A Mereological Construal of the Primary Notions Being and Thing in Avicenna and Aquinas

American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 88 (2):335-360 (2014)
  Copy   BIBTEX


This study has two goals: first, to show that Avicenna’s account of being and thing significantly influenced Aquinas’s doctrine of the primary notions; second, to establish the value of adopting a mereological construal of these primary notions in the metaphysics of Avicenna and Aquinas. I begin with an explication of the mereological construal of the primary notions that casts these notions in terms of wholes and parts. Being and thing refer to the same entitative whole and have the same extension, but they are distinct in intension according to the different entitative parts they signify. Existence and essence constitute the two most fundamental entitative parts of every entitative whole. Being is taken to mean that which has existence, and thing signifies that which has essence. I then show how this mereological construal of the primary notions clarifies a number of texts in Avicenna and Aquinas. Finally, I address a few arguments against employing this mereological interpretation of the primary notions



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,322

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Aristotle and Two Medieval Aristotelians on the Nature of God.R. Houser - 2011 - International Philosophical Quarterly 51 (3):355 - 375.
Thomas Aquinas, Siger of Brabant, and Their Use of Avicenna in Clarifying the Subject of Metaphysics.John F. Wippel - 1999 - The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy 2:15-26.
The Latin Avicenna and Aquinas on the Relationship between God and the Subject of Metaphysics.Peter Furlong - 2009 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 83:129-140.
Matter, form, and individuation.Jeffrey E. Brower - 2011 - In Brian Davies & Eleonore Stump (eds.), The Oxford handbook of Aquinas. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 85-103.
On Whether Aquinas’s Ipsum Esse Is “Platonism”.Stephen L. Brock - 2006 - Review of Metaphysics 60 (2):269-303.
Thomas Aquinas and Giles of Rome on the Existence of God as Self-Evident.Mark D. Gossiaux - 2003 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 77 (1):57-79.


Added to PP

92 (#182,136)

6 months
14 (#170,850)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Daniel D. De Haan
Oxford University

Citations of this work

Where does avicenna demonstrate the existence of God?Daniel D. De Haan - 2016 - Arabic Sciences and Philosophy 26 (1):97-128.
Thomas Aquinas and the complex simplicity of the rational soul.Jeremy W. Skrzypek - 2020 - European Journal of Philosophy 29 (4):900-917.
Avicenna on Syllogisms Composed of Opposite Premises.Behnam Zolghadr - 2021 - In Mojtaba Mojtahedi, Shahid Rahman & MohammadSaleh Zarepour (eds.), Mathematics, Logic, and their Philosophies: Essays in Honour of Mohammad Ardeshir. Springer. pp. 433-442.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references