(Latin, by accident)
In scholastic thought that which is per accidens belongs to a substance more or less fortuitously, and is contrasted with that which is per se, or through itself, i.e. that springs from its inner or essential nature. Also in scholastic thought, that which is intended is per se, whereas that which comes about as a result of action but without being intended is per accidens. See also double effect, principle of.