[Essay] The Constitution of Culture

Specifying Objects and Jacques Maritain on the Temporal Order

Brian Kemple, PhD
Executive Director
Lyceum Institute
Editor, Reality

But it remains that culture and civilization have a specifying object—the earthly and perishable good of our life here below—whose proper order is the natural order…

Integral Humanism, 213.

In times of political, social, and cultural upheaval, two objects commonly appear to us: first, what is or has been wrong in the world of late and, second, the opportunity for alternative forms of political, social, and cultural existence—that is, the opportunity to reshape what we may call the cultural reality of human beings—which may supplant the previous forms that are or were judged to be wrong.  We tend to see what is wrong much more clearly than what we believe to be right; naturally, for the formal realization of the former has occurred, and how that form falls short in the material reality wherein we live appears to us in the concrete, while our theorized “right” ideas concerning culture remain in an immaterial and therefore flawless abstraction.  That some—perhaps many—claim their alternatives are clearly seen shows only that their eyes have fixated upon the heavens of unreal ideas: for the very nature of our world entails resistance to new forms and therefore the path to their institution must deal always with obstacles.  The old forms, that is, which subsist not merely through governmental fiat or social contract but through the real habits of a culture, resist displacement, and the belief that new forms could be instantiated without struggle, and without the not unlikely possibility of failure, betrays a mind beyond obtuse.

Put otherwise, we have perhaps accepted in our political thinking, and likely unawares, a certain dualism characteristic of the Enlightenment, which separates the cultural reality from the physical or natural,[1] and which even more deeply presumes a radical difference in being between mind and body.[2]  If we would overcome our widespread tacit acceptance of this dualism, and if we would endeavor to see realized some new form of cultural reality, without violence, we require an understanding of the underlying material dispositions of the current cultural reality and the profoundly intimate relationship between the forms, both old and new, and those material dispositions.[3]  We cannot impose by dictatorial fiat an alternative—be it socialist utopianism, monarchical integralism, or personalistic democracy—and expect that individuals will simply fall in line.  Far-off castle-building of idealized future polities, while it may be of some theoretically-instructive use, produces only cities in speech built from words quite alien to the ears of today.  Government exists not in an abstract realm separate from the material world, but rather as a pattern of relations founded upon the individuals both who exercise the authority of governance and who are governed, united together toward the common good.[4] 

But if a pattern of relations cannot be founded on those governed, it cannot lead toward the common good; for a relation to be founded on anything in actuality, the relation must be of a fitting kind for the things related.  Ignoring this truth about disposition, it seems to me, is a fault common to thinking about how to pursue alternative and better forms of governance.  The forms may indeed be better quoad se, according to themselves, being rightly ordered towards a proper common good; but they are often not better quoad nos, according to ourselves, that is, according to how we are currently disposed to be governed.  The truth of the common good, as what we rightly ought to seek in our cultural realities and, therefore, as the final cause of any political constitution, does not alone suffice to cause that cultural reality’s alignment.  We must instead recognize a more complex causal constitution.  It is just this causality that was acknowledged—though not well-enough explained—by Jacques Maritain in his Integral Humanism, and it is just this causality which we will take up to explain in this essay.

1. Culture as Indeterminate Pattern of Relations

To begin with, we must acknowledge that Maritain himself held a rather idealistic view of the cultural form whereby we could realize the common good in political community:[5]

Thus for such a civilization the dynamic principle of common life and common work would not be the medieval idea of God’s empire to be built on earth, and still less would it be the myth of Class or Race, Nation or State.

Let us say that it would be the idea, though according to the Gospel and not on the Stoic or the Kantian plan, of the human person’s dignity and his spiritual vocation, and of the fraternal love which is his due.  The work of the body politic would be to realize a common life on earth, a temporal regime truly in conformity with that dignity, that vocation, and that love. 

Yet, despite this lofty (and, arguably, excessively idealistic) temporal life focused upon the dignity of the human person and, specifically, its dignity as manifested in a spiritual vocation and fraternal love which Maritain envisioned, he also recognized the remoteness of it.  As he continues, “We are far enough away from such a goal to be sure that there will be work to do!  The task is arduous, paradoxical, and heroic.”[6]

Indeed, I would say we have moved farther away from such a goal in the intervening decades.  But why?  What are the causes that move the historical concrete of cultural reality?  We might believe, and rightly, I think, that a shift occurred during the postwar years in the vision of the end for man—and thus a change of final cause—with eyes drawn increasingly toward material prosperity as the temporal purpose to which we are called both individually and communally.  As Maritain writes: “Instead of culture directing its proper good, i.e., earthly happiness, towards eternal life, its supreme end is sought in itself, in the domination of man over nature.”[7]  This misdirection, Maritain notes, however, began as far back as the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, “when civilization was prodigal of its fairest fruits, forgetful of the roots whence the vital sap is drawn”.[8]  The degradation of the previous decades has continued  the movement of the centuries before.

