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6/11/2017 2:41 am  #11


Re: Feser's way of arriving at a purely actual first mover

Calhoun wrote:

Again No, anything that has potentiality in it requires actualization, but could you please describe what does having potentials irrelevant to its act of existence mean?

I mean a potential that need not be actualized for a thing to exist. For instance, the potential for certain atomic and subsequently subatomic particles to be structured in a specific way has to be actualized for a rubber sphere to be a rubber sphere. But the potential for it to be a red, yellow, green sphere or a sphere on the floor, on a shelf, in the air, are all irrelevant to its existence. Those potentials need not be actualized for it to be what it is. Even if it remained locked away in a cupboard and never actualized any of those potentials, it would still be a rubber sphere. 
 

 

6/11/2017 8:52 am  #12


Re: Feser's way of arriving at a purely actual first mover

RomanJoe wrote:

I mean a potential that need not be actualized for a thing to exist. For instance, the potential for certain atomic and subsequently subatomic particles to be structured in a specific way has to be actualized for a rubber sphere to be a rubber sphere. But the potential for it to be a red, yellow, green sphere or a sphere on the floor, on a shelf, in the air, are all irrelevant to its existence. Those potentials need not be actualized for it to be what it is. Even if it remained locked away in a cupboard and never actualized any of those potentials, it would still be a rubber sphere.

Well first there doesn't seem to be any difficulty here because these potentials don't self-actualise but are actualised by something else  if a rubber ball is red now then it is potentially green,then that potential could only be actualised by someone who could paint it green, secondly, you could say that being  red, yellow, green sphere or a sphere on the floor, on a shelf, in the air, etc is not essential to it but doesn't follow that its irrelevant to its existence because wherever a particular rubber ball exists it has some of those accidental properties i.e there could be no particular colourless rubber ball,ball not positioned somewhere etc...

 

6/11/2017 2:07 pm  #13


Re: Feser's way of arriving at a purely actual first mover

Okay, let me revisit another point that I think is important. You brought up the principle that anything that is a composition of act and potency requires an actualizer outside of itself. I'm wondering whether or not it's possible for something to be purely actual with respects to its existence (not deriving its existence from any prior members) while being potential in other matters. These potentials may never be actualized, they may not have something outside of them to actualize them, but they're potentials and they're there. I would be fine seeing this as impossible if you could further justify the act/potency composition principle I referenced. 

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6/11/2017 2:36 pm  #14


Re: Feser's way of arriving at a purely actual first mover

RomanJoe wrote:

Good point, but would that make the First Way parasitic on the Existential Proof?

The First Way isn't parasitic on the existential proof. The former proceeds in terms of act and potency (in the broadest sense); the latter, in terms of the distinction between essence and existence. The person arguing the former doesn't need to turn to the essence-existence distinction to prove his thesis (see Neo-Scholastic Essays, pp. 89–90); by contrast, since the existential proof is centered around the essence-existence distinction, the person arguing the latter does need to turn to the essence-existence distinction.

Seriously, though, you should crack open some manuals for now and circle back to “the proofs” later.

 

6/11/2017 3:41 pm  #15


Re: Feser's way of arriving at a purely actual first mover

RomanJoe wrote:

[. . .] it's just that it would be preferable to have the First Way, by itself, arrive at Pure Act--aka God.

You're right that First Way proponents often give supporting arguments that, on their own, also get to God. They, however, are still primarily concerned with act and potency (and, for all we know, there could be some way of arguing for the existence premise that doesn't require those other arguments).

(Personally, I wouldn't get too hung up on the First Way. It teaches us an important fact about reality, but, as far as just "getting to God", there are much better arguments.)

 

6/12/2017 2:54 am  #16


Re: Feser's way of arriving at a purely actual first mover

John West wrote:

RomanJoe wrote:

Good point, but would that make the First Way parasitic on the Existential Proof?

The First Way isn't parasitic on the existential proof. The former proceeds in terms of act and potency (in the broadest sense); the latter, in terms of the distinction between essence and existence. The person arguing the former doesn't need to turn to the essence-existence distinction to prove his thesis (see Neo-Scholastic Essays, pp. 89–90); by contrast, since the existential proof is centered around the essence-existence distinction, the person arguing the latter does need to turn to the essence-existence distinction.

Seriously, though, you should crack open some manuals for now and circle back to “the proofs” later.

Ah, thanks for clarifying that. And, yes, I'm a novice to Thomism and I'm currently reading a few things to help me become more familiar with Thomism in general.

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6/12/2017 2:55 am  #17


Re: Feser's way of arriving at a purely actual first mover

Calhoun wrote:

RomanJoe wrote:

Calhoun wrote:

I am pointing out that anything which is a mixture of act/potency requires actualization so it can't really have non-derivative existence.

*Playing devil's advocate* Could we not have something that doesn't derive its act of existence from any prior member but still has potentials irrelevant to its act of existence? 
 

Again No, anything that has potentiality in it requires actualization, but could you please describe what does having
potentials irrelevant to its act of existence mean?

Any particular argument you have in mind?

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6/12/2017 8:29 am  #18


Re: Feser's way of arriving at a purely actual first mover

RomanJoe wrote:

Okay, let me revisit another point that I think is important. You brought up the principle that anything that is a composition of act and potency requires an actualizer outside of itself. I'm wondering whether or not it's possible for something to be purely actual with respects to its existence (not deriving its existence from any prior members) while being potential in other matters. These potentials may never be actualized, they may not have something outside of them to actualize them, but they're potentials and they're there. I would be fine seeing this as impossible if you could further justify the act/potency composition principle I referenced. 

No, because then that thing would not be really purely actual with respect to anything, in whatever manner it is operating is just one potential actualized among others it (it could have operated some other way) so such a thing would require actualization...as for the justification for the central causal principle I don't think I can do a better job if you have Feser's book.. I suggest you focus on background metaphysics more,as John has remarked ....specially give Ed's response to MacDonald a more careful read and again he do not himself acknowledge that first way do not prove pure actuality of first mover..
 

 

6/12/2017 7:08 pm  #19


Re: Feser's way of arriving at a purely actual first mover

Calhoun wrote:

No, because then that thing would not be really purely actual with respect to anything, in whatever manner it is operating is just one potential actualized among others it (it could have operated some other way) so such a thing would require actualization...as for the justification for the central causal principle I don't think I can do a better job if you have Feser's book.. I suggest you focus on background metaphysics more,as John has remarked ....specially give Ed's response to MacDonald a more careful read and again he do not himself acknowledge that first way do not prove pure actuality of first mover..
 

Thank you Calhoun. You've been helpful. Any reading recommendations for background metaphysics?

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