7. Analogy of being
1. Clarity, ambiguity and analogy
There are a lot of beings in the world. We assign being to all of them. For instance: the mountain is, the tree is, the dog is, the man is, the angels are and God is. Everyone has in common the fact of being, but their mode of being is different.
a) Clarity. A univocal term always designs the same thing, has only one meaning. For instance, man is a rational animal, student is who studies.
b) Ambiguity. An ambiguous term designs things of different nature, i.e., has two or more meanings. For example: a cat can be a domestic animal and a tool for lifting the car off the ground and changing the punctured tyre; bull is an animal and a constellation of stars. Every language has some ambiguous terms that can produce confusions: tear, bank, match, etc.
c) Analogy. An analogous term designs different objects, but with something in common. They have a meaning partly the same and partly different. For instance: the word leaf can be used related to trees, books and tables. These are different objects, but with something in common: to be thin layers. The term “being” is analogous. We assign it to things that are material, spiritual, real, ideal, etc. but even though all of them are beings, they vary in their mode of being.