Thus, even where Christian sentiment remains in existence since Maritain’s passing, it has remained as a sentiment only, presupposed as belonging to a spiritual plane of existence, not as something belonging to or responsible for directing our existence in this world, that is, except by the binding threads of moral laws dictated from heaven, threads that restrict and restrain us in the here and now.  The more the ends of this world came to be seen as divorced from those of the next, the more frayed these threads connecting the two have become.  Our sight thus seldom perceives objects whereby it is “turned upwards” to goods beyond the material, except in the increasingly rare preserves of spiritually-oriented places: the church, the temple, the “sacred space”.  The world itself is a place freed from “the superstition of revealed religion” in which man has been opened up “to his natural goodness” regarding “the perspectives of a perfect security to be attained through the spirit of riches accumulating the goods of the earth.”[9]

But this change in vision itself was not caused simply by a change of the end.  Vision, intellectual and physical alike, is a power, and powers, acts, and habits all exist in an intermediate state of existence: that is, on the one hand, they are inhering forms existing within a substance, having an essence in themselves, and thus a permanence or absolute being; but, on the other hand, they receive their determination through relations from something other and, as such, they are in themselves indeterminate.  Thus John Poinsot states (emphasis added):[10]

…some things are entirely absolute, depending in their specification and constitution on nothing extrinsic to themselves, such things as substance, quantity, etc.  Other things are entirely relative, those which have their whole content in being toward another and depend upon that other as on a pure terminus.  Yet other things are intermediate between these, namely, those things which have in themselves some definable content and an absolute essence, so that they have something other than to respect and to be referred; yet they depend in their constitution and specification on something extrinsic, not for respecting, but for acting or causing or accomplishing something.  And it is in this intermediate manner that powers and acts and habits stand with respect to the things which they attain, and are said to have a transcendental order to them.

This intermediacy and dependent indeterminacy of our powers explains the possibility of the great diversity among human cultures and practices: for though we have a common end by nature, both as to the spiritual and the temporal orders, we are towards specific ends only by relations which determine these powers which are, in themselves, indeterminate.

To explain this determination towards ends, we must note that, according to the Thomistic faculty being here presumed,[11] powers are of two kinds: active and passive, and the acts of both may germinate habits, which habits themselves exist as specifying dispositions in the powers.  For instance, taste is a kind of passive power, and if we attend to the objects of taste, thinking about the causes of why one thing tastes different than another, we develop a habit of distinguishing the tastes of varied objects.  Thus, one may, by careful regulation of intake, care for the tongue and, by thoughtful reflection, determine his power of taste toward discerning the place of origin for different coffees or wines.  The cause of that habit, just as the cause of the determination of the power of taste in any given instance, depends upon the manner in which the object relates to the power.  Thomas Aquinas[12] and John Poinsot,[13] among others, name this object whereby our passive powers are altered to a determinate state of act as the obiectum movens, the “moving object”—John Deely interpretatively (and I think correctly) translates this as “stimulative object”, for it does not “move” in the sense of a physical alteration.[14] 

Thus, when we look at a red surface, the light reflecting off that surface at wavelengths between approximately 625-700nm is the stimulative object determining our eyes, the organs which function for the sake of the passive power of vision, to see red.  As such, we say that light is the proper object of our power of vision, for it is vision and vision alone that senses light in all its varied differentiations.  Without light, our power of vision does not operate.  Similarly with all the sense objects: for instance, as vibrations between roughly 20-20,000hz are the proper objects of our power of hearing, without which vibrations we do not hear at all.

Yet we human beings, possessed not only of the powers of sense-perception, but also intellect, see in the objects of our world more than can be grasped with the eyes (or ears, or any external sense).[15]  Intelligibilities also impress themselves upon us, and we must strive to make sense of these intelligibilities in terms of how they operate in the governance of the perceptual. 

