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Substance/Substance and Accident
(1,192 words)

[German Version]

Substance (from Lat. substantia) generally denotes what is constant in contrast to the variation of its conditions and attributes, which are called accidents vis-à-vis substance. Substance is what stays constant as it bears its attributes, as the etymology of the word indicates: substantia (from the verb substare) means literally “what stands firm” and “is beneath”; accidens (present participle of the verb accidere) means that which arises or eventuates. In philosophical usage, substantia and accidens generally represent Greek οὐσία/ousía and συμβεβηκός/symb…

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Figal, Günter, “Substance/Substance and Accident”, 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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