Henry of ghent on the reality of non-existing possibles – revisited

According to a well-known interpretation, Henry of Ghent holds that possible but non-existent essences – items merely with what Henry labels ‘ esse essentiae ’ – have some reality external to the divine mind, but short of actual existence ( esse existentiae ). I argue that this reading of Henry is mistaken. Furthermore, Henry identifies any essence, considered independently of its existence as a universal concept or as instantiated in a particular as an item that has some kind of reality in the divine intellect, and that constitutes an object of thought for that intellect. This object is distinguished from the universal concepts of creaturely cognition.
Keywords Henry of Ghent
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DOI 10.1515/AGPH.2010.006
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