The Order Between Substance and Accidents in Aquinas’s thought

Studia Neoaristotelica 8 (1):16-37 (2011)
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In this paper I examine Aquinas’s commentary on a text of Aristotle in which the type of order between substance and accidents is discussed. I claim that Aquinas maintains that there cannot be any reference to sensibility, despite any prima facie interpretation of Aristotle’s texts, according to which it could be thought that substance is temporally prior to accidents and, hence, that we must presuppose a perceivable change in the world on the basis of which it is possible to consider something temporally prior to something else. This interpretation – which is possible on the basis of Aristotle’s texts – would be a misinterpretation, according to Aquinas. Aquinas’s assumption is philosophically worthwhile because it confi rms that every metaphysical proposition must abstract from sensibility
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