First of all we may ask, What is the determination of the logos in itself? The medium of reality is what permits us to see this determination. And since the medium of reality proceeds, ultimately, from things themselves, it follows that the determination proceeds likewise from this or that real thing. Thus we may pose four problems:

1. What is this determination of the logos? The evidence.

2. What are the intrinsic characteristics of evidence?

3. Based on this we shall discuss some ideas about evidence accepted without discussion in philosophy, but which I believe are false.

4. We shall make our thought more precise with respect to two classical conceptions which, under another name, can correspond to our problem: intuitionism and rationalism.


§ 1



In the phase of being impelled, we step back within the field from the thing which we seek to know intellectively. But the retaining of its reality makes us return to that real thing; the stepping back is thus an operation of approximation. We have not stepped back from the real except to see it better.

How is it possible that a real thing gets closer to us when we step back from it? This does not refer to intellection of a real thing in and by itself; rather it refers to the intellection of what this real thing is in reality. Now, intellection is mere actualization of the real as real. Therefore it is this intellective actuality of the real thing which, by being actuality in difference, brings us closer while we step back.

How does this take place? We have already seen that every real thing has two intrinsic and formally constitutive moments of its intellective actuality: the individual moment and the field moment. They are two moments of each real thing in and by itself. But in a thing put at a distance, its intellection is an apprehension which is certainly "one", but also "dual". This duality concerns not only the movement in which the intellection of the logos consists, but also and above all the real thing itself qua actualized; the thing itself is intellectively known as a temporary duality. In virtue of this, the actualization of a real thing has, as a formal moment belonging to it, what we might term an internal "gap". The unfolding that occurs {213} in the real actualized thing between its individual and its field moment constitutes, in this actualization, an hiatus or a gap between what it is "as reality" and what it is "in reality". This does not refer, let me repeat, to a gap in the content of the thing apprehended, but to a gap in its intellective actuality. When it becomes present "among" other things, every real thing has a gap in the constitutive actualization. It is on account of this gap that a thing impels us to step back from it, in a retractive movement, whose terminus is simple apprehension. But this gap is a gap which is filled by the affirmative moment, by affirmative intention. Affirmation fills in the distance between a real thing as real and what it is in reality. Both moments, retraction and affirmation are, as we have said, only different phases of a single unique movement: the movement by which a thing not only impels us to the field, but keeps us in its reality as well. Therefore this retaining is in the very root of the actuality of the thing which is intellectively known, in the root therefore of its own gap. This means that the gap itself has a structure of its own by virtue of being a "retaining gap". Whence it follows that the gap is not here (as it was nonetheless in the case of ignorance) a mere emptiness or hiatus, but rather is something having a positive structure. The real thing itself, in fact, is what opens its own gap in its intellective actuality. In its power to open a gap, the real thing confers the structure of the gap by retaining us intellectively in it. In other words, the gap is opened on the real thing itself and by the real thing itself, whose unity of reality underlies the gap and confers upon it its structure. Therefore the gap is created and structured by the primary and original unity of reality. "Filling" the gap {214} consists in overcoming the duality; therefore in making what the thing "could be" to be determined as the thing which it "is". This determination makes the thing real. In being retained the thing itself qua foundation is what determines the form in which the gap has to be filled. In its power of overcoming the gap, the function of the real thing as determinant consists in being the function in accordance with which that thing determines the positive structure of the gap. What is this structure?

1. Above all, this gap is structured by the real thing qua actualized. Now, actuality is a physical moment of a real thing. To be sure, it is the intelligence which, in its intellection, confers intellective actuality upon a thing. But what the intelligence qua intelligence confers upon it is only the intellective character of its actuality; it does not confer the actuality qua actuality. And what is important to us here is the thing qua actual, which moves the intelligence. How does it move the intelligence? Not, to be sure, by any of its own actions, because a real thing does not "act" upon the intelligence but is only "actual" in it. But our languages do not have all of the words we would like to mean just ‘actuality’; rather, our words almost always refer to some action. Therefore we have no choice but to go back to the word ‘action’, knowing that with it we are referring not to action properly speaking but only actuality. Granting this, what is the nature of the "action" such that its actuality moves the intelligence? This action is not a governing or directing one, so to speak. It does not consist in the real thing guiding us in the intellective movement. This guiding action, i.e. the movement going to one’s head from something is what in Latin was termed ducere, to lead or conduct. If one wishes to continue using the compound "to conduct", it will be necessary to say that the action of a thing in the {215} intelligence does not consist in bearing us or conducting us or guiding us in intellective movement. That is the false idea that intellection, by being our action, consists in things being ultimately what guides or conducts us to such-and-such intellection. This cannot be because that type of action is definitely something ab extrinsico. But actuality is not what moves us by itself; it is the very reality of a thing insofar as the thing is present in the intelligence by virtue of the fact of being real. Because of this, the action with which a real thing moves is, to intellection, an action which stems from the reality of the thing; it is the real thing itself which, in its actualization, moves us ab intrinsico, from its interior so to speak. And it is just this intrinsic motion that in Latin has been called agere as opposed to ducere. The actuality of a real thing does not guide us but rather has us ab intrinsico in movement from itself; it "makes us see". If one desires to use the frequentative of agere, i.e. agitare, one might say that a real thing, by its naked actuality in a differential actualization, agitates us, has us agitated. For what reason? In order to intellectively know what the thing is in reality. Indeed, a compound of agere expresses the actuality as an intrinsic motion of the real thing, viz. the verb cogito (from co-agito), to agitate intellections. The action of the intelligence and the agere of a thing are identical; this is what the cum expresses. We should not be surprised, because in intellection the actuality of a thing and the intellective actuality of intellection are identically the same, as we saw; they are a "co-actuality". This agere proper to a real thing actualized in differential actualization has the double moment of being impelled and being retained. I said before that they are not two movements but two phases of a single movement. Now, this "one" movement is the agere. {216}

Thus we have the first structural moment of the gap: it is being retained in agere.

2. But this agere has a characteristic moment here. That has already been indicated, in a certain way, in what we have just said; but it must be pointed out expressly. The agere is, as I said, a motion ab intrinsico. But of this motion, the agere does not express anything more than its being a movement proper to the actuality of a thing. It is now necessary to express more thematically the intrinsic character of this movement of the agere. It is, in fact, what one expresses in the strict sense with the preposition ex. This preposition has two meanings: it can mean "to expel" (in Greek ex-ago); but it can also mean to make to leave "from the inside". This second meaning is more important to us here. The two meanings are not necessarily independent. In the first, a real thing pushes "toward the outside" of itself, i.e., to what we have called the field moment; this is to be impelled. Strictly speaking, if it were not an abuse of etymological formations, one could say that being impelled is being "ex-pelled". The "ex" is in this aspect not an "outside" but an exteriorization. But the fundamental meaning is the second: a real thing makes us go out from inside of itself by an action in which the given thing does not remain left behind, because that movement belongs to the very actuality of the thing. Therefore being expelled formally bears in its breast what I have called being retained: a real thing makes us move ourselves to the outside of it from the inside and by the inside itself; it is a movement grounded upon interiorization. The unity of both moments (being impelled and being retained) in the agere is the unity of the ex. The ex as moment of the agere thus has a very precise meaning: it is ex-agere, exigir [in Spanish], "to demand". The structure of the gap makes a demand. The gap is not something {217} vacuous; it is the ambit of what makes a demand, a gap stuffed with the demand of realization. It is the reality of a thing qua actualized which demands the intellection of what it is "in reality". The gap is an actuality that makes a demand. The function of a real thing in the differential intellection then consists in making a demand: it demands that determinate form of realization which we call "being in reality". The "in" of the "in reality" only is intellectively known in the "actuality" in ex. The demand of actuality in differential actualization, i.e. in stepping back, is the demand for "realization" as such.

