Sacramentum Mundi Online

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(1,459 words)

The inmost force which moves to philosophical thinking is being. Certain necessary notes of being recur in all beings as such, and are called transcendentals, because they reach out beyond the limited orders of individual beings or surpass all limits (transcendere). These transcendentals are unity, truth, goodness, and also beauty. Here we discuss them historically and systematically.

1. Historically. For Plato, the forms or ideas constitute that which really is (ὄντωςὄv), in which the essence of being is fully and clearly manifested along with the not…

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Johannes Baptist Lotz, “Transcendentals”, in: Sacramentum Mundi Online, General Editor Karl Rahner, SJ. Consulted online on 03 October 2023 <>
First published online: 2016

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