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1. Act and Potency

As the most basic explanation for the relation of being and non-being and thus meaning of change

Act or Actuality

Refers to the being or the act of existence of something and while always related to potency is prior and superior to potency. A real being that exists is an actual being. A real being that can exist but does not is a potent being. In so far that anything exists, it is actual;hence actuality is perfection.

Potency or Potentiality

Refers to the potent act or being of something. A real being can exist but does not, is potential being. Insofar as anything that existable does not exist, it is potential; hence, potentiality is imperfection; it is unfufillement. This is why St.Thomas Aquinas defines God, the infinite being, is pure act in whom there is no potentiality.

Change or motion or becoming

Refers to the "actualization of potency"
The transit from potentiality to actuality is called becoming or motion or change. All finite being changes God who is Pure Actuality does not change.

Form and Matter

As a further refinement in the explanation of change and constitution of a being


The essential nature of a thing that which specifies the constitution of being


the principle of in a thing's being by which it is able to be determined by form, potency, as vs. actuality


Referes to the constitution of being from form and matter

Substance and Accidents

As a further refinement in the explanation of change and the constitution of a being. There are ten categories of being. The first one is substance and the others are the nine type of accident" quantity, quality, relation, action, passion/passivity. place, time, posture, habit.


A being that exists in itself rather than in another. A man is a substance, a dog is a substance, an apple is a substance, an automobile is an artificial union of a number of substances


That mod of being which can only exist in another being, as a modification or attribute of a substance. Thus, the size of a man is an accident or accidental; the color of an apple is an accident.

Material Cause

That (potency) from which a thing is produce (clay of a pot, stone of a statue)

Formal Cause

That form which determine or defines the matter

Efficient Cause

An agent which by its acting produces existence of change in another (man who carves the statue, his tool is called the instrumental cause)

Final Cause

The end or purpose of a thing, It teleology


What a thing is


The actuality of an essence, the act of existing.

The Transcendentals

Being, one, true, good - each is "controvertible" with being in the sense that each designates one and the same thing - namely, being - under a different aspect( the Transcendentals differ in sense but not in reference).

Law of Non-Contradiction

Something can't both be and not be under the same aspect in the same at the same time

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