more from Thomas Aquinas

Single Idea 11195

[catalogued under 7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 3. Being / e. Being and nothing]

Full Idea

If being is what makes propositions true, then anything we can express in an affirmative proposition, however unreal, is said to be; so lacks and absences are, since we say that absences are opposed to presences, and blindness exists in an eye.

Gist of Idea

If affirmative propositions express being, we affirm about what is absent


Thomas Aquinas (De Ente et Essentia (Being and Essence) [1267], p.92)

Book Reference

Aquinas,Thomas: 'Selected Philosophical Writings', ed/tr. McDermott,Timothy [OUP 1993], p.92

A Reaction

See Idea 11194 for the alternative Aristotelian approach to being, according to categories. Do absences and lacks have real essences, or causal properties? The absence of the sentry may cause the loss of the city.

Related Idea

Idea 11194 Being is either what falls in the categories, or what makes propositions true [Aristotle, by Aquinas]