It is easy to understand now that this moment of making a demand is one of the forms which, in Part One of this study, I termed force of imposition of the impression of reality. In the differential actualization of the real, sensed intellectively as real, the field of reality is imposed as making a demand. In the differential actualization the two moments of individual formality and field formality are different, but both are "reality" sensed impressively. Now the moment of field reality has, by virtue of being a sensed reality, a force of imposition of its own, viz. It makes a demand. To make a demand is a modulation of the force of imposition of the impression of reality.

3. But this is not enough, because in virtue of that demand a real thing impels us to an intellection in stepping back from itself: one intellectively knows in simple apprehension what a thing "might be" in reality. But the demanding itself is compelling us to return to the field of reality to intellectively know what a real thing is "in reality". This intellection is the affirmative intention. These two moments (simple apprehension and affirmation) are but two moments of a unique intellection: where it distends and steps back from what a {218} real thing is in reality "among" others. The unity of both moments is what constitutes the intellection in ex. What is the structure of this unity?

The idea of this demanding has led us above all to an innumerable group of simple apprehensions. And this same demanding is what makes us return to a thing, but from what we have intellectively known in being impelled, i.e., from what we have apprehended in simple apprehension as what the thing "could be". The return to the thing not only does not leave behind the being impelled which thrust us towards the simple apprehensions; rather, it is a return to the thing from these same simple apprehensions. Therefore the intellection in this return is essentially dual. The intellection of the thing in this differential actualization is not an immediate apprehension of what the thing is in reality, but the mediated apprehension of which one or many of the simple apprehensions are those realized "in reality". Without this duality of primordial apprehension of reality and of simple apprehension, there would not be affirmative intellection of what a thing is in reality. The unity of this duality is "realization". It is of intellective character, and it is an intellection that makes a demand. This unity, qua dual, has two aspects. On one hand it is a "contribution" so to speak, of many simple apprehensions; but on the other hand it is a "selection" that makes a demand of the simple apprehensions, whether they are excluded or included in the intellection. The realization of these latter is determined by the real thing in what it demands; it is an intellective determination that makes a demand, which happens in selection.

In what does it consist? Here we see ourselves forced, once again, to bend the lexicon of our languages. Almost all expressions referring to intellection—if not indeed all—are taken {219} from the verb "to see" [Latin, videre]; they express intellection as a "vision". This is a great oversimplification; intellection is intellection in all of the sentient modes of presentation of the real, and not just the visual one. Therefore throughout this entire book I express intellection not as vision but as apprehension. But there are moments of intellection which our languages do not permit to be expressed except with "visual" verbs. There is no problem in utilizing them provided that we firmly maintain the idea that here "vision" means all intellective apprehension, i.e., intellection in the fullest sense. Granting this, we shall say that the nature of making a demand which determines which simple apprehensions are excluded, and which are realized, is the nature of making a demand of a vision; we see, in fact, which are realized and which not. But the essential point is that we tell what vision we are dealing with. It is not a primoridial intellective vision, i.e. it is not a seeing [videncia], because we are dealing with a very precise vision, namely mediated vision. We see, mediately, that a real thing realizes B and not C. But neither is this the strict nature of the vision proper to affirmative intellection, because there we deal with a determinant vision. The determinate vision of the affirmation of realization is not only a mediated vision "of" a thing, but is a mediated vision "from" the real thing itself, i.e., it is a vision demanded by it. It is a vision in the ex. It is just what we call e-vidence. The quality of a vision determined by a demand ["ex-igence"] is "e-vidence". The vision of the evident has, as its principle, a demand [exigencia]. This demand is the intrinsic and formal arkhe of "e-vident" vision. Evidence is vision based on demand, or what is the same, a visual demand, and visual demand of a dual character, i.e. of the realization of simple apprehensions. The real thing A is not just evident, it is {220} more than evident. We shall explain forthwith. What is evident is that it is B and not C. And this vision is demanded by the vision of A in the medium of reality. Therefore the determinant function of a real thing in affirmative intellection is the demand of vision, evidence. The realization intellectively known in evidence based on demand is the intellection of what a real thing is in reality. A thing has opened the gap as ambit of the idea making a demand, and has filled this gap with the vision demanded by the medium of "the" reality, with evidence. The function of "the" reality in differential intellection is thus intrinsically demand, evidencial. And here we have what we sought: the determination of the affirmation is in itself evidence of realization. "The" reality is what makes us see; it is the medium. And this medium which makes us see has an evidential structure: it makes us see what a thing is in reality. Whence it follows that evidence is proper only to a subsequent act of sentient intellection. Only because there is sentient intellection is there dynamic duality; and only because there is dynamic duality is there evidence. An intelligence which was not sentient would not intellectively know with evidence. Evidence is the character of "some" acts of a sentient intelligence.

And it is here that the insufficiency of purely visual language is palpable. First, because as we have just seen, all modes of intellection—not just the visual—have their own demands; all modes of sentient intellection have their own proper evidences in differential actualization. Second, because the conceptualization of intellection as vision carries with it the idea that intellection has a noetic structure. Now, vision, just like every other intellection, is not formally noetic, but rather formally apprehensive: noesis is only a {221} dimension of apprehension. Apprehension as such is formally noergic; it involves the imposition force of the impression of reality. And therefore evidence, which is a vision determined by the "physical" demand of differential actualization of a real thing, is not of noetic but of noergic character. It is a mode of capturing what things are in reality. And it does so in virtue of the radical demand of its actuality. To see that seven plus five is twelve is not evidence but "vidence", seeing, i.e., mere "making plain" or "making evident". Only seeing that in seven plus five one has not the number 14 but 12, because the actualization of 12 is demanded by the actualization of the sum of 7 plus 5, only this vision as demanded, I repeat, makes the affirmation evident. In passing, it is from this point that, as I see it, one must begin to discuss the Kant’s celebrated thesis that the judgement "7 plus 5 is 12" is synthetic.

Evidence is then a demanding vision of the realization of simple apprehensions in a thing already apprehended primordially as real. In its mediating structure, the logos is evidential.

