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On Being and Essence

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  368 ratings  ·  29 reviews
A small error at the outset can lead to great errors in the final conclusions, as the Philosopher says in I De Caelo et Mundo cap. 5 (271b8-13), and thus, since being and essence are the things first conceived of by the intellect, as Avicenna says in Metaphysicae I, cap. 6, in order to avoid errors arising from ignorance about these two things, we should resolve the diffic ...more
Paperback, 79 pages
Published January 1st 1968 by Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies (first published 1256)
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Viji (Bookish endeavors)
A brilliant text on the topics of being and essence. Throughout the text,one can see the influence of Aristotle(the major influence,of course),Avicenna and Boethius.
In the first part,the concepts of being and essence are defined. Then it move on to essences of simple and composite substances. The concepts of genus and species are dealt with in the next step. How essence is found in substances is discussed in the next part. The entire theory part is borrowed from Aristotle. We can see the concep
Dec 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Very short, still too hard for me. Will try again but I need something more elementary.

Update: Raising my rating after reading the translator's brief and lucid introduction.
rhapsodyof words
May 15, 2014 rated it it was ok
I didn't understand a single word...It was like i was reading a book in Chinese.
Apr 01, 2017 rated it liked it
I have to admit, a large part of this was over my head. I have never been great at understanding works on ontology. First, every single time he talked about "quiddity" I thought of Quidditch.

With that said, perhaps a return to this discussion would be helpful for our current cultural climate. It seems that the accidents are being exalted over the essence when it comes to sexuality. The individuality is being exalted over the essence. In fact, towards the end, Aquinas connects these ideas with r
قطعاً زود بود خوندن اين كتاب. بايد نهايه رو بخونم و باز بيام سراغ اين.
David Haines
Mar 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a wonderful translation and commentary on a very difficult and profound pamphlet that was written by the young Aquinas. The difficult and profound pamphlet is the well-known "Esse et Essentia", and in this pamphlet Aquinas sets out to pose solid foundations for philosophy and theology. In order to avoid error one needs to ensure that their starting point is sure. As such, Aquinas sets out to explain what is meant by the words "Being" and "essence", how they are found in diverse thin ...more
David Haines
Nov 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I have read through this book numerous times, and each time I am impressed by Aquinas's clear treatment of this subject. It is a difficult subject, and reading this book requires much concentration, but the person who perseveres is greatly rewarded for the hard work required to understand this subject.
Jan 22, 2009 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Michael by: Referenced in Norm Geisler's Systematic Theology, Vol. 1
Shelves: philosophy
Being were I am, I am supposed to be more in love than Thomas than what I am.

On the matter, I'm either too ignorant to be enlightened or too enlightened to be ignorant, but either way I'm too ignorant to know which.

1/2 star for Thomas's ending... "having said this we may make a proper end to this discourse. Amen."

having said this, I make an end to this review. Amen.
Sep 20, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bobik's translation is very readable, though it does not include the original Latin for quick comparison. His commentary is illuminating as it includes exposition of the text as well as detailed articles on Aquinas metaphysical views.
Bogdan Liviu
Jul 22, 2014 rated it liked it
HIGHLY HELPFUL: Gyula Klima, Yale Lectures. Go directly to number 5. ST. THOMAS AQUINAS ON BEING AND ESSENCE. "Thank you, good sir, you're my saviour." C'est mon plaisir! :D ...more
Mar 09, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is a very short and inadequate introduction to the thought of Thomas Aquinas. Besides this introduction lacking depth, it is also a fact that Aquinas' thought isn't that impressive at all, with it's subjective metaphysical deduction.
Basically three-quarters Aristotle and what Averroes thought of him, which was expected, but gets kind of fun with Aquinas playing around with his genus-less, species-less God (whose existence is His own quiddity, let's remember, but that doesn't deny Him an essence!).
Andrew Price
Aug 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Aquinas wrote this when he was 25. It is a serious and difficult book, but worth the fight.
حسن صنوبری
Apr 24, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: فلسفه
ترجمۀ این کتاب به فارسی توسط خانم فروزان راسخی را خوانده ام که ترجمه خوبی است
Emerson John Tiu Ng
May 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
..this book is so hard to read especially if you are not a Philosophy graduate.....
Nov 19, 2016 rated it liked it
I'm going to understand it much more by revisiting some philosophical notions, but it's Saint Thomas Aquinas we are talking about, and clarity was one of his features.
Dec 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
What else would you want to read about?
حسن صنوبری
البته که کتابی است با مخاطب خاص، یعنی کسانی که پیگیر فلسفه مسیحی و فلسفه دوران قرون وسطی هستند
اما ترجمه خوبی دارد
Apr 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
I don't know how to rate books like these,
I mean, it was true,
I would have liked more concrete examples of the abstractions,
but Thomas Aquinas is still the man, yeah?
Z. J. Pandolfino
Oct 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion, philosophy
In this short yet perceptive treatise Thomas Aquinas examines the difference between three critically important and often misused metaphysical terms: esse, essentia, and ens. In this distinction, he foreshadows the deconstructionist metaphysics of twentieth century existentialist and postmodern thinkers, defines key metaphysical concepts, and alludes to a possible proof for the existence of God not employed in the Summa. For starters, the distinctions between esse, essentia, and ens can be captu ...more
Sep 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Als Wikipedia unter anderem sagt: "Thomas [von Aquin] beansprucht, der Theologie den Charakter einer Wissenschaft zu geben".

In diesem Traktat erklärt er in der reinsten philosophischen Sprache (und nicht in der Sprache religiöser Mythen), was Gott ist, was die Seele ist, wie die Seele des Menschen außerhalb des Körpers sich ausbreitet und mit Gott verbunden ist.

Welche Sprachen gibt es, um abstrakte Kategorien auszudrücken, außer der abstrakten Sprache der Philosophie? Quantentheorie? Vielleicht.
Griffin Wilson
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
A short, interesting exposition on metaphysical essentialism -- something I have been thinking about lately. It is a bit "high level" (i.e. if you aren't familiar with Plato or Aristotle it may be difficult), but I feel is if I came away understanding the point after the help of a couple videos. Although I can't say I agree it is still worthwhile.
David Menčik
Dec 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Although I am not the greatest fan of T.A. I can say that this book is written in a fine manner and is a classic of Middle-Age Ontology. Definitely would recommend reading for anybody who is willing to venture into the questions of essence of God, and composite beings.
Cameron Pitts
Anyone rating this less than five stars is either anti-Christian or philosophically illiterate and shouldn't be attempting to engage this work in the first place.
Gregorius Pamungkas
Dec 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
Great book to argue with my own head.
Damien Rappuhn
Apr 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Reader be warned. Need a strong understanding of the technical language of metaphysics and philosophy to get into this book. The introduction is strong, but not enough by itself.
Jan 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
It's a real struggle to read this kind of metaphysics that Aquinas write about in "Being and Essence" - it's so many concepts to keep track of and it feels like really hardcore philosophy. Of course, a lot goes over my head(not being a professional philosopher, I kind of accept that I don't have full control of all I read), but it's also nice those times when I read slowly and actually grasp a section. When I read Philo, it was so much on the theological track, and when I read this by Aquinas it ...more
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Thomas Aquinas (sometimes styled Thomas of Aquin or Aquino), was a Dominican friar and priest notable as a scholastic theologian and philosopher. He is honored as a saint and "Doctor of the Church" in the Roman Catholic tradition.

Aquinas lived at a critical juncture of western culture when the arrival of the Aristotelian corpus in Latin translation reopened the question of the relation between fai

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