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in philosophy, the nature of a thing. Aristotle maintained that there is a distinction between the form of a thing—its intelligible, verbally formulable character—and the essence of a thing, i.e., what it is in itself, which is not common to anything else. The essence of a thing is what is formulated as a universal in the mind and in language. St. Thomas Aquinas distinguished between the essence of a thing and the fact of its being, or its existence. In modern existentialist thought Jean-Paul Sartre made use of Aquinas's distinction between essence and existence but reversed them by insisting that existence precedes essence. By this he asserted that people do not have predetermined natures; what a person is follows from the choices he or she makes.
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1. Philosophy
a. the unchanging and unchangeable nature of something which is necessary to its being the thing it is; its necessary properties
b. the properties in virtue of which something is called by its name
c. the nature of something as distinct from, and logically prior to, its existence
2. Theol an immaterial or spiritual entity
a. the constituent of a plant, usually an oil, alkaloid, or glycoside, that determines its chemical or pharmacological properties
b. an alcoholic solution of such a substance
4. a substance, usually a liquid, containing the properties of a plant or foodstuff in concentrated form
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
A real estate company, Essential Properties acquires, owns and manages single-tenant properties mainly that are net leased on a long-term basis to companies operating service-oriented or experience-based businesses.
Essential Properties' President and Chief Executive Officer, Pete Mavoides, said, "We are thrilled to report our third quarter results, which is our first full quarter as a public company.
True, God exists if and only if his essential properties exist, but his properties do not create God.
To sum up, essential properties prevail over event of use in herb names.
It combines a laser-based 3D scanner and load cells to measure green concrete masonry or paver units' essential properties. The scanner's sensor has height resolution up to 3.75 mils.
Of the properties which a substance has, some are essential properties of that substance.
It is also more difficult, because relational and pragmatic categories are less definite than essential properties.
"Those that have seen the film will know that everything is filmed in a single studio with locations marked only by white lines and essential properties. The ghost of Bertolt Brecht is everywhere.
Among other findings, the interaction of scope and parallelism with ellipsis is reconsidered; the structural significance of modal anchoring and essential properties for the interpretation of indefiniteness is explored in detail; additionally, quantificational variability and correlativity phenomena in relative clauses are analyzed; degree expression is characterized for concessive conditionals and superlatives; and, finally, several discourse particles with a quantificational core are shown to be critical for the articulation of semantic and discourse-pragmatic relations.
The porous structure developed by the scientists of KIT, the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Stuttgart, and Tubingen University, possesses essential properties of natural bone marrow and can be used for the reproduction of stem cells at the laboratory.
"The success of SelfGrip and Tape-O, which have had wonderful acceptance, has led us to take their essential properties and take them into new areas such as pet wraps and lawn, garden and marine," Cavagnaro explains.
Triangle House, works by Paul Crook exploring essential properties of painting, until May 12.

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