Thus, it is a fascinating phenomenon of human perception that language seems actually to alter our perceptivity, such that when we put names to varied distinctions of perceptual objects, our perception of those objects can improve.  Separating out by speech, that is, things which are united in the perceptual environment can enable us to distinguish better the diverse aspects of what is experienced in a unity: to name the elements of taste in a wine is not the invention of a pretentious game (however pretentious the players may be), but an aid to discovery.  We may also mislead by such articulations, of course, leading either ourselves or others—or both—into believing we perceive something which is not really there.  Much of the patter in magic shows, for instance, trades upon this very fact: the illusionist speaks about something that is not really there as though it is, or about something that is there as though it is not, with such confidence and while directing our attention elsewhere, so that we do not see what in fact stands before us.  So too, however, with the ideologies that come to structure our culture.  I have oft-quoted two passages from the contemporary Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek’s early book, The Sublime Object of Ideology to this effect:[16]

An ideology is really ‘holding us’ only when we do not feel any opposition between it and reality – that is, when the ideology succeeds in determining the mode of our everyday experience of reality itself.

And:

An ideology really succeeds when even the facts which at first sight contradict it start to function as arguments in its favour.

That is to say,  we humans are possessed not only of a passive intellectual power to receive, but also an active intellectual power to be towards; and if we have been so-determined in our passive powers to have received something strongly enough, we, in our active power of being-towards, may be towards objects in a way which is unfitting to their being as things.  We may end up almost entirely disregarding the being of cognition-independent natures for what they are in themselves and see them only as what they are for us to use, including ourselves.[17]  The more such an attitude diffuses into the culture, the more liable we are to pick it up ourselves.  Put in other words, we are not slaves to our environments, but they do have a determining influence not only upon our perceptual bearing towards them, but also upon our intellectual bearing towards that which has been perceived.

If we wish to understand the decline of culture since Maritain wrote Integral Humanism, we will not find the answer for it only in terms of final cause, nor in terms of some architectonic plan of corruption wielded by nefarious, conspiratorial forces, but rather in terms of what Maritain notes here as the specifying object: the obiectum movens of the temporal order.  For culture is born anew in every human individual, and though the father may be well-formed in virtue, the son—subject to influences beyond his parents’ control—may fall prey to an environment of innumerable objects which collectively specify to habits immoral in the extreme.  It is thus that the architectonic purpose of a culture comes to change: not that the end is changed and the persons follow, but by incremental shifts of the patterns of relations which constitute culture itself, a different form and therefore different order comes into being.

2. Specifying Causation and Relational Beings

It thus is necessary for us to understand better the specifying causality whereby these patterns of relations are constituted.  First, though, allow me to say a few words on the “pattern of relations” itself.  That culture consists in such a pattern may be seen in the work of archeology: for mere discovery of objects belonging to a culture disappeared from memory will do naught to restore that culture at all, but only insofar as those objects are found to have a consistent, patterned relation to one another do we begin to understand that culture.  The mere amalgamation of one artifact after another will tell us naught unless we can reconstruct the relations within which those artifacts existed in their proper time.  Museums, art, music, cinema, our educational or political institutions—these all amount to but a hill of beans without the endurance of meaningful relations holding them together in a pattern that makes a whole greater than the sum of its parts.  Thus, we can speak of distinctions between Athenian and Spartan culture, even though neither exists today, for the patterns of their culture can be reconstructed (with the aid of the many records written in their time), even if only as the objects of a more or less accurate cognitive fiction: as might those of Assyria, Egypt, and kingdoms altogether forgotten be reconstructed, if some remnants therefrom be discovered.  Aristophanes’ Clouds makes much less sense to those ignorant of Socrates’ life or works of Plato, just as the pyramids would mystify without some conception of the Pharaohs’ proposed divine origins.

The notion of the specifying cause—as a truly distinct kind of causality, dependent upon but irreducible to the classical Aristotelian four—was not distinguished with precision until late in Scholasticism, despite its frequent appearance in St. Thomas Aquinas (the aforementioned obiectum movens).  The need of its explicit articulation stems from the combat against nominalism in the centuries after Aquinas and continued into the time of Poinsot: for the nominalists’ denial of relation’s cognition-independent reality causes us to look more closely at relation itself, and to see thus its essentiality in the determination of those intermediary powers, acts, and habits.

