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Potency, Doctrine of Limitation of Act by
(482 words)

[German Version]

This doctrine rests on the idea of the dynamic unity of a fundamental constellation, remaining qualitatively self-identical, which through quantitatively increasing self- differentiations constantly repeats itself afresh in everything that has being, albeit in varying measure. Drawing on the Aristotelian distinction between enérgeia and dýnamis (Capacity), Thomas Aquinas set a precedent for Scholasticism by turning potencies into ontological principles, making it possible to establish a hierarchy of all that has finite being while also ground-ing it in…

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Hühn, Lore, “Potency, Doctrine of Limitation of Act by”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 27 November 2022 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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