Sunday, September 16, 2012


James Chastek, What am I trying to signify by “being”? and Simultaneity and the First, Second, and Third Way

I've been thinking of the question of being in relation to Duns Scotus and univocity, but since my handle of metaphysics is that of a beginner, I am just jotting some notes for later reference. Can there be a concept of being without first some sort of assent that a particular thing is/exists? How can one know any sensible thing without first sensing it? While essence is not the same as existence for contingent beings, does our conception of a thing necessarily have a reference to the judgment that it has existed? Is our conception of being then dependent upon some "being" having an effect upon our senses? A being is, first, that which has acted upon our senses, either directly or via something else?

If so, can our conception of being be univocal in this way, while it is equivocal when we try to reason out how material creatures differ from immaterial beings and God? Being is univocal in accordance with this sort of preliminary definition, but equivocal with a more "scientific" definition?
Interesting, according to Vox, the OED gives a definition of torture not just as being a form of coercion but as punishment: "he action or practice of inflicting severe pain on someone as a punishment or in order to force them to do or say something"