For there exist many things in the world, and in the mind, which are of themselves undetermined, and need a cause other than what they are themselves for that determination to occur.  Within matter generally, we know a thing’s determination by the intrinsic form that the thing has: that actuality making to be what it is in itself.  But within anything having powers or faculties, there exists also an order to something other, following that aforementioned intermediacy.[18]  If all a being has are passive faculties, this order is of itself inert and determined by the reception of other forms internally.  But the very nature of living beings is that they grow beyond themselves through active powers and, for this, a kind of persistent indeterminacy is required; an indeterminacy which receives determinations from without, without resulting in an absolute determination within, such that the active power has its own proper way of acting from the principles of the being itself, rather than from the extrinsically-received determination.  Only as such is growth possible; for growth entails some kind of being towards an object outside of one’s current bodily confines.  Growth in cognitive life, above and beyond the vegetative, further entails an appropriation of objects without absorbing those objects entitatively, and thus becoming those objects intentionally.

This growth in intentionality happens in a manifold, recursive movement of the cognitive powers—too complex for so short an essay—resulting in our having habituated bearings towards the objects.  We are stimulated by the objects themselves, either directly or through some signifying medium,[19] and then return to those objects as termini of our cognitive and cathectic[20] bearings.  With repetition of both stimulative and terminative relations, we form and strengthen habits, including what we ordinarily call beliefs.  We then express our beliefs, through words and through the imposition of linguistic signification upon non-verbal objects, thereby creating new stimulative objects for others.  It is by this relation between expressed beliefs and others that cultural realities are enshrined: both in, for instance, the stipulation of political entities like the offices and borders that have no cognition-independent existence of their own, and in the customary practices and orders by which we live in our shared, day-to-day existence.  Those stipulated instances persist if their observance becomes customary and dissipate if not.  By custom, that is, they become real to the persons who become themselves accustomed: not real in that they are given a cognition-independent essence and existence, but real in that they have actual effects upon us.[21]  They are pure objects, inasmuch as they exist only by the objectivizing function of the cognitive powers of the human being, and yet they are real objects, inasmuch as they affect our cognitive lives.  Thus it is, as habituated to these objective realities, that we dwell within a pattern of relations: not merely a series of unrelated relations—as though our visits to the museum had nothing to do with the music we hear, or the entertainment we watch with the religion we practice—but rather something which holds together, either of its own or through our holding it so, and usually some combination of the two.

As Deely writes:[22]

This [specifying causality of the object] is the causality that enables the sign to achieve its distinctive function of making present what the sign-vehicle itself is not, regardless of whether the object signified enjoys a physical existence apart from the signification.

But indeed, this very independence of the physical existence—of a nature of its own—makes the purely objective reality open to being completely at odds with the physical existences, with the natural entities which exist cognition-independently; thus we may have a culture which takes, as part of its normal pattern of relations, the plundering of the earth or the medical mutilation and maiming of the human body.  The good towards which we structure our culture is not fixed, and in consequence many partial or false goods may be proposed and accepted as belonging to or constituting the pattern of relations.  These patterns may become objects of such strict adherence that they resist most attempts at displacement, especially those that are far removed from their current disposition.

The pursuit of fitting and right specifying objects for culture, therefore, consists not in simply positing before the common sight an ideal good of a final end, but rather requires that we observe the conditions in which a culture happens to exist.  It is precisely this that Maritain articulates, in this longer quote from which we took our essay’s epitaph (bold emphasis added):[23]

In the eyes of the Christian, culture and civilization, being ordered to a terrestrial end, must be referred and subordinated to the eternal life which is the end of religion, and must procure the terrestrial good and the development of the diverse natural activities of man according to an efficacious attention to the eternal interest of the person and in such a manner as to facilitate the access of the latter to his supernatural ultimate end: all of which thus superelevates civilization in its own proper order.  But it remains that culture and civilization have a specifying object—the earthly and perishable good of our life here below—whose proper order is the natural order (superelevated as I just said).  In themselves and by their own end, they are engaged in time and in the vicissitudes of time.  Moreover, it can be said that none of them has clean hands.  The order of culture or civilization appears then as the order of the things of time, as the temporal order.

Now we must ask: just what does this mean, that the earthly and perishable good of our life here below objectively specifies civilization and culture?  First, and most clearly, it means that despite the subordination of the earthly to the supernatural which is held in common by every Christian, we cannot elide the natural, temporal, earthly good in pursuit of the supernatural, eternal, and heavenly: we cannot objectively specify by that to which the structure of civilization and culture have no or profoundly deficient receptivity.  This does not mean our culture defies specification by the good; but the temporal cannot be specified by the atemporal—that we human beings are at all follows only because of the immateriality of our intellects, an immateriality which subsists beyond the world in which we live, but which does not act according to its own nature absent a material realization.[24]  Though shaped by those immaterial intellects, human culture, as a pattern of relations, is founded upon the material and the transitory.

