The Absolute consideration

At the beginning of the second chapter of  De Ente et Essentia, St. Thomas begins his consideration of things with what he calls “the absolute consideration”.The absolute consideration is the foundation of an account of knowledge. Absolute, as always, is some negation of being relative to something, and the absolute consideration denies the relations of existing in an individual, or as it existing in mind. Consider “man”. Define it however you choose, or just consider it. Keep away from individuating accidents and stay with what can only be said of the nature in itself.  The consideration in itself is not determined to the mind or things. Make the idea a universal, said of many, and it is clearly in mind, make it particularized to some individual and it is clearly in things. But no amount of consideration or analysis will ever reveal whether your consideration is of something things or of something in mind. It can be referred to thing, or it can be the foundation of logical relations in the mind (“man” as a predicate or a middle term is not in things) or referred to someone known.

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