Combining Philosophers

Ideas for Avicenna (Abu Ibn Sina), Mark Steiner and Bonaventura

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2 ideas

9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 2. Types of Essence
An essence can either be universal (in the mind) or singular (in concrete particulars) [Avicenna, by Panaccio]
     Full Idea: Avicenna's 'indifference of essence' says the essence of certain things can become universal or singular, according to whether it is entertained by the mind (as a universal) or concretely exemplified as a singular thing. One essence can exist in two ways.
     From: report of Avicenna (Abu Ibn Sina) (Commentary on the Metaphysics [1022]) by Claude Panaccio - Medieval Problem of Universals 'Sources'
     A reaction: This would appear to be a form of nominalism, since in the concrete external world we only have particulars, and it is our mode of thinking (by abstraction?) that generates the universal aspect. I think this is probably right.
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 3. Individual Essences
Particular essence is often captured by generality [Steiner,M]
     Full Idea: Generality is often necessary for capturing the essence of a particular.
     From: Mark Steiner (Mathematical Explanation [1978], p.36)
     A reaction: The most powerful features of an entity are probably those which are universal, like intelligence or physical strength in a human. Those characteristics are powerful because they compete with the same characteristic in others (perhaps?).