Studia Neoaristotelica 8 (1):38-71 (2011)
The present paper deals with the notion of essence in Thomas Aquinas. Part 1 focuses on the main points of Aquinas’s doctrine of essence set out in his De ente et essentia, and especially on the concept of essence as the “form of the whole” and the concept of the “nature considered absolutely”. The comparison with the teaching of Aristotle and Aquinas’s Arabic predecessors in Part 2 shows that Thomas’s notion of essence is an innovative re-interpretation, which he largely owes to Avicenna, of the original Peripatetic doctrine. Nevertheless, it is shown that this re-interpretation is to be understood as a result of Avicenna’s and Aquinas’s effort to provide a consistent explanation of various statements in Aristotle’s writings, not always compatible with each other
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