Philosophy, Psychology

and Humanities Web Site



Francis Garden - 1878 - Table of contents

Diccionario filosófico
Complete edition

Diccionario de Filosofía
Brief definition of the most important concepts of philosophy.


A Dictionary of English Philosophical Terms Francis Garden

Vocabulary of Philosophy, Psychological, Ethical, Metaphysical
William Fleming

Biografías y semblanzas Biographical references and lives of philosophers

Brief introduction to the thought of Ortega y Gasset

History of Philosophy Summaries

Historia de la Filosofía
Explanation of the thought of the great philosophers; summaries, exercises...

Historia de la Filosofía
Digital edition of the History of Philosophy by Jaime Balmes

Historia de la Filosofía
Digital edition of the History of Philosophy by Zeferino González

Vidas, opiniones y sentencias de los filósofos más ilustres
Complete digital edition of the work of Diogenes Laertius

Compendio de las vidas de los filósofos antiguos

A brief history of Greek Philosophy
B. C. Burt


A Short History of Philosophy





Essence. This word, like its kindred ens, is traced by Quintilian to a certain Flavius or Fabianus, but by Seneca to Cicero. As ens means taken generally existence, and taken particularly an existing individual, so essence means that which constitutes the existence of anything, makes it that which it is. It is formed from a real or conjured up participle present of the verb to be, essens, to which it stands in exactly the same relation as does the Greek ὀυσία to ὂν.


Accordingly it seems at first to have been employed by the Latins as the translation of that, for which end, however, it became gradually supplanted by substantia. The result was that the schoolmen distinguished between substance and essence, and denoted by the latter, the true definition of a thing, to the exclusion of all that is accidental. In this sense the reality of the thing is not necessarily implied. An ens rationis has its essence quite as much as that which actually exists.

Of God alone can it be said that existence is an element of His essence.

The use of the word essence for the product of distillation is obviously connected with the true and general meaning of the word.

The adjective essential is used continually as synonymous with needful. Here, however, we do not depart from the true force of the word. It is essential that we do this, means that doing this is of the essence of that which we desire or propose.



© TORRE DE BABEL EDICIONES - Edition: Isabel Blanco  - Legal notice and privacy policy