This idea of evidence requires some further elaboration:

a) Above all, evidence in this strict sense is exclusively a moment of judgement, of affirmation; only in judgement is there evidence. Evidence is the principal determinant of mediated intellection, of the logos. This presupposes that it is an intellection which lacks that determinant. This determination is about the simple apprehension made real in a thing already apprehended as real. And that intellection is formally judgement and only judgement. What is evident is that the thing is this or that, i.e., the evidence is evidence of realization. But it is evident, I repeat, by {222} being demanded by the real thing. If there were not this duality between simple apprehension and real thing, there would not be evidence.

A real thing in primordial apprehension is never evident; it is more than evident. In primordial apprehension the purely and simply real is or is not actualized in intellection, and nothing more. Primordial apprehension is not and does not need to be determined by anything. Primordial apprehension is the very actualization of the real. It is not determination but actualization. And actualization is always more than determination, because determination is grounded upon actualization and receives from it all of its force. It is for this reason that the logos is, as I said, a mode of actualization, the "determinate" mode. In virtue of that, to make primordial apprehension something evident is to make actualization a mode of determination, which is impossible. Primordial apprehension is thus more than evident; it is the pure and simple actualization of the real in and by itself. In primordial apprehension the vision of a thing does not "leave from" (ex) the thing, but rather "is" the thing itself "in" its actuality. Only the realization in it of a simple apprehension is evident, qua realization demanded by that real thing already actualized. Evidence, I repeat, is determination needed or demanded by a real thing. On the other hand, in primordial apprehension a real thing is not determinant but rather purely and simply actualized. Evidence is subsequent to primordial apprehension. Evidence is determination; primordial apprehension is actualization. In evidence a real thing already apprehended determines the intellection; in primordial apprehension we have in actuality a real thing itself in its own reality. To say that primordial apprehension is evident is the same as saying that primordial apprehension is judgement. This, as I see it, {223} is absurd. So in summary, evidence is a structural moment, but only of judgement.

b) In the second place, evidence is a moment of every judgement, because every judgement has as one of its moments an evidential determinant. This could seem false, since there are, as one might observe, innumerable non-evident affirmations. For example, consider all the affirmations having to do with a faith, be it religious or secular. Now, this is true, but does not contradict what we have been saying, because—let us not forget it—the vision which evidence claims is justly claimed, i.e., it is demanded. In virtue of that, evidence is not so much a vision as a demand for vision. Strictly speaking, judgement does not have evidence but judges in evidence; evidence is vidential demand. This means that evidence is a "line of demand", a line of determination within which the two opposites—what one sees and what one doesn’t see—both fit, together with all the intermediaries (which are only half seen). That is, judgement is an intellection which, by virtue of its own nature, is contained in a line of evidence. A non-evident judgement is a judgement "deprived" of evidence and not simply a judgement "lacking" evidence. Every judgement is necessarily evident or non-evident; in virtue of this, it is formally in the line of evidence. But in addition there are other considerations which I shall immediately explain and which help fix the nature of this presumed non-evidence.

c) But first, there is another essential aspect of evidence. Evidence is a necessary line of demand, but one which is traced within the domain of freedom. It cannot be otherwise, because intellection in movement is constitutively free. What is this freedom in evidence? It does not mean that evidence is in itself formally free. That would be absurd. {224} What I mean to say is something quite essential and which is often forgotten, namely that evidence is a line traced in the space of freedom. In fact, intellective movement goes toward something, but starting from something else. Now, this other thing is freely chosen, because in order to intellectively know what a man is in reality I can start from a living thing, from a grouping, from a form, etc. Moreover it is a free creation in the field of simple apprehensions, which are made real in a thing and are going to be affirmed with evidence. Finally, that trajectory is free which, in different orientations, is going to lead to intellection. Hence evidence is traced essentially in a domain of intellective freedom. Evidence is only possible in freedom; it is something proper to our sentient intellection. Evidence is the demand of the impression of reality stepped back from, i.e., at a distance; it is the imposition force of the impression of reality, as we have said. In virtue of this force, the evidence acquired starting from other things, according to other percepts, fictional items, or concepts, and following other routes, is an evidence qualified by a border of freedom. One might then think that evidence does not pertain to judgement even along the line of demand. If I say, "God has a disease", this is an absolutely free affirmation, indeed, it is an arbitrary affirmation; but it does not thereby cease to be an affirmation. An arbitrary affirmation would never be along lines of demand; it is precisely for this reason that it is arbitrary. Nonetheless, let us think for a minute why this is so. In an arbitrary affirmation, if that which is affirmed (let us call it the ‘subject’) is a reality (whether by itself or by postulation), then the judgement is not arbitrary in the order of evidence, but is simply a false judgement—something quite different. We shall concern ourselves with truth later. The false judgement {225} is also along the lines of a determination which is demanded: precisely for this reason I can describe what is false. But if the subject is not real, nor is posed as real, then neither is there arbitrariness in the order of evidence, but rather in the order of the affirmation itself. Its arbitrariness consists in being just a combination of ideas (God, disease, having). But a combination of ideas is not a judgement. To judge is to affirm the realization of a simple apprehension in a real thing; it is not to forge the idea of an affirmation freely. The idea of an affirmation is not an affirmation; it is at best an "affirmation schema". And this affirmation schema also has an evidence schema. Therefore, no judgement is outside the lines of evidence.

d) This evidential line is necessary, but it can be and is of very different types, in accordance with the nature of the real thing about which one judges. Each type of reality has its own modes of demand. It would be not only unjust but in fact false to measure all demands with a single canon of demand, for example the canon of conceptual analysis. Personal reality, moral reality, esthetic reality, historical reality, etc., not only have distinct demands, but also and more importantly, demands of a different nature. And precisely for this reason the evidence of one order cannot be confused with that of another; nor can one call ‘non-evident’ everything which does not figure in the evidence of an order canonically established. In the concrete case of faith, to which I earlier alluded, faith cannot be confounded with judgement. Faith is not a judgement; it is firm confidence or firm personal adherence. When I pronounce this adherence in a judgement, I do it determined by the demands which the reality of the person in question {226} imposes upon my affirmation. They do not cease being demands because they are personal.

e) Finally judgement affirms the realization of the simple apprehensions in a real thing (i.e., that they are made real in a real thing), and this realization admits different modes. That is, not only are there different types or forms of evidence, but also different modes of evidence.

In summary, we have asked ourselves what the determination of an affirmation is in itself, and the answer is that demand which I call ‘evidence’. It is a quality which is only given in a judgement in the form such that every judgement is necessarily in the line of evidentiation. This line is crossed in a free intellective field, and possesses different types and different modes.

With this we have outlined in a way what evidence is. Granting this, we now have to ask ourselves what are the essential characteristics of the determination of intellection, i.e., what are the essential characteristics of evidence.


§ 2



This evidential moment of affirmation has some aspects which ultimately are linked by mutual implication, but which it is convenient to stress as distinct in order more rigorously to outline what evidence is, as I see it.

