What is essence?


In philosophy, essence is the attribute or set of attributes that make an entity or substance what it fundamentally is, and which it has by necessity, and without which it loses its identity. Essence is contrasted with accident: a property that the entity or substance has contingently, without which the substance can still retain its identity. The concept originates with Aristotle, who used the Greek expression to ti ên einai, literally 'the what it was to be', or sometimes the shorter phrase to ti esti, literally 'the what it is,' for the same idea. This phrase presented such difficulties for his Latin translators that they coined the word essentia (English "essence") to represent the whole expression. For Aristotle and his scholastic followers the notion of essence is closely linked to that of definition (horismos).

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Some articles on essence:

Essence - Hinduism
... is made between one's Swadharma (essence) and Swabhava (mental habits and conditionings of ego personality) ... is, Dharma is that which gives integrity to an entity and holds the core quality and identity (essence), form and function of that entity ... one's dharma is to be righteous, to do one's dharma is to do one's duty (express one's essence) ...
Meaning (existential) - Sartre
... "Existence precedes essence" means that a human exists first before they have meaning in life ... creator who conceives of an idea or purpose of an object, and then creates it with the essence of the object already present ... The essence of what the knife will be exists before the actual knife itself ...
Sean Jones (singer/songwriter) - Musical Career
... major-label album with the male vocal quintet pop group In Essence, for BMG Records ... In Essence has won a Juno award and a MuchMusic Video award ... In Essence’s first album garnered two hit singles and videos ...
Liu Wei Di Huang Wan - Chinese Classic Herbal Formula
... Rehmannia glutinosa Nourishes kidney yin essence Corni Fructus Japanese cornel fruit shān zhū yú 山茱萸 山茱萸 サンシュユ 山茱萸 Cornus officinalis Nourishes the liver kidney, restrains ...
... Essence-Function (體用) is a key concept in Korean Buddhism ... Mahayana Faith, attributed to Aśvaghoṣa (?80-?150 CE), employs Essence-Function ... Essence-Function forms a fundamental syncretic and ecumenical application in the philosophy of Wonhyo (617–686 CE) ...

More definitions of "essence":

  • (noun): A toiletry that emits and diffuses a fragrant odor.
    Synonyms: perfume
  • (noun): The central meaning or theme of a speech or literary work.
    Synonyms: effect, burden, core, gist
  • (noun): Any substance possessing to a high degree the predominant properties of a plant or drug or other natural product from which it is extracted.

Famous quotes containing the word essence:

    The essence of lying is in deception, not in words.
    John Ruskin (1819–1900)

    The essence of spirit, he thought to himself, was to choose the thing which did not better one’s position but made it more perilous. That was why the world he knew was poor, for it insisted morality and caution were identical.
    Norman Mailer (b. 1923)

    He is the essence that inquires.
    He is the axis of the star;
    He is the sparkle of the spar;
    He is the heart of every creature;
    He is the meaning of each feature;
    And his mind is the sky,
    Than all it holds more deep, more high.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)