Introduction to Phenomenological Research

He orients it to the ens insofar as it is something at all and not a nothing. Although ὄν, the entity as such, is the most universal determination for any possible entity, it does not have the character of a genus. The ens is not a genus that could by any sort of specification yield concrete, existing objects. It is necessary, from the outset, to reject this conception, as though on the basis of the ens it could be specified.

[Q]uod ens non potest esse genus; sed secundum hoc aliqua dicuntur addere supra ens, inquantum exprimunt ipsius modum, qui nomine ipsius entis non exprimitur.6

[ ... Being cannot be a genus; but in accordance with this, some things are said to add [[some modification]] beyond the being insofar as they express a mode of it which is not expressed by the name "being" itself.]

Since ens cannot be a genus itself, the directions of the concretion of this ens cannot proceed in the sense of a specification. Instead, in this respect one can say that some things [einiges] add something to ens as such insofar as these determinations exprimunt ipsius modum [express a mode of it], insofar as an additio supra ens [an addition beyond being] occurs, insofar as one can uncover basic categories which are modi of the being itself, lying contained in it, that the being itself does not express. These determinations inhere in the being of the very entity as an entity.

The modal consideration of being as such can be carried out initially in two directions, insofar as one distinguishes the modus specialis and the modus generalis. The latter modi are such as accrue to each ens qua ens, while the modi speciales are the sort of determinations that the entity takes on in view of a definite look, in view of its genuine being. All of these [modi speciales] are the sort of categories that obtain for a concrete entity, while the others obtain for every entity and not only for an entity in its concrete being.

The verum belongs to the class of modi generales. Attention should be paid to the direction in which the verum is directed in the explication, at what juncture it appears in connection with the determinations of ens qua ens, and what sort of possibility it constitutes as a modus essendi. Within the modus generalis, we distinguish two modi essendi, insofar as the entity is considered: 1. purely in itself (ens in se), 2. as ens in ordine ad aliud.

The first direction in considering ens, insofar as it is taken in itself, insofar as I remain solely with the entity qua entity, separates into two subdivisions: a) Insofar as I take this ens in se affirmatively (we would say: "as objectively here"), I come to the basic determination of ens; that is the essentia or, better, res. b) If I take the ens in se negatively, each ens qua res is, as such, something that is in itself and, in this sense, indivisible. This indivisio is nothing else

6. Thomas Aquinas, De veritate, q. 1, art. 1.