Arquivo para March 14th, 2018

Being and essence

14 Mar

Before examining what is the being and the essence in contemporaneity, let us examine more closely its meaning in Thomas Aquinas, important for understanding the difference between nominalists and realists at the end of the medieval period.

For the medieval philosopher, the essence, which was called quiddity, is the ineffable of what makes existence possible, giving a thing its constitution of Being, which in turn possesses an existence as a possibility of existing in act, once created matter and form give it reality.

Unlike Aristotle, for whom there is a first mover that is god, his ontology starts from this premise, for Thomas Aquinas, the essence of God is his existence, and to attribute something to him would be to deny him, since he lacks nothing, is pure perfection and wholeness, so the effort of attributing to God properties is useless, to Thomas Aquinas he is pure Being.

In it the essence, called the quidity is the ineffable that would make existence possible, so that is where God gives things existence, or prefer a teleological concept, is the first matter / energy / form from where everything originates, could be said in words more modern, the existing nature in itself is an over-nature of its essence of a Being for itself.

By the way, Stephen Hawking passed away today, and said that the intention to create the universe was as important as the creation itself.

The essence (quiddity) not being the ineffable will correspond to names and concepts, whose existence is conceived by the nominalists, even if it admits the experience as a way to “perceive” reality, it will be at the beginning of this very sense-related thought, anyway today the substances, are linked to names, they are signed, and are subject to deconstruction as analyzed by Derridá and in the posts of last week.

For Aquinas there are two substances, where the essence also participates of the two substances, and the only cause of the compound substance, in the being the existence is “…. that first and simple substance par excellence, which is called God (AQUINO, 2004, p.10)

The second substance (abstract things) involves gender and species, essence participates in both. Essence does not partake individually of matter or form, it is found in both, composing in the world of sensible things individuation.

Thomas Aquinas also establishes two types of matter: signified matter, which is a first, particular, concrete, singular substance, of lesser extent, a modern example can be said to say Hydrogen and Oxygen, forming the water, already the matter not signed, which is second substance, universal abstract, of greater extension, a liquid potable, but it is necessary to see a greater complexity, if we are the human being.
“It is evident that the definition of man in general, and that of this man called Socrates, is differentiated only by the signed and the unmarked.” (Ibid., P. an individual as signified as the Man in his own nature, is also the man Sócrates, 
in his particular nature signified, where signified is nothing more than to place a sign.

AQUINO, S. Tomás, Compêndio de teologia, cap. II -3, p. 77, Col. Pensadores, SãoPaulo: Nova Cultural, 2004.