All our knowledge is taken from sensation, so how does sensation give us an idea like “being” or “is”? If we take “being” as indicating the most general and confused understanding of something, it follows that our idea of being comes from what is most general and confused in the sensible. But there is nothing more general one can say about the sensible than what belongs to it as such. And so our idea of being is grounded on what belongs to the sensible as such, namely: 

1.) The sensible as such has a relation to a knowing power. A thing is only sensible because some knowing power relates to it of necessity From this, we can gather the idea of being as what a knowing power necessarily relates to: i.e. being as true.

2.) The sensible as sensible is what the knowing power is ordered to. It is important to avoid the per accidens here: the sensible is the end of the sentitent; but it does not follow that the thing sensed is the end of the animal that senses it- very often it is to be avoided. But so long as we are careful to speak of the sensible as such, we can say it is an end, goal and perfection of the sentient. This gives us the idea of being as good.

3.) Both #1 and #2 require a relation to another. This requires being to be distinct, for relation is impossible without distinction. This gives us the idea of being as distinct, i.e. as other

4.) All of the above presuppose some relation to a sentient being. But before we even realize the sensible as such in relation to us, we are asking about what it is in itself. The most general response to “what is that?” is to say “something”; this gives us the idea of being as thing.

5.) The sensible thing as such has parts outside of other parts. This does not necessarily follow from any othe above points as stated, but it is clear by induction. But if it is given that being is thing, then the parts cannot be simply multiple, but in some way undivided. This gives us the idea of being as one.

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