-30. FORLIVESI, Marco, "Impure Ontology. The Nature of Metaphysics and Its Object in Francisco Surezs Texts", Quaestio 5 (2005), pp. 559-586.


NORENA, Carlos, P, (1981), Ockham and Suarez on Univocal Concepts, New Scholasticism, pp. 348 62. OWENS, Joseph, The number of terms in the Suarezian Discussion on Being and Essence, Modern Schoolman, = Vol. 34, 1956-57, pp. 147-91. WELLS, Norman, "Suarez, historian and critic of the modal distinction between essential Being and existential Being," New Scholasticism v. 36, pp. 419-444, 1962. WELLS, Norman, J: Francis Suarez, On the Essence of Finite Being As Such, On the Existence of that Essence and of their Distinction, (Disp. 31.), Translated from the Latin with an Introduction, Marquette U. Press, Milwaukee, 1983.

BOOKS AND ARTICLES ON OTHER MEDIEVAL & RENAISSANCE FIGURES COUNET, Jean-Michel (1998). Ontologie et itinraire spirituel chez mitre Eckhart, Revue Philosophique de Louvain, V. 96, n. 2 : pp. 254-280. ECKHART (von Hochheim), MATRE ECKHART A PARIS, Une critique mdivale de lontothologie. Les Questions parisiennes n 1 et n 2 dEckhart . Etudes, Textes et Traductions par Emile Zum Brunn, Znon Kaluza, Alain de Libera, Paul Vignaux, Edouard Weber, Bibliothque de lEcole des Hautes tudes, Section des Sciences Religieuses, Vol LXXXVI, Presses Universitaires de France, 1981. GILES OF ROME, Aegidii Romani, Theoremata de esse et essentia. Texte prcd dune introduction historique et critique par Edgar Hocedez, Louvain, Ed. du muse Lessianum, 1930. HOCEDEZ, Edgar, Giles de Rome HOCHSCHILD, Joshua, The Semantics of Analogy according to Thomas de Vio Cajetans De Nominum Analogia , Dissertation, U. of Notre Dame, 2001. GENERAL WORKS AND COLLECTIONS ON/OF MEDIEVAL PHILOSOPHY DE LIBERA, Alain, La philosophie mdivale, P.U.F. 1993. DE LIBERA, Alain La querelle des universaux de Platon la fin du Moyen Age, Paris, Seuil, 1996. OESTERLE, John. Logic, the Art of Defining and Reasoning, Prentice Hall, New Jersey, 1951. HYMAN & WALSH (eds.), Philosophy in the Middle Ages, Hackett, Indianapolis, 1974.


WORKS BY OR ABOUT LUTHER LUTHER, Martin. Werke, Kritischer Gesammetausgabe, Weimar, 1983 -, 109 vols. have appeared, (WA). _______, uvres (MLO), Genve, Labor et Fides, 1957 -, 15 vols. have appeared. BOUDIN, H. R. et HOUSSIAU, A., ed. Luther aujourdhui, (Cahier de la Revue Thologique de Louvain), Publications de la Facult de Thologie, Louvain-la-Neuve, 1983. DELHAYE, Philippe (1983) La foi et les uvres chez Luther in Luther aujourdhui, pp. 207 220. Publications de la Facult de Thologie, Louvain-la-Neuve, 1983. GABUS, J. P. (1983) Dieu rvl in Jesus Christ, in Luther aujourdhui, pp. 145 159. Publications de la Facult de Thologie, Louvain-la-Neuve, 1983. VAN BUREN, John (1994). Martin Heidegger, Martin Luther , in Kisiel and Van Buren, (1994), pp. 159 174, op. cit. WEBER, Max. The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Protestantism, translated by Talcott Parsons ; Allen & Unwin, 1976. WHITEHEAD, Alfred North Science in the Modern World, (Lowell Lectures 1925), Free Press (Macmillan), New York, 1967. __________________________________________________________________ MISCELLANEA Arendt, Hanna, The Human Condition, Chicago U. Press, U.S.A., 1958. McInerny, Ralph, A History of Western Philosophy, vol. 1, From the Beginnings of Philosophy to Plotinus, Notre Dame, 1968 ; A History of Western Philosophy, vol. 2, Philosophy from Augustine to Ockham, Notre Dame, 1970. PLATO, The Apology, translated by H. Fowler, (Loeb), Heinemann, London, 1960. JAEGER, Werner, Aristotle. Fundamentals of the History of His Development, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1948.