By Anthony John Patrick Kenny
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Additional resources for Aquinas on being
Aquinas rejects Plato’s Forms in favour of Tom, Dick, and Harry’s concepts. 33 The species dog does not exist in reality, and it is no part of being a dog to be a species, even though dogs are a species. But if being a species were part of what it was to be a dog, then Fido would be a species. When we say that dogs are a species, 31 Si quaeratur utrum ista natura sic considerata possit dici una vel plures, neutrum concedendum est, quia utrumque est extra intellectum humanitatis, et utrumque potest sibi accidere.
But when we say ‘Julius Caesar is no more’ or ‘Julius Caesar no longer exists’, we are not talking about a species: we are talking about a historic individual, and saying that he is no longer alive, no longer among the inhabitants of the universe. We might call this ‘individual existence’ by contrast with the specific existence considered earler. The Latin verb ‘esse’ can be used to indicate either kind of existence. e. that God is dead in the quite literal sense that the creator of the world has passed away (a possibility entertained by a character in one of Hume’s dialogues).
Aquinas was aware that it was not by Aristotle. 37–8). 59–60). On Being and Essence: II the remaining nine categories. But it is hard to see how the notion of pure form can be explained by reference to predication. Forms are forms of the entity which is the subject of predication: Socrates’ wisdom is what corresponds to the predicate in the sentence ‘Socrates is wise’, and Plato’s humanity is what corresponds to the predicate in the sentence ‘Plato is human’. In the same way, a pure form would be something that corresponded to a predicate in a sentence that had no subject; but this seems close to an absurdity.
Aquinas on being by Anthony John Patrick Kenny