1. Evidence is never something immediately given. To be sure, there is no doubt that the majority of our evident affirmations are grounded upon others, for example by reasoning. And in this sense, these examples of evidence are never immediate but mediated. But one always thinks that in one form or another, all mediated evidence refers back to certain fundamental evidence, which is in this sense primary. And we are told that this latter is immediate evidence. But I do not think this is the case, because strictly speaking there is no immediate evidence. What happens is that upon separating evidence into immediate and mediated, one gives to the mediated evidence the sense of the presence of an "intermediary" between a real thing and what, by means of evidence, one affirms about it. And in this sense, not all evidence is mediated. But the fact is that two distinct concepts are confused here: the concept of the intermediary term and the concept of medium. Now, not all evidence has an "intermediary" term, but all evidence is based constitutively in a "medium", i.e., in the medium of "the" reality. Whence it follows that if indeed not all evidence is {228} mediated in the sense of bringing into play an intermediary term, nonetheless all evidence is mediated. The confusion of these two senses of mediation is what has led to the theory of immediate evidence. In virtue of it, evidence is always and only something mediated, and therefore something "achieved", never something given. Only real things are given, and they are given in primordial apprehension. Evidence is never given, but only "achieved" in mediated fashion based upon things apprehended primordially. Intellection achieved via mediation is, in a certain way, an "effort", an effort of mediated intellection. Evidence is a demand of the real, a visual mediated demand of a real thing actualized by stepping back, i.e., at a distance. And therefore evidence is never a given, but something achieved. This characteristic of not being given but achieved and mediated is essential to evidence.

2. This evidence is not something quiescent, i.e., is not something which one has or does not have; rather, by virtue of being achieved, it is formally something dynamic. This does not refer to the fact that I make an effort to gain evidence, but rather to the fact that the effort is an intrinsic and formal dynamism of the evidence itself; evidence is a mediated vision in dynamism. Of what dynamism do we speak? Not of a dynamism which consists in a type of movement from the "predicate" to the "subject" and back again, because even leaving aside the fact that not every judgement is of subject-predicate form (for the present purpose, as every judgement involves a duality, there is no reason not to simplify the discussion by speaking of subject and predicate), that presumed movement is expressed in the verb "is", and therefore would be always—and only—a movement in the plane of being; it would be a dialectic of being. But evidence is dynamic in a much deeper and more radical sense, namely the very demand of the real which determines the dynamism of being. {229} We shall see this upon treating Reality and Being. That demand is formally a dynamism consisting in demand. The dialectic of being moves in the plane in which things and simple apprehensions "are". But the dynamism of demand moves in a third dimension orthogonal to the previous plane; it is the dynamism of reality which "demands", and not the dynamism of the reality which "is". Therefore every dialectic, every dynamism of being takes place on the surface of the real. Evidence, on the other hand, takes place in the volume and body of the real. The danger is always in taking the surface of the real for the real itself. There is never evidence of being—we shall see this in a few pages—rather, there is always and only demanding evidence of the real. All logical and ontological dynamism is possible only as something grounded in the demanding dynamism of evidence. This dynamism is a "selective" dynamism, because among the many simple apprehensions, the demand discerns through its own dynamism that or those which are realized in a real thing. To be sure, this does not mean that the simple apprehensions which we have are in any sense the most adequate. This demanding dynamism is but the dynamism that makes a simple apprehension real in the actuality of a real thing. It is a dynamism of the real in actuality. Intellection in differential actualization is, then, in itself formally dynamic; it is the dynamism of intellective realization. Therefore this dynamism of actuality is noergic, because it concerns the actuality of a thing, actuality which is a physical moment of it. And this dynamism, as I said and as we shall see again in another paragraph, is prior to the dynamism of being and is the foundation of it.

3. The classical conceptualization of evidence is based upon what is seen in evidence. But evidence is not {230} vidence (seeing), nor in-vidence, but e-vidence. Therefore the quality of what is seen, of what is intellectively known, is rather what I would call constituted evidence. It is grounded in the dynamic and demanding moment of radical evidence, which, therefore, is a characteristic that is not constituted but constituting. And it is so precisely because it is a sentient dynamism.

Constituted evidence is always—and only—a result. Therefore it comes too late. What is first is the constituting and demanding dynamism: evidence is formally evidentiation or making evident. This constituting character is never arbitrary; it is intrinsically necessitating, because the constitution does not concern the order of reality in and by itself, i.e. the order of "actuity", but the order of intellective "actuality". Let us not confuse necessary being and necessitating being. Necessary is a mode of actuity which is opposed to the contingent. It is necessary that fire burns; it is not necessary that this book be on this table. The difference has to do with the reality of the fire and the book. But necessitating is a mode of actuality. Evidence has a necessitating character; it is the necessity that given a real thing in determinate dual actuality, it is necessary to affirm it as such with evidence. Qua evidence, there is no difference whatsoever between assertoric and apodictic evidence. The difference is not found in the evidence but in the reality of a thing.

Evidence is always necessitating. However much it may be a matter of fact that this book is found upon this table, it is absolutely necessary to intellectively know that it is on this table, just as necessary as intellectively knowing that two plus two are four. The demand with which the intellection of two plus two constitutes the intellection of the realization of four is not a demand which is formally different from the demand with which this book which is on the table demands that it be so affirmed. {231} This is the necessitating. All evidencial demand is constituting; and while the constitution itself is not always necessary, it is always necessitating. This does not refer to the necessity with which a predicate is linked to a subject, or the necessity with which a subject is tied to a predicate; rather, it concerns the necessity with which a real concrete thing (necessary or contingent) actualized mediately in my intellection, determines my affirmations about it.

4. Thus we have the formal character of evident intellection. As a result of a "demand", intellection in differential actualization has, as its own characteristic, to be "exact"; this is exactitude or correctness. Exactitude is the quality of being demanded. It is what does not have the primordial apprehension of reality. If I may be permitted a Latin mode of expression, I should say that the primordial apprehension of reality is not "ex-acta"; only differential intellection is "ex-acta". In the incompact emptiness of its exigencies, a real thing determines the exactitude [correctness] of its intellection. This intellection is therefore strictly speaking an "exaction". As it is a dynamic demand, exaction involves a moment of rigor. Whence the demand itself is similar in this respect to one of the meanings which exigere has in Latin, viz. to weigh with exactitude. Now, this is what is proper to evidence: the exactitude of the weight of intellection. Therefore evidence is contained within the strict bounds of what is demanded. And this being contained within the boundaries of demand is exactitude. To this being contained we give the name "strict", and it is what I shall call constriction. All evidence is exact [correct], i.e., is determined by a constrictive demand.

Exactitude [correctness] thus understood is not modelled upon any special type of intellection which might serve as a canon for the rest. For example, what is exact or correct in mathematics {232} does not acquire its power from the fact that it is mathematical, but from the fact that the evidence is always exact or correct, i.e., from being a knowledge in which what is known is strictly determined by what is demanded or "exacted". This exactitude or correctness does not mean "logical rigor", even in mathematics; rather it means "a construction which demands". The logical is simply a procedure for constraining the demand, and not the other way around—as if to be exact or correct were to be logical. Therefore all knowledge, whether mathematical or not, has its own exactitude or correctness. History itself has its type of exactitude. Moreover, it is not just science which is correct, but all differential intellection, however elemental it may be. And it is precisely on account of this that science can be and is correct: it is so by being differential intellection. Naturally, correctness, just like evidence itself, is only a line, the line of correctness. The intellection of the reality "between" is formally and constitutively in the line of correctness.

