Metaphysics Study Guide on Gilson, Plato, Thomas Aquinas and Descartes (4850 words)

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Question

Part One
1.) According to Maritain and our class discussion, what is the definition of essence?
2.) According to Maritain and our class discussion, what is the definition of substance?
3.) According to Maritain and our class discussion, what is the definition of accident (accident that is opposed to substance, not essence)?
4.) What is the essence of wax for Descartes' example? Give a definition of it. (Descartes himself does not actually give it)
5.) Why do you think that what you answered in the previous part is the essence of wax?
6.) What are the accidents of wax in Descartes' example?
7.) Why do you think that what you answered in the previous part are the accidents of wax in Descartes' example?
8.) Do we know these accidents by means of perception or thinking?
9.) What is the substance of wax, according to Descartes, in the Descartes' example?
10.) Why do you think that what you answered in the previous example is the substance of wax in the Descartes' example?
11.) Do we know this substance by means of perception or thinking?
12.) Given that the substance cannot be known directly as such, how does Descartes get around this problem?

Part Two
1.) In what metaphysical sense is ‘is’ meant in the saying “this acorn is not an oak”?
2.) Explain what the above sentence means, with reference to the special metaphysical sense of ‘is’.
3.) In what metaphysical sense is ‘is’ meant in the saying “this acorn is an oak”?
4.) Explain what the above sentence means, with reference to the special metaphysical sense of ‘is’.
5.) Identify the existence part in the following sentence: “this America of today is America”. (Hint: there are two parts in this sentence “this America of today” and “America”)
6.) Explain why you think the part you choose designates existence.
7.) Identify the essence part in the following sentence: “this America of today is America”.
8.) Explain why you think the part you choose designates essence.
9.) Describe the specific essence you identified in the sentence (do not describe essence as such).
10.) Use existence and essence terminology to explain in what sense the following sentence is true: “this America of today is America”. (Hint: think about existence and essence in terms of completeness and incompleteness)
11.) Use existence and essence terminology to explain in what sense the following sentence is false: “this America of today is America”. (Hint: think about existence and essence in terms of completeness and incompleteness)
12.) Given the distribution of existence and essence that you identified in the previous parts, identify the power part in the following sentence: “this America of today is America”.
13.) Explain why you think the part you choose designates power.
14.) Given the distribution of existence and essence that you identified in the previous parts, identify the act part in the following sentence: “this America of today is America”.
15.) Explain why you think the part you choose designates act.
16.) What is the change from, on the one hand, understanding “this America of today is America” in terms of existence and essence to, on the other hand, understanding “this America of today is America” in terms of power and act? Explain.

Part Three
1. In one sentence, identify in one or few words what is essential to the Platonist conception of form/essence. (Do not explain what you identified or give examples)
2. In one to two sentences, explain what you identified in 1). (Do not give examples)
3. In one to four sentences, provide and describe an example from your life in which you encounter yourself as Platonist form/essence. You should make clear why this is indeed an example of Platonist form/essence.
4. In one sentence, identify in one or few words what is essential to the Gilsonian/Aquinsian conception of form/essence. (Do not explain what you identified or give examples)
5. In one to two sentences, explain what you identified in 4). (Do not give examples)
6. In one to four sentences, provide and describe an example from your life in which you encounter yourself as Gilsonian/Aquinsian form/essence. You should make clear why this is indeed an example of Gilsonian/Aquinsian form/essence.
Think about the difference between a) Platonist conception of existence and b) Gilsonian/Aquinsian conception of existence. (I would like for your your answer to this question to reflect the evaluative/ethical dimension of existence: there is a Platonist interpretation of existence that Kierkegaard thinks must result in our despair [as Gilson discusses] and that Gilson wants to revise so that it does not result in despair but empowers us to embrace existence. I would like you to give that Kierkegaardian/Platonic and Aquinsian/Gilsonian senses of existence)
7. In one sentence, identify in one or few words what is essential to the Platonist conception of existence. (Do not explain what you identified or give examples)
8. In one to two sentences, explain what you identified in 7). (Do not give examples)
9. In one to four sentences, provide and describe an example from your life in which you encounter yourself as Platonist existence. You should make clear why this is indeed an example of Platonist existence.
10. In one sentence, identify in one or few words what is essential to the Gilsonian/Aquinsian conception of existence. (Do not explain what you identified or give examples)
11. In one to two sentences, explain what you identified in 10). (Do not give examples)
12. In one to four sentences, provide and describe an example from your life in which you encounter yourself as Gilsonian/Aquinsian existence. You should make clear why this is indeed an example of Gilsonian/Aquinsian existence.
Think about the difference between a) Platonist conception of matter and b) Gilsonian/Aquinsian conception of matter.
Think about the difference between a) Platonist conception of existence and b) Gilsonian/Aquinsian conception of existence. (I would like for your your answer to this question to reflect the evaluative/ethical dimension of matter: there is a Platonist interpretation of matter that Kierkegaard thinks must result in our despair [as Gilson discusses] and that Gilson wants to revise so that it does not result in despair but empowers us to embrace matter. I would like you to give that Kierkegaardian/Platonic and Aquinsian/Gilsonian senses of matter)
13. In one sentence, identify in one or few words what is essential to the Platonist conception of matter. (Do not explain what you identified or give examples)
14. In one to two sentences, explain what you identified in 13). (Do not give examples)
15. In one to four sentences, provide and describe an example from your life in which you encounter yourself as Platonist matter. You should make clear why this is indeed an example of Platonist matter.
16. In one sentence, identify in one or few words what is essential to the Gilsonian/Aquinsian conception of matter. (Do not explain what you identified or give examples)
17. In one to two sentences, explain what you identified in 16). (Do not give examples)
18. In one to four sentences, provide and describe an example from your life in which you encounter yourself as Gilsonian/Aquinsian matter. You should make clear why this is indeed an example of Gilsonian/Aquinsian matter
19. Which of the metaphysics (Platonist or Gilsonian/Aquinsian) makes more sense to you – and why?

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Part One
1.) According to Maritain and our class discussion, what is the definition of essence? Essence is what a thing is, what it shares with things of a similar kind. Essence is distinguished from existence in that existence is that something is. The essence of a dog is what it shares with all other dogs. The existence of a specific dog is that it is (that it exists)....

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