Secondly, it means that there is no perfect determination of human civilization: for every earthly good is, indeed, perishable; it is material, and as such, always subject to displacement by some form, no matter how well-formed it is at some given point in time.  Thus, every culture and every civilization will pass away, sooner or later, no matter how great it is; for as the circumstances of the world change, so too will the objects specifying the culture.  No order of material things, because they are material, lasts forever or can resist all changes.  The orders of human culture always suffer imperfections and, in the pursuit of rectifying those deficits and obtaining new and real benefits, may suffer losses of genuine goods.  Could we maintain a medieval culture in a world permeated by the printing press?  Should we strive to suppress any innovation or change which threatens the order of our civilization—or would that suppression itself not constitute an innovation, indeed, necessitate certain innovations, to be carried out?  

3. Specifying Cultural Realities: A Struggle

Naturally, that suppression would. For the very nature of any being, insofar as it is a being, is to include within itself an order to things not itself.  To suppress change and growth, even changes that may be toward the perverse and distorted, is to suppress the nature of being, resulting not in a better-ordered growth, but in another perversion and distortion—just not the one foreseen and feared.  It is a similar impulse that would see violent revolution as the most efficient means to installation of an improved cultural order—as Maritain says, such can be just, but nevertheless, “The worst anguish for the Christian is precisely to know that there can be justice in employing horrible means.”[25]  It should be a last resort, and even then, perhaps the prudent course of action demands we wait yet a little longer, suffer a little more, before turning to those “horrible means.”

So where does that leave us in the here and now, wherein and whereat we suffer what seems a culture inimical to human nature itself and thus the proper common good?

First, I believe we must recognize that there no longer is a culture in the United States of America.  I cannot speak for other polities in either the west or east.  There are as-yet enduring fragments—persisting subcultures—but no greater cohesive whole to which they still belong.  We are, in my estimation, amidst what Maritain labelled the “liquidation of the present epoch”.[26]  Consider:[27]

Without speaking indeed of the other conditions which at present render difficult, and relatively improbable, the general and durable inauguration of a new Christian life of the world, and which relate above all to the powerful development of collective energies quite otherwise inspired, the first condition, on the side of the Christian world itself (naturally, I am not speaking here of the Church, which has never been bound up with or enfeoffed to any temporal regime whatsoever; I am speaking of the Christian world, which is something temporal), would be that in its entirety the Christian world of today break with a regime of civilization spiritually founded on bourgeois humanism and economically on the fecundity of money, while at the same time keeping itself immune from the totalitarian or Communist errors to which this same regime leads as its logical catastrophe.

Now, to be certain, we are not on the precipice of a new Christendom: the liquidation will not happen so swiftly or painlessly.  But do we not see an increasing desire to escape from bourgeois capitalism?  That has undulated perhaps too often toward Communist totalitarianism; but to swing far wide, toward the opposed extreme, often is necessary in arriving at the virtuous mean, as Aristotle tells us.  Though I’ve not but anecdotal glimpses to support my belief in this, it seems that the growing numbers of persons today, especially young persons, seeking the virtuous mean are those genuinely committed to the truths of the Gospel.  Even some so-called postmodernism in art speaks, especially seen at some distance, of a yearning for a more meaningful world, a culture that is ordered to something transcendent.  With such a desire arises, often, a disposition to believe in providence: a belief not easily grasped, but powerful once seen.

What this vision requires most of all—that these individuals be capable of founding through their actions in the world a pattern of relations which is properly ordered to the temporal good proximately and dispositively toward the ultimate spiritual good of the human person—must be education; and not just a passing inculcation of reading, writing, and arithmetic, but a habit of learning and thinking, of pursuing the truth and the truth about the good.  In our present time, the single greatest detriment to the establishment and maintenance of good culture is the severance of culture itself from nature, and the meaning contained in nature.  Thus, the task incumbent upon us is to objectively specify their connection: not merely in philosophical argument, but in every facet of culture—not striving to fix all things at once, to produce a once-forever solution, but to take up the mantle of realizing the “analogical exigences” necessary to the temporal order in which we find ourselves to live.


[1] One can see this, for instance, in Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s 1755: Second Discourse on the Origin and Foundation of Inequality of Mankind.

[2] A dichotomy spurred on by Descartes, most notably in his 1641: Meditationes de Prima Philosophiae, even if not all followed him in the arguments for the nature of the division.