Let us summarize. Evidence is an intellection which demands. And as such it is not given to us, but is achieved mediately in a dynamism which is necessitating, evidencing, and constituting that sentient intellection, which has as its own formal character as correctness and demanding constriction. Evidence, then, is something achieved, something dynamic, constituting, and accurate.

Whence those conceptions of evidence which are accepted uncritically in modern philosophy are radically false. Let us examine them.


§ 3



These ideas have been propounded since the time of Descartes and reach their highest degree of development in Husserl.

1) For Descartes, evidence is clarity: clara ac distincta perceptio. But this, as I see it, is radically inadequate for two reasons.

a) It is undeniable that in evidence there is clear and distinct vision. But this does not exhaust the question, because the fact that in evidence there is clear and distinct vision is not the same thing as evidence consisting in clear and distinction vision. Indeed, that which is clear to me in evidence is that I see with clarity the fact that the thing has to be seen thus as necessitated. My clarity is intrinsically determined by the demand of what I am seeing. It is a clarity which does not rest upon itself, but upon a real demand; otherwise it would be vision or non-vision but not evidence. In intellective movement only that vision is clear in which clarity is constituted by the constrictive demand of the thing. Evidence is not clara ac distincta perceptio, but rather, if I may be permitted the expression, exigentia clarificans; it is reality already apprehended as real, which is unfolded by demand in clarity.

b) But in addition, by being a demand, evidence is not just a moment of vision but something noergic, just as perceptio itself is apprehension and not simply consciousness. This does not refer to consciousness of mere "being thus", {234} but to an apprehension of the "to be here-and-now being" [estar siendo]. As we know, since classical times, to be here-and-now or actually, stare, has expressed the copula, but in a strong sense, a sense which grew in the Romance languages, especially in Spanish. And its "strong" sense consists, as I see it, in thematically connoting the physical character of that in which it is and of which it is. It is true that ser as opposed to estar tends to connote the profound and permanent dimension of something, in contrast to more or less transient determinations, as when we say that so-and-so "is" [es] a sick person versus saying the so-and-so "is currently" [está] sick. However, this does not contradict what I just said, because estar as a designation of a more or less transitory "state" [estado] connotes this state precisely because every state, in its very transitoriness, makes its character of physical actuality more prominent. And the result of this is that the distinction between ser and estar is not primarily that between the permanent and the transitory, but the difference between ser without allusion to physical characteristics, and estar as physical reality. We shall see this later at the appropriate time. For now, with respect to "to be here-and-now being" [estar siendo], the force of evidence is found in the noergic demand of this being.

Descartes himself offers us a good proof of this when he talks about what, for him, is the evidence of all evidence, to wit, the evidence of the cogito, of thinking or cogitation. It is for him an incontrovertible and indubitable evidence. But in this evidence of the cogito, such as Descartes describes it to us, there is not just clarity but a demand which is anterior to all clarity, the demand of being here-and-now [estar]. What is clear is that what I am doing is "thinking", and furthermore that "I am here-and-now [estar]" thinking. Descartes’ expression therefore should not be translated "I think, therefore I am", but rather {235} "I am here-and-now [estar] thinking, therefore I am". This expression is an incontrovertible judgement, but is so by the noergic force of the estar. This and not its conscious clarity is what makes the cogito a perceptio evidens, and what confers upon it its exceptional rank. The force of the cogito does not come to it from "thinking" but from the "I am here-and-now [estar]". But Descartes, immediately thereafter, goes astray on the matter of this demand moment and once again tells us that the evidence of the cogito is clarity—as if what the cogito gave us were supreme clarity. That is false. The supreme evidence from the cogito is based upon an immediate apprehension of thinking as a being here-and-now, i.e., that supreme evidence is grounded in reality. In the evidence of all evidence there is, then, the nature of the demand of the real as the foundation of clarity. Evidence is here eminently noergic; only because "I am here-and-now" [estoy] apprehending myself as thinking in a primordial apprehension of reality, only for this reason do I see myself constrained by this apprehension to pronounce the most evident of the judgements of Descartes, the cogito.

By going astray on the problem with respect to clarity, i.e., by asking if clarity leads to reality, Descartes has sidestepped the noergic moment and with it has opened an unfathomable abyss between evidence and reality for all evidence other than that of the cogito. Indeed, the abyss is so unfathomable that in order to bridge it Descartes must appeal to nothing less than Divine veracity. But in fact there is no such abyss, because evidence is always noergic, and therefore formally involves the moment of reality. To be sure, there are errors and illusions, and what is worse, evidence which is taken as evidence of something which is not true. But this is owing to the fact that clarity does not lead to reality in any case, not even in that of the cogito itself; rather, it is reality which {236} in a demanding way determines clarity. Therefore the presumed abyss is not opened between "the" reality and the evidence, but between reality apprehended primordially as real in an immediate intellection and what this reality is in reality: "something apprehended in a mediated intellection". This is a difference not between intellection and reality, but between two intellections, i.e., between two intellective actualizations of the real, already within reality. Of these two actualizations, the second is demanded by the first. This is the essence and problematic of all evidence, including that of the cogito. From Descartes’ time until Kant, philosophy took a stand on the problem of the cogito, but followed different paths than that which I just proposed. As I see it, we are dealing with the fact that the cogito as a judgement is the mediated intellection of the reality of my being here-and-now thinking, a reality apprehended in the primordial apprehension of my being here-and-now myself. In all other evidence there is also a duality between a primordial apprehension of reality and its mediated intellection; it is because of this that all evidence is in itself problematic. But this problem does not consist in whether evidence does or does not lead to reality, but in whether the real part of reality does or does not lead to the evidence, whether things are or not thus "in reality".

Therefore the evidence is always noergic, and is a demand imposed by the real, by the force of imposition of the impression of reality. Whence the Cartesian idea of evidence is false from its very roots.

