essence

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essence,

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.

essence

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
3. 
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
References in periodicals archive ?
But this is precisely because the relevant grounding relation holds in virtue of the essence of the grounded property.
By way of an express provision stating time is of the essence in connection with the rent review clause.
Each side of the distinction would then have to be seen as a thing or an essence in itself and as having its own act of being, an act of the act of being and an act of the essence, an esse existientiae and as esse essentiae, as some late scholastics were arguing at the time of Suarez.
So, for example, if a contract says that certain widgets are to be delivered to a buyer on or before January 14, 1999 then Time is of the essence is meant to indicate that the buyer will not accept delivery on January 15, 1999 or any time after that.
That test considers whether the regulation requirements relate to the substance or essence of the statute, as opposed to being procedural or directory (in that they are not of the essence of the thing to be done but are given with a view to the orderly conduct of business).