The concept of essence in two early writings of Thomas Aquinas

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Haghighatkar, Azarmidokht
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The concept of essence appeared very early in the history of philosophy, playing a very large role in the metaphysical thought of Plato and Aristotle, and hence in the thought of medieval thinkers influenced by them, such as Thomas Aquinas, a major thinker of thirteenth-century Europe. Although at the end I will be adding some brief critical comments of a philosophical nature, the present study will be primarily an historical study of the concept of essence, and especially the concept of the essence of living corporeal objects, as that is found in two early writings of Thomas Aquinas, namely his 'Concerning Beings and Essence', and Question 5 of his 'Commentary on the De Trinitate of Boethius'. In addition, I will be looking at early origins of the notion of essence, especially in Plato, and, quite briefly, at the origins of the explicit distinction of essence from existence, especially in the writings of the early eleventh-century Islamic thinker, Ibn Sina (Avicenna). (Abstract shortened by UMI.)