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Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie

Ed. by Horn, Christoph / Serck-Hanssen, Camilla

Together with Mercer, Christia

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Henry of Ghent on the Reality of Non-Existing Possibles – Revisited

Richard Cross1

1Notre Dame

Citation Information: Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie. Volume 92, Issue 2, Pages 115–132, ISSN (Online) 1613-0650, ISSN (Print) 0003-9101, DOI: 10.1515/agph.2010.006, June 2010

Publication History:
Published Online:
2010-06-18

Abstract

According to a well-known interpretation, Henry of Ghent holds that possible but non-existent essences – items merely with what Henry labels ‘esse essentiae’ – have some reality external to the divine mind, but short of actual existence (esse existentiae). I argue that this reading of Henry is mistaken. Furthermore, Henry identifies any essence, considered independently of its existence as a universal concept or as instantiated in a particular as an item that has some kind of reality in the divine intellect, and that constitutes an object of thought for that intellect. This object is distinguished from the universal concepts of creaturely cognition.

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