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ousia  Term Image (ουσια) Script Image
(Language:  Greek)
Alternate Spellings:
Short Description: being, substance, nature, essence
Long Description: being, substance, nature, essence; as P.Hadot pointed out: ‘If we consider the series formed by ousia in Plato, ousia in Aristotle, ousia in the Stoics, ousia in the Neoplatonists, and the substantia and essentia in the church Fathers and the Scholastics, we shall find that the idea of ousia or essence is amongst the most confused and confusing notions’ ( Philosophy as a Way of Life, p.76); since the true being is permanent and intelligible, the substance ( ousia) of beings is their logos and their essence, according to Plato ( Phaed.65d-66a); Proclus identifies pure Being ( on) with the Essence and Substance itself ( autoousia); for Neoplatonists, being, real existence and essence are inseparable: beings exist insofar as they are accessible to intellect and have a fixed definition: in the intelligibles the essence is never distinguished from real being.
Source(s): The Golden Chain: An Anthology of Platonic and Pythagorean Philosophy, by Dr. Algis Uždavinys
Notes & References:
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Related Terms:
Provided By: Dictionary of Spiritual Terms