2) A second conception seems to bring us closer to the essence of evidence. Everything evident has a moment which we might call that of plenitude or fullness, by which what we intellectively know of the thing is seen in full measure in the thing. One might then think that the essence of evidence {237} consists in this fullness. That is the conception which culminates in Husserl. For Husserl, my intentional acts have a meaning which can be either merely mentioned, so to speak, in a way actually empty of the vision of a thing, or else they can be made present in it. In this last case we have an intention which is not empty but full. Fullness is for Husserl the "fulfillment" (Erfüllung) of an empty intention by a full vision. When this happens, Husserl will tell us that the intention is evident. Every intentional act, for Husserl, has its own proper evidence, and the essence of this evidence is "fulfillment". But despite the fact that this idea has been accepted without further discussion, it seems to be untenable for the same reason that the concept of evidence à la Descartes is untenable. Evidence is not fulfillment; that would be seeing but not evidence. What Husserl calls ‘vision’ in the full sense is a noergic vision

already constituted. But its demand moment is constitutive of fulfillment. Husserl situates himself in evidence already constituted; but evidence has a more radical moment, the constituting moment. Its dynamic constitutionality is just the unfolding of a demand: this is making evident or evidentiation. Because of this, evidence is not a question of fulfillment. We are not dealing with the question of how a simple empty apprehension is made evident by fulfillment, but rather how an intellection of the real becomes evident by demand, i.e., how a real thing demands the realization of a simple apprehension. We are not dealing with a vision which is only noetic. Evidence is always and only evidence of realization. Therefore when Husserl tells us that the principle of all principles is the reduction of every intentional noesis to originary intuition, i.e., to the fulfillment of the intentional by the intuited, he is making a totally false statement as I see it. Just as with Descartes, {238} Husserl has taken the road from clarity to a thing, when what should be taken is the road from the thing towards its clarity. The principle of all principles is not intuitive fulfillment, but something more radical: the real demand of fulfillment. Neither clarity, nor fullness, nor full clarity are the essence of evidence. In evidence there is a full clarity, but it is like the expansion in the present of a demand of reality. What is specific about evidence isn’t "full clarity", but the "force of vision"; evidence is a "forceful vision", i.e. a vision which is demanded. Constituted evidence is always and only the result of the constituted nature of evidence.

Husserl always moves on a conscious plane. Therefore all of his philosophy has a single theme: "consciousness and being", and a single problem: absolute knowledge in a "vision". But consciousness and being are grounded in intellection and reality. Intellection and reality are the radical and basic facts. Their intrinsic unity is not the intentional correlation expressed in the preposition "of". We are not dealing with consciousness "of" being, nor with an act of intellection "of" reality, but with the mere "actualization" of reality "in" intellection, and of the actualization of intellection "in" reality. The intrinsic unity is "actualization". Actualization is in fact actuality numerically identical with intelligence and reality. And only in differential actualization does this actualization acquire the character of a demand of reality, of evidence.

To be sure, this puts us on the borders of a very serious question, the problem of "apprehension and evidence". Although what I think about this is implied in what has already been said, it is still appropriate to address the question directly.



§ 4



If not always, then almost always classical philosophy has contraposed apprehension and evidence. This contraposition is usually designated with the terms intuitionism and rationalism, meaning that one is dealing with an opposition between two forms of knowledge of the real: intuition and concept.

Of this opposition I should say at the outset that its two terms are not correctly defined, nor for that matter even correctly expressed.

Let us begin with the second point. One speaks of a concept as a knowledge of things. And given that conceptualizing them is in this philosophy an act of "reason", this form of knowledge has been called "rationalism". Let us leave aside the reference to reason; it is a subject of which I will treat in Part III of this work. What is important to me here, whether or not it is an act of reason, is knowing if that act consists in a "concept". Now, this whole idea is completely false for two reasons. First, the concept is not the only thing which is opposed to what is called "intuition" in this philosophy. There are also percepts and fictional works which are modes of simple apprehension. Therefore the first incorrect thing about classical rationalism is that it speaks of concepts when it should speak of simple apprehensions. But while this error is serious, it is not the most serious one. That, rather, lies in the fact that rationalism refers to conceptual knowledge, {240} which at the same time is of the real. And here, in my view, is the second and most serious error of this presumed rationalism, because concepts do not intellectively know a real thing by conceiving it, but by affirming it according to a concept. The formal act of knowing (what is usually termed here "reason") is not then either a concept or conceptualizing, but rather affirming and affirmation. Now, the radical character of affirmation is evidence. Therefore it is necessary to say that the formally specific part of rationalism is not in the "concept" but in the "evidence"; a thing is what is designated by the concept because of the evidence.

To this evidence, intuitionism is set opposite to knowledge of the real by "intuition". Intuition can mean the instantaneous intellection of something just as if it were present before the eyes. But this is a derived meaning. The primary meaning is precisely this "being present before the eyes". It is a direct and immediate mode, besides being instantaneous, i.e., unitary. The immediate, direct, and unitary presence of something to the intellection—this is intuition. The opposite of intuition would be a concept and discourse. Intuition is supposed to be determined not by its object but by the mode of intellection. As what is conceived is abstract and universal, one often says that the object of intuition is always something singular, a singulum; thus spoke Ockham and Kant. Only a singulum, it is thought, can be immediately, directly, and unitarily present. But for Plato, Leibniz, and Husserl there is intuition of what is not singular (the Idea, the categorical, etc.). We have no reason to explore this problem, but its existence shows us clearly that intuition has to be conceptualized not by its object but by the mode of presence of its object. And this is especially true since while it may be the case that only the singular is intuitable, this {241} does not mean that everthing singular is necessarily intuitable. Intuition is a mode of presence of the object. Intuition is the immediate, direct, and unitary presence of something real to intellection.

But our problem lies in calling this intuition. That is wrong for two reasons. In the first place, this knowledge is not formally an act of "vision" except in a loose way, which is what the verb to intuit, and its Latin original, intueor, means. But all the modes of sentient intellection, and not just the visual, directly, immediately, and unitarily apprehend the real. Therefore if one wishes to continue using the word ‘intuition’, it will be necessary to say that intuition is not just visual intuition, but that every intuition, be it tactile, auditory, olfactory, etc., is a direct, immediate, and unitary presence of the real to the intellection. If there is agreement on this point, there will be no inconvenience in continuing to speak of intuition as if it were vision.

The major and more serious problem is something else, viz. the second error of so-called ‘intuitionism’. And the fact is that even with amplification of the expression which we just pointed out, intuition always but expresses a "mode of seeing" a real thing; it is then something which is formally noetic. That is, intuition would be a direct, immediate, and unitary mode of recognizing what things are, i.e., a mode of consciousness. Now, the formal part of what has been called ‘intuition’ is not this recognizing, but the fact that a thing is present to the intellection; it is not the "presence" of the thing but is "being here-and-now" present. Therefore the act is not an act of recognizing what it is, but an act of apprehending the real. It is what, throughout the course of this work, I have been calling primordial apprehension of reality. Primordial apprehension is apprehension of the real in and {242} by itself, i.e., immediate apprehension, direct and unitary. It is to the act of apprehension that, formally and primarily, these three characteristics are applied. And only for this reason, in a derivative way, can it be applied to the noetic moment. Intuition is but the noetic dimension of the primordial apprehension of reality. The primordial apprehension of reality is then in itself much more than intuition; it is a noergic apprehension. It is not a seeing but an apprehending in the impression of reality.

In summary, the opposition between rationalism and intuitionism does not lie in an opposition of concept and intuition, but in being an opposition between evidence and primoridial apprehension of reality.

