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Re: Owens -- judgment of existence -- not estimative

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  • James
    Hello Sorry, I ve been busy. To answer your question about the estimative power in regard to the faculty of judgment, it must be keep in mind that the
    Message 1 of 3 , Apr 2, 2013
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      Sorry,  I've been busy.  To answer your question about the estimative power in regard to the faculty of judgment, it must be keep in mind that the judgment of existence pertains to the intellectual power which is found only in humans, and angels.  The estimative power belongs to animals and does not imply any type of self-consciousness or intellectual ability.  Rather, it applies only to the instincts of knowing whether something is good or bad for one's physical well-being.  So animals sense whether one is friend or foe, threat or non-threat.  Humans can do this too, insofar as we are animals and have common sense.  But we can go far beyond this and know and understand things in a spiritual, intellectual way and not just instinctively.

      So judgment in humans, as it is spiritual and intellectual, yet based upon existence, can form the basis of a metaphysics, real, existential.  This is the strength, power, versatility of thomism.  It incorporates all knowledge, intellectual, real, physical.

      Not so with modern thought in general, based as it is upon ideas (Descartes, Kant, etc.)  Or with existential irrationalism (Sartre).

      It is best to look at what Owens actually says in An Interpretation of Existence, and what Maritain expounds in Existence and the Existent.

      Best wishes,

      --- In thomism@yahoogroups.com, "CHUA Soo Meng Jude (PLS)" <jude.chua@...> wrote:
      > Has this anything to do with what might be called the "estimative power" which appears also to result in an act of judgment?
      > Jude
      > ________________________________________
      > From: thomism@yahoogroups.com [thomism@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of James [jamesmiguez@...]
      > Sent: Saturday, March 23, 2013 6:20 PM
      > To: thomism@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: [thomism] Owens -- judgment of existence
      > Earlier<http://groups.yahoo.com/group/thomism/message/3515> it was pointed out that concepts alone cannot give us existence. "Just as the substance of a thing and the color of a thing and its relations and other categorical units are grasped by the intellect through conceptualization, so the thing's existence is indeed grasped intellectually, but not through conceptualization, at least not originally. The apprehension of existence requires a different kind of intellectual activity" (19-21).
      > That different intellectual activity is of course judgment.
      > "What things are is known through conceptualization. That they exist is known through a different activity technically called judgment. What is known dynamically through judgment is represented statically in a proposition. This allows the proposition to be compared with what is actually being judged, in order to determine whether the proposition is true or false. Accordingly the activity of judgment, originally at least, is an act of apprehension, of knowing, of intuiting. The objection, "What criterion have you for knowing that your judgment is true?" when applied to the intellectual activity, misses this point. It confuses two sense of "judgment," equating judgment merely with a proposition."
      > "Rather, the existence of the thing, as known through judgment in the metaphysically basic sense of the term, is itself the criterion for evaluating the proposition. The objection presupposes that you have to know existence in some other way, presumably through conceptualization, and then compare the results with your judgment. But the way in which existence is originally known is precisely what is meant by judgment in this metaphysically important sense. ...existence is clearly knowable in its own right. The razor-edge precision of the difference between to be and not to be makes it sharply discernible, from the viewpoint of judgment. It is knowable and discernible in the way the present actuality of the whooping crane is understood in contrast to the nonexistence of the passenger pigeon. From this viewpoint no tincture of characteristics from the thing's essence is required to make the existence observable. In fact, none is even able to make the slightest contribution in this respect.... In a word, judgment, as the apprehension of existence is not a rubber-stamp endorsement of something already known through conceptualization. It is itself the original apprehension of existence."
      > "Nevertheless, the two intellectual activities, conceptualization and judgment, always accompany each other. A nature in the abstraction from existence is just there to be grasped, and existence apart from something it actuates is nowhere found in the range of human experience. Both appear and are grasped as different aspects of the one existent thing. ...they are aspects known through two different kinds of intellectual activity, one of which is communicated through simple terms, the other through sentences. (24-25).
      > "The insight that existence is originally apprehended through judgment appears first in Thomas Aquinas. The tenet has no visible ancestry, even though an extensive background against which it could emerge had been in a process of development from Parmenides through Plato, Aristotle, and Plotinus to Avicenna and William of Auvergne. But in Aquinas there occurs the discontinuous jump in the evolutionary process and with it the sudden emergence of a radically new way of metaphysical thinking. The background had been prepared by Aristotle in his logical analysis of the proposition, with the distinction of its complex type of knowledge from the simple type of cognition by which the terms were known. It was furthered by the long Christian Neoplatonic tradition, in which existence gradually came to be regarded as the primary characteristic in a thing, and by the Avicennian tenet that existence accrued to the thing's nature and functioned in a way that was described in the Latin translation as accidental to the thing."
      > "Finally, in the immediate background of Aquinas, there was William of Auvergne's clearly stated distinction, and his vigorous assertion of the superiority of existence in respect of anything in the thing's nature. But the genetic leap to judgment as a distinct synthesizing cognition that apprehends an existential synthesizing in the thing appears for the first time in Aquinas. It ushers in a profoundly new metaphysical starting point" (29-30).
      > The grasp of existence in judgment is a tenet "presented by St. Thomas as something immediately observable. Not the slightest indication is given that it is meant as a conclusion from other premisses, or that any religious authority is being appealed to for its acceptance. ...the tenet is presented clearly as something open to unaided intellectual scrutiny. As the starting point for metaphysical reasoning it stands or falls on its own intrinsic evidence. For use in a metaphysical context, accordingly, it can rest on nothing other than what one experiences in one's own encounter with the things in the observable universe" (132-33).
      > Quotes from Joseph Owens, An Interpretation of Existence.
      > James
      > National Institute of Education (Singapore) http://www.nie.edu.sg
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