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Essence
(1,160 words)

[German Version]

I. Philosophy – II. Philosophy of Religion

I. Philosophy

Essence, from Lat. essentia, “being, essence,” is an abstract noun formed in imitation of Gk ousia, “being, essence,” that which is characteristic of something, that which makes it what it is.

In Plato's writings, the essence of a matter is under consideration when we ask what something is (τι ἔστι/ti ésti). Here, the essence of a matter is that which is immutable, that which remains the same when appearances change: the idea. Since Plato gave …

Cite this page
Rese, Friederike and Zachhuber, Johannes, “Essence”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 09 April 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1877-5888_rpp_COM_124188>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013



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