But there is more. Because in this opposition, what is actually opposed, indeed, what is divided between intuition and concept? We are told that we are dealing with two forms of knowledge. But this is unacceptable, because knowing [conocer] is but a very special mode of intellectively knowing [inteligir]. Not every intellection is knowledge. We shall see that elsewhere in this work. Therefore we are not dealing with a contraposition between two forms of "knowledge" but with a difference between two forms of "intellection": primordial apprehension and affirmation. This is not just a change of words, but a change which concerns the formal nature of what is designated by the words. And thus the question touches upon something essential.

In order to see this, let us accept for the moment the usual words. And then let us ask ourselves above all in what, formally and precisely, does the opposition between intuition and concept consist? For beneath this duality lies a unity which is the line along which the contraposition itself is grounded. What is this unity? Here we have the two points which must be considered. {243} I shall do it very briefly, given that the ideas which come into play in this problem have already been explained at length.

1. The difference between intuition and reason: rationalism and intuitionism. This difference is presented to us as a "contraposition" or "opposition". In what does it consist?

For rationalism, the supreme knowledge is the rational. I have already indicated that here I am not going to delve into problem of what should be understood by ‘reason’; I am employing the word so as to conform to the standard language of discussion of these matters. What is designated here by ‘reason’ is conceptual evidence (the reduction of the rational to the conceptual is also conceded without discussion). Rationalism understands that intellective knowing [inteligir] is knowing [conocer], and that the knowledge [conocimiento] has to be rigorous, i.e., grounded upon strict evidence. From this point of view, what is called ‘intuition’ is not in the fullest sense either intellection or knowledge; because intuition would be confused intellection, confused knowledge [conocimiento]. It is on account of this that intuition would not be knowledge; it would be a problem, viz. that of converting into rational evidence what we intuit turbulently and confusedly. Intuition is rich, to be sure, but not in knowledge; rather, in problems. Therefore it would be reason, and only reason, which must resolve the problems posed by intuition. The apparent richness of intuition would therefore be an internal poverty. This is the idea culminating in Leibniz and Hegel. But is that the case? It is possible (we shall not now delve into the question) that what is intuited is what leads intrinsically and formally to evident intellection. But apart from this it is necessary to affirm that there are intuitive qualities and subtleties which intellection can never exhaust by dint of evidence. The richness of intuition always escapes strict rational evidence. Moreover, even when this evidence {244} seems to be totally given over to what is intuited and indeed absorbed into it, yet strictly speaking the irreducible individuality of the intuited is a limit inaccessible to any evidence. The intellection of the intuited real will never be exhausted in evidence. Evidence can be as exhaustive as one desires, but it will always be but evidence: a vision of what reality demands; but it will never be the original vision of reality. This is an unbridgeable difference. Intuition has an inexhaustible richness. In this dimension, intuition is not confused knowledge but primordial intellection of the real. Intuition can only be called confused if one takes rational evidence as the canon of intellection. But this is the very thing in dispute. A mathematical circle, we are told, is "perfect". Real circles, on the other hand, are "imperfect". But imperfect with respect to what? Naturally, with respect to the mathematical circle. But with respect to reality the situation is inverted. With respect to the real, what is imperfect is the geometric circle. Only the concept of the configuration of the real would be perfect (if we could achieve it), a concept which may only approximate the geometric one; but that is totally irrelevant to the problem. This is the richness of the intuited. To think that despite evident conceptual determinations we could manage to apprehend totally the intuited real via infinite predicates—this is the great illusion of all rationalism, especially that of Leibniz.

This is point on which intuitionism has chosen to stand and fight. The intuited real is individual and inexhaustible in all its aspects. All rational evidence moves in approximations to intuition. Intuition is not confused intellection; rather, evident intellection is but clipped or reduced intuition. Only from intuition does rational evidence receive its value. {245} Let us consider the intuition of a color. Reason must conceptualize it making use of a system of colors previously conceived. None of these is the intuited color. But then, we are told, reason combines the colors it conceives, and by dint of these combinations it is believed that the cited color is apprehended. Impossible. Rational evidence is only impoverished intuition. I do not need to insist further on these well-known differences; it suffices to recall the example of Bergson. But is intuition purely and simply richer than evidence? I do not think so, because what is essential to evidence is not the tracing of boundaries, that tracing which has been called ‘precision’. Rigor is not precision; rather, precision is ultimately a form of rigor. The rigor proper to evidence is not precision but accuracy, viz. intellection constrictatively demanded by the real. Evidence would be and is poorer than the content of the intuited. But it is immeasurably superior in accuracy. The richest intuition will never constitute even the minimal accuracy required by the intellection of one thing "among" others. Therefore intellection should be rich but also true. Rational evidence is not a reduced or clipped intuition nor an impoverished one, but an expanded intuition, which is not the same.

This discussion also reveals to us something which, to my way of thinking, is the essential point but which has not yet been introduced. And that is that if one considers the matter at all, one sees that the discussion we have had concerns the richness or poverty both of rational intellection and of intuition according to its content. Now, is the exact line along which the distinction between intuition and evidence is drawn? Not at all. Intuition and rationality, prior to being two fonts of intelligible known content, are two modes of intellection, i.e. two modes of apprehension of the real, {246} and therefore two modes of actualization of the real. The difference between the contents apprehended by these two modes is totally irrelevant to the problem at hand. The discussion, then, must fall back not on the richness or poverty of the content but on the formality of reality, i.e. on the modes of intellection, on the modes of actualization of the real. Is there an opposition of modes? If so, what is its nature?

The presumed opposition falls back formally on the two modes of intellection: intellection that something is "real", and intellection of what this something is "in reality". Now, these two modes of intellection are therefore two modes of actualization. One is the intellection of the real in and by itself; this is primordial apprehension. The other is the apprehension of a real thing "among" others: this is differential apprehension, i.e. apprehension as differentiated (essentially mediated). When the question is posed in these terms one sees above all that primordial apprehension is the supreme form of intellectively knowing, because it is the supreme form of actualization of the real in intellection. What happens is that this apprehension is inadequate with respect to the differentiation; it does not make us intellectively know what a real thing is in reality, what it is among others, i.e. with respect to others. Differential apprehension gives us this intellection, but only insofar as it is inscribed within primordial apprehension. And this inscription does not concern the content but the formality of reality, something which is given to us in primordial apprehension and only there. Now, this inscription is demanded by the primordial apprehension itself. The richest intuition in the world will never give to us men everything that the intuited is in reality. For that differential apprehension is necessary, because differential apprehension is not only grounded in upon primordial apprehension, {247} but also formally demanded by it. A real thing, intellectively known, is not just a system of notes but also a system of demands. And the formal terminus of evidence is discrimination of demands, not distinction of notes. Every thing and every aspect of it has its own demands articulated in the most precise way. As a discriminant of demands, evidence remains within the strict limits of what is demanded. And it is in this constriction that accuracy consists: it is the rigor demanded by reality.

Here one sees that this undeniable difference between primordial apprehension and evidence is not some opposition or contraposition. It is something different, viz. a gap. And this gap will never disappear. The clearest intellection on earth will never succeed in eradicating the gap. A "filled in" gap is still a "gap", albeit filled in.

