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Catholic Dictionary




The way in which something has being, or any modification of something. In Christian philosophy, following St. Thomas Aquinas, modes are the transcendentals, that is, those aspects which are common to all things whatsoever, such as unity, truth, and goodness. In Cartesian thought, modes are the inseparable attributes of substance, such as thought for spirit and actual extension for body. In pantheism, modes are the appearances of the divine in the physical universe where creatures seem to have a distinct existence of their own but are only manifestations of the unique reality of the Absolute. (Etym. Latin modalis, from modus, way, manner, method.)