Hypothesis on the truth of things

One account of the truth of things is simply that which measures our intellect. Another account is the truth that measures even the thing itself. Augustine has a perfect description of this sense of the truth of things:

Again, when I call back to my mind a beautiful and symmetrical arch I saw at Carthage; I remember a sight I had seen and transferred to the memory. But I behold in my mind yet another thing, by which that work of art pleases me- and by which I should correct it if it displeased me. We judge therefore of those particular things according to that [truth], and discern that form by the intuition of the rational mind.

The second sentence is the account- that by which the thing pleases, and according to which one would correct it. This thing can be seen with more or less clarity: everyone can see something about what makes people physically attractive, but women tend to see this more distinctly, and artists and cosmetic surgeons see it even more distinctly. Everyone understands something about what makes a good dog, or fetus, or pesticide, but the dog show judge, the obstetrician, and the chemist each see this intelligible standard more distinctly.

Just as truth exists in mind, yet measures it, so too the truth of things subsists in things, yet measures them. Just as the truth of the intellect does not depend on this or that man knowing the proposition, so too the truth of things does not depend on this or that thing existing. The truth in things is what Aristotle and St. Thomas call essence (so just in case you wanted to know what essence is, this is what it is).

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