Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Dovetail

"Despite the general trend of modern philosophy toward idealism, salvation lies in a return to wisdom, that is, in recognizing the primacy of being, from which proceed all intelligibility, creativity and, along with the beings born of its intelligent and free fecundity, their truth and their beauty.  In order to do so, philosophy must transcend the immobility of being and the mobility of becoming in the pure actuality of the act whereby being is.  For that act transcends being, upon which it confers the existence proper to becoming.

"This is why the philosophical implications of art are a necessary complement to a philosophy of being; indeed, to meditate on the paradox of art -- an analogical image of what true creation might be -- may prepare the mind for the notion, so important to a genuine metaphysics, that all is not said by asserting that being (esse, das Sein) is, and is itself; for this is true, but it is also true of that which is (das Seinde), whereas only of the act of being itself is it right to say that it is that whereby that thing is a being, is that which it is and never ceases to change in order to become more fully that which it can be.  What a careful study of art helps us to understand -- if we do not think it unworthy of a philosopher's attention -- is that despite its inferior ontological status, becoming results in an increase of reality."

+ Etienne Gilson (The Arts of the Beautiful, p. 140)

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