Ens multipliciter dicitur: The semantics and metaphysics of being in st. Thomas Aquinas


Authors
Gyula Klima
Fordham University
Abstract
This paper examines the multiple semantic functions Aquinas attributes to the verb ‘est’, ranging from signifying the essence of God to acting as a copula of categorical propositions to expressing identity. A case will be made that all these apparently radically diverse functions are unified under Aquinas’s conception of the analogy of being, treating all predications as predications of being with or without some qualification (secundum quid or simpliciter). This understanding of the multiplicity of the semantic functions of this verb as conceived by Aquinas will enable us to have a better understanding of the meaning of his metaphysical claims and arguments. In particular, with this understanding of Aquinas’ conception of being, we will be able to see how Aquinas’s famous “intellectus essentiae” argument for the thesis of the real distinction between essence and existence in creatures can work, despite Anthony Kenny’s arguments to the contrary in his recent book Aquinas on Being.
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Similar books and articles

William of Auvergne and St. Thomas Aquinas on the Real Distinction Between Being and Essence.Kevin J. Caster - 2004 - In Jeremiah Hackett, William E. Murnion & Carl N. Still (eds.), Being and Thought in Aquinas. Global Academic.
Aquinas.Anthony Kenny - 1969 - Garden City, N.Y., Anchor Books.
Aquinas: A Collection of Critical Essays.Anthony Kenny - 1976 - University of Notre Dame Press.
Aquinas on Being.Anthony Kenny - 2002 - Oxford University Press.

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