Religion Past and Present

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(373 words)

[German Version]

the power or ability to do something. Plato distinguished between a “capacity to effect something” (δύναμις τού ποιείν/dýnamis toú poieín) and a “capacity to suffer something” (δύναμις τού πάσχειν/ dýnamis toú páschein; Soph. 247e–248e). Aristotle adopted this distinction between two types of capacity and expanded upon it by adding the distinction between “capacity” or “possibility” (δύναμις) and “reality” (ἐνέργεια/enérgeia; act and potency). As an active or passive “principle of change or movement” (Metaph. V 12, 1019b19–20), a capacity manifests i…

Cite this page
Rese, Friederike, “Capacity,”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 24 July 2024 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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