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(1,554 words)

Author(s): Oswald Schwemmer
1. The general notion. The notion of habitus is used to explain the special nature of human action. Since man is spirit realizing himself in freedom, he comes upon himself not merely as a neutral entity, but primarily as a task imposed. Through and in his action he must make himself what he is and ought to be. But this power to make himself does not mean that he is totally indeterminate, as if he had to make an absolute beginning at each moment. On the contrary, the free action of man as spirit always …

Act and Potency

(2,365 words)

Author(s): Oswald Schwemmer
1. In the Aristotelian and Thomist tradition act and potency are the constitutive principles of finite beings. The doctrine, which has been called the “essence of Thomism” (Manser), is used in Scholasticism as a basic instrument of thought. To show that act and potency are the basic structure of all the beings we meet with, that is, of all finite beings, we must investigate them in our primordial experience of reality. a) None of the beings we encounter presents itself to us in the simple fullness of its being. It is never wholly “there”. When we are confronted wit…


(2,818 words)

Author(s): Oswald Schwemmer
1. Notion and purpose of logic. The word logic has been used for several different kinds of mental activity throughout the history of Western thought. It covers matters as diverse as the syllogistic of Aristotle, the technique of Scholastic disputation, the transcendental logic of Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, the dialectical logic of Hegel and the mathematical logic of our own days. The wide use of the word may be justified by understanding logic as the most characteristic element of a theory of rational discourse — that element which in i…