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§ 29 [164-166]

detenninatione [deficient in correctness, i.e., in the detennination]. The deterrninatio in bonum [detennination to the good] is the genuine basic determi. nation of libertas [liberty], consequently, [to be incorrect is to be] deficiens a libertate [deficient in liberty]. Libertas is the natura horninis; hence, deficiens a natura humana [Liberty is the nature of a human being; hence, [[to be incorrect is to be]] deficient in human nature]. Natura humana est qua humana natura creata, deficiens a natura creata, deficiens ab esse qua creatum, that is to say, non esse creatum [Human nature is, qua human, a created nature; [[hence, to be incorrect is to be]] deficient in a created nature, deficient in being qua created, that is to say, [[incorrectness is a]] noncreated being]. The falsum is, in short, a non esse creatum [The false is, in short, a noncreated being]. Esse verum is equivalent to creatum esse [Being true is equivalent to being created]. How, in relation to verum esse, are the perceptum esse and the creatum esse characterized as determinations of being? We will solve this problem by making clear to ourselves how the verum is to be understood. This question is not explicitly handled by Descartes. But the entire manner in which he employs verum and falsum esse shows that the Scholastic doctrine of veritas and falsitas lies at the bottom of this doctrine of verum and falsum.

Thomas poses the problem in his "Disputatio de veritate" [Disputation on Truth] in the sense that he inserts the verum into the general inquiry into the sense of ens and esse. He sets forth a methodological reflection first. If I want to get clear about the verum, then it must first be established that the verum is a Something: quid [what]. With every subsequent question I must come finally to something ultimate. For if the process were to run on to infinity, then knowing as determining would be impos·sible. Thus all basic concepts are reduced in the direction of an ultimate concept. mud autem quod primo intellectus concipit quasi notissimum, et in quo orones conceptiones resolvit, est ens [That, however, which intellect first conceives as the most known, as it were, and in which it resolves all conceptions, is being].3 The universal detennination to which every detennination is reduced is the ens, being in a completely formal and empty sense. Unde oportet quod orones aliae conceptiones intellectus accipiantur ex additione ad ens [Whence it is necessary that all other conceptions of the intellect are grasped by an addition to that of being].4 Thus, insofar as all basic concepts are traced back to ens, it is necessary that, from the outset, one acquires the concrete conceptiones through a determinate additio to this concept [ens]. In a completely general way, that is the methodical orientation that Thomas follows in order to detennine the verum esse in some sort of sense.5


3. Ibid.

4. Ibid.

5. See the Appendix, Supplement 22 (p. 236).