Henry of Ghent on Powers

JT Paasch

in Divine Production in Late Medieval Trinitarian Theology

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199646371
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191739293 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Theological Monographs

Henry of Ghent on Powers

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This chapter discusses Henry of Ghent’s ontology of powers. Henry affirms that the powers of a thing are based on certain of its constituents, but he goes further and insists that powers are also defined with respect to the actions for which they are powers. So according to Henry, to have a power involves (i) having the right sort of constituent(s) to serve as the basis or source of that power, and (ii) having some sort of relationship or connection with the action in question. In the realm of creatures, such connections are based on the changes that the actions in question bring about, but there are no changes in God. Henry argues that this is not a problem, for such connections need not be based on changes. On the contrary, a power source can be connected with eternal actions that do not bring about any temporal changes.

Keywords: Henry of Ghent; power; basis; constituents; change; action; relationships; God

Chapter.  4667 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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