On Ex(s)istere: Re-visiting the 'to be' - 'to-exist' debate

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Colledge, Richard. (2009). On Ex(s)istere: Re-visiting the 'to be' - 'to-exist' debate. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association. United States of America: Philosophy Documentation Centre. pp. 263 - 274
AuthorsColledge, Richard
Abstract

This paper looks to revive and advance dialogue surrounding John Nijenhuis’s case against ‘existence language’ as a rendering of Aquinas’s esse. Nijenhuis presented both a semantic/grammatical case for abandoning this practice as well as a more systematic argument based on his reading of Thomist metaphysics. On one hand, I affirm the important distinction between being and existence and lend qualified support to his interpretation of the quantitiative/qualitative correlation between esse and essentia in Aquinas’s texts. On the other hand, I take issue with Nijenhuis’s relegation of exist(ence) to a second-rate ontological principle, and to this end undertake a brief historical and etymological survey, noting its emergence in Greek thought (ὑπάρχϵιν, ἥπαρξις), its translation into medieval Latin (ex(s)istere, ex(s)istentia) and thus something of the pedigree of this terminology in modern usage. I conclude with some brief remarks on the task of exegeting Aquinas vis-à-vis the revivification of contemporary metaphysical ontology in general.

KeywordsExpanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies; History of Philosophy; Metaphysics
Year2009
PublisherPhilosophy Documentation Centre
Open accessOpen access
Author's accepted manuscript
Publisher's version
File Access Level
Controlled
Page range263 - 274
ISBN9781889680804
Research GroupSchool of Philosophy
Place of publicationUnited States of America
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https://acuresearchbank.acu.edu.au/item/88x3v/on-ex-s-istere-re-visiting-the-to-be-to-exist-debate

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