Edith Stein and Thomas Aquinas on being and essence

Abstract
In her later philosophical writings, Stein works to synthesize the medieval scholastic tradition and contemporary phenomenology. Stein draws heavily fromThomas Aquinas’s work so that the prevalence of positive references to Thomas have led many to read Stein as a Thomist. On critical questions regarding beingand essence, however, Stein is not a Thomist. In addition to mental and actual being, she also affirms essential being, which is properly the being of intelligibilitiesas well as potencies. Essential being is never separate from an entity with either mental or actual being, but it is a distinct type of being. In this essay, I attempt tocontrast briefly Stein’s account of being and essence with Thomas’s position and to bring out the way in which Stein’s affirmation of essential being leads her ina more Scotist than Thomist direction, at least on questions related to essences and universals
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  History of Philosophy  Philosophy and Religion
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ISBN(s) 1051-3558
DOI 10.5840/acpq200882121
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