By James F. Anderson
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Extra info for Reflections on the Analogy of Being
Maimonides thus appeals repeatedly to the Way of Negation or Remotion in order that everything implying corporeality, passivity, change, assimilation to creatures,may be banished completely from the One God. " 2 Attributes of God's actions alone are intelligible, for Maimonides, because, from the fact that an agent produces different actions, it does not follow that in it there are a corresponding plurality of different elements which are the roots of those actions. So, all of God's actions flow from His single, simple Essence, not from anything extraneous thereto: the attributes of action, he says, "do not refer to the essence of God"; on the contrary, "All attri1 Maimonides, The Guide jor the Pe1'plexed; Eng.
This is, we hold, the precise point of entry of metaphysical analogy in the authentically existential sense. For to grasp being in this metaphysical manner is, we think, to lay hold of it in its essentially analogous character. Is it not true that being cannot be apprehended metaphysically in this mode without grasping at the same time its inherent polyvalence or analogicity? If the foregoing is true, then such Analogy is a property of the concept of being as well as of its predication just because existence in some form is intrinsically present in all things in ways which, though essentially varied, are proportionally one.
Under one actual or material aspect, this proof entails Analogy of Attribution according to efficient, final, and 1 See my paper "On Proof in Metaphysics," in Essays on Knowledge and Methodology, edited by E. , I96S), pp. 99-III. 28 ATTRIBUTION exemplar causality. For the proof purports to show that there must be an extrinsic Primary Cause, as Agent, as End, and as Exemplar. Of course it is necessary to infer an existence before exploring a nature. But one can in principle arrive at God's existence without having explicit recourse to analogy.