Isagoge: Chapter 16 — Of Community and Difference of Species and Accident

Species and accident, compare and contrast:

To species and accident it is common to be predicated of many, but other points of community are rare, from the circumstance of accident, and that to which it is accidental, differing very much from each other. Now, the properties of each are these: of species, to be predicated of those of which it is the species, in respect to what a thing is, but of accident, in reference to what kind a thing is of, or how it subsists. Likewise, that each substance partakes of one species, but of many accidents, both separable and inseparable: moreover, species are conceived prior to accidents, even if they be inseparable, (for there must be subject, in order that something should happen to it,) but accidents are naturally adapted to be of posterior origin, and possess a nature adjunctive to substance. Again, of species the participation is equal, but of accident, even if it be inseparable, it is not equal; for an Ethiopian may have a colour intense, or remitted, according to blackness, with reference to an(other) Ethiopian.

And there you go; species and accident have almost nothing in common.

I’m pleased to see that my conjecture about “intension and remission” was correct.

One more chapter, and back to St. Thomas!

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