In summary, there is no opposition between intuition and evidence, but only a gap of actualization demanded by the primordial apprehension which is constitutive of evidence. As we are dealing with two modes of actualization of a single real thing, it is clear that the difference between those two modes is inscribed within a unity, the unity of actualization, i.e. the unity of intellection. In virtue of this, man does not just have intuition "and" rational intellection, but this "and" is the harbinger of a more radical problem, that of the unity between intuition and reason in sentient logos.

2. The unity of intuition and reason. What is the unity between intuition and reason?

A) Following along the lines of intuitionism and rationalism, one might think that intuition and reason are two "fonts of knowledge". In virtue of that their unity would constitute a single knowledge. This is the philosophy of Kant. The unity of intuition and concept would be the "unity of knowledge". {248} Neither of the two fonts by itself, in fact, constitutes a knowledge. Now, knowledge is knowledge of an object. In virtue of that, "unity of knowledge" would be "unity of object". Therefore intuition and concept would be the two fonts of a single knowledge by being two fonts of the representation of a single object. What is this fountainhead? Intuition gives us a multitude of qualities of an object, ordered in a spatio-temporal picture. But all these qualities are qualities "of" the object; they are not "the" object itself. To reach the object, we must go back to the concept. The concept is a reference to the object. But it is no more than a reference; and this means that when the two fonts are taken separately, i.e. intuition and concept, neither of the two offers us the representation of an object. Recall Kant’s famous phrase: intuition without concept is "blind"; concept without intuition is "empty". Blindness of intuition in unity with the emptiness of concept: this is what, for Kant, constitutes the unity of the object and therefore of knowledge. The object is that to which the concept refers; but not just any object, only the object determined by the qualities given by intuition. The object is therefore the unity of intuition and concept. The concept would be "empty", but in its emptiness it illuminates intuition, which by itself would be "blind"; intuition fills the referential concept which by itself is empty. The unity of intuition and concept is thus "synthetic unity" in the object of knowledge.

But is this true? I do not think so, for what blindness and emptiness are we talking about? Naturally, the blindness and emptiness of the "object". On this point Kant has done nothing but repeat Aristotle, whose idea has always seemed to be rather debatable because a thing is not the "object" of qualities but {249} of their "structural system". Kant believes that the object is something in some way distinct from its qualities. And for Kant, only insofar as intuition does not give an object to the qualities can it be called "blind"; only because the concept does not contain the determinate object but just an indeterminate reference to it, can it be called "empty". Now, this orientation of the problem toward the object is not, as I see it, what is primary and essential to either intuition or concept. It is possible that intuition may not formally contain objects (I have just indicated what is debatable in this assertion). But intuition always has a radical vision, the vision not only of the quality, but above all of the formality of reality. Like all previous philosophy, Kant assumed without question the idea of sensible impression as a mere subjective affection; but he does not have the moment of impression of reality. The Critique should not have been first and foremost a critique of knowledge, but a critique of impression itself. Intuition, although not a vision of the "object", is vision of the "reality". On the other hand, ‘concept’ is not a reference to an object, absent from the concept itself, but simple apprehension of what reality "might be"; the "might be" is not absence of reality, but a mode of its realization. Whence it follows that neither is intuition primarily blind, nor the concept primarily empty, because the formal terminus of these two presumed "fonts" is not an "object" but "reality". Now, reality is the formal terminus of intellection; therefore every human intuition is intellective, and every human intellection is sentient. The unity of intuition and concept is not unity of object and quality, but the unity of formality, the unity of reality. And therefore its apprehension does not primarily constitute a knowledge but an intellection, viz. sentient intellection. {250} Here we have the essential point: not knowledge of an object but sentient intellection of a reality. And here is where the difference and the radical unity of intuition and concept is found. Kant’s very point of departure is already untenable.

B) The unity in question is not, then, unity of objective knowledge but a unity which is rigorously structural.

a) By virtue of being structural, it is above all a unity which is not noetic but noergic, i.e., a unity of apprehension. There are neither two apprehensions nor two fonts of knowledge, nor for that matter two principles of knowledge; there are only two moments (content and formality) of a single apprehension, of a single sentient intellection.

b) This unity unfolds in two intellections only when what is intellectively known is a real thing "among" others. Then intuition is just primordial apprehension of reality, and concept is also a mode of intellection, the mediated intellection of reality. They are but two modes of actualization of the same reality.

c) There is a unity between these two modes, not the "unity of synthesis" but the "unity of unfolding". This unfolding is what comprises the ex in evidence. In virtue of that, there is an unquestionable supremacy of intuition over evidence, not because of its qualitative content but by virtue of the primary mode of apprehending reality. All evidence, however rich and rigorous it may be, is always intuition unfolded in the ex. Let me repeat once again that I am not referring to the content of what is apprehended but to the primary mode of apprehending reality. In contrast to what Kant maintains, it is not the concept which illuminates {251} intuition, but intuition which illuminates the concept. And in turn, the concept is not a mere reference to the object, but to the reality apprehended in intuition, retrieved and unfolded in the form of "might be".

d) All knowledge is an elaboration of this primary sentient intellection. We shall see this in another chapter.

In summary, intuition and concept refer back to primordial apprehension and to evidence. Their difference does not lie in their being two fonts of knowledge, but in being two modes of actualization of the real in a single act of noergic apprehension. In this apprehension, evidence and therefore the concept is not found in a synthetic unity with intuition—as Kant thought—but in unity of unfolding. The intellection of the real in this unfolding is affirmation. It is found determined by the evidence as a moment that demands. The concept is accurate intuition, and intuition is demand of a concept, i.e., of its unfolding.

Thus we have examined the two questions which we posed to ourselves about what it is to intellectively know a real thing at a distance, i.e., by stepping back. To do so is to affirm, to judge. And we asked ourselves about the structure of affirmation, i.e., what it is to affirm, and what are the forms and modes of affirmation. As affirmation is not, in any obvious way, univocally determined, we had to ask after studying its structure what it is in a real thing which determines the intellective intention of affirmation. This determination is evidential demand. With that we have finished our examination of what it means to intellectively know a thing at a distance, by stepping back. This intellective knowing of a thing by stepping back is the second phase of a "single" intellective moment. It is a movement in whose first phase one steps back from what the thing is in {252} reality; being

impelled thus acquires the character of stepping back. But in this stepping back, at this distance, the real thing holds us fast and then the intentum acquires the character of affirmative intention. In both of its phases alike, this intellection is an intellective movement in the middle of "the" reality in which we intellectively know what a thing is in reality with respect to other things. It is a mode of intellection determined in the intelligence by a differential actualization in which the real thing is actualized "among" others. But prior to this, the real is already actualized in the intelligence unitarily, i.e., the real has been actualized in it in and by itself.

Now, mediated intellection of what a thing is in reality is an intellection determined by evidence, which confers upon affirmative intellection, upon the logos, its own character, viz. truth. Here the problem springs upon us: affirmation and truth. This is the theme of the next chapter.