[3] Violence may yet follow, yet there are arguably very few cases wherein being the one who initiates violence for the sake of cultural, social, and political change is justified.  It must be the last-most resort.

[4] For the sake of brevity, a full exposition of the complex elements involved in relations, especially those which entail mutuality, is not given here.  In sum, however, we may say that the foundation or fundament of a cultural relation is a particular aspect at least formally distinct from the subject related, and that the foundation of such a relation may be doubly-related to a terminus and an object (in the occasion of its being a sign-relation); and finally, that one and the same subject may be variably, within a pattern of relations and simultaneously though not in the same respect, the fundament, terminus, and object.  Cf. Deely 1994: The Human Use of Signs; 2007: Intentionality and Semiotics; 2009: Purely Objective Reality; Kemple 2017: Ens Primum Cognitum in Thomas Aquinas, especially c.4-5; and 2019: The Intersection of Semiotics and Phenomenology, especially c.7.

[5] 1936: Integral Humanism, 280.

[6] Ibid.

[7] 1936: Integral Humanism, 171-72.

[8] Ibid, 171.

[9] Ibid.

[10] 1632: Tractatus de Signis, 166/13-167/3: “aliquae res sunt prorsus absolutae, in sui specificatione et constitutione a nullo extrinseco dependentes, ut substantia, quantitas etc.  Aliae sunt prorsus relativae, quae totum suum esse habent ad aliud et ab illo pendent ut a puro termino.  Aliae sunt mediae inter istas, quae in se quidem habent quidditatem et essentiam absolutam, ita quod aliquid aliud habent quam respicere et referri; tamen in sui constitutione et specificatione dependent ab aliquo extrinseco, non ad resipiciendum, sed ad agendum vel causandum aut aliquid negotiandum.  Et sic se habent potentiae et actus et habitus circa ea, quae attingunt dicunturque habere ordinem transcendentalem ad ea.”  Cf. Thomas Aquinas 1269-70: ST Ia-IIae, q.334, a.4, c.

[11] Cf. 1266-68: ST Ia, q.77-78.

[12] E.g., 1256-59: De veritate, q.6, a.2, ad.3; 1259/65: SCG lib.2, c.73, n.36; 1271: ST IIa-IIae, q.145, a.2, ad.1; 1266: De malo, q.6, c., q.14, a.3, c.

[13] Cf. 1634: R.III.572b-573a for the index entry; 1632a: Tractatus de Signis 552a-554a for Deely’s expanded index entry on the edited texts contained therein.

[14] See the 1985/2013 “Editorial Afterword” in 1632: Tractatus de Signis, 467-68.

[15] Strictly speaking, all animals see in objects more than external sense reveals, for each animal grasps also what Aristotle termed “incidental sensibles”: that is, contextualized interpretations of the object’s meaning for the animal, as under the evaluation of that object’s potential benefit, harm, or neutrality in respect to the animal’s own pursuits.  But we are trying to be brief.

[16] 1989: The Sublime Object of Ideology, 49 and 50.

[17] Perhaps an unexpected point of contact between Martin Heidegger’s 1953: Die Frage nach der Technik and Maritain’s 1936: Integral Humanism, 172: “In order to rule over nature and yet take no account of the basic laws of his own nature, man, in his knowing and living, is in reality forced to submit himself more and more to technological and inhuman necessities, and to energies of the material order which he makes use of and which invade the human world itself.”

[18] Indeed, even in beings without faculties there exists an order (cf. 1266-68: ST Ia, q.45, a.7), but such an order is entirely inert and acted upon only by the extrinsic relations to things other than itself; unlike that found in ensouled beings, where the faculties may depend upon the presence of the other, but which structure the actual being of the self nonetheless.

[19] Or, indeed, always by some signifying medium, though this enters us into complexities beyond our scope as well.

[20] That is: affect together with intention.  Cf. Deely 2008: Descartes & Poinsot, 32-33n4.

[21] For the meaning of “real”, see Kemple 2020: “Signs and Reality” in Reality: a journal for philosophical discourse, 1.1.

[22] 1994: New Beginnings, 170.

[23] 1936: Integral Humanism, 213-14.  In the French edition of the complete works, v.6, 403-04.

[24] Cf. 1266-68: ST Ia, q.84, a7; q.89, a.1.

[25] 1936: Integral Humanism, 307.

[26] Ibid, 306.

[27] Ibid.