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Gilson and Substance


Anthony J. Fejfar, B.A., J.D., Esq., Coif

© Copyright 2009 by Anthony J. Fejfar

In his book, “The Spirit of Mediaeval Philosophy,” Etienne Gilson discusses

the Metaphysical Quiddity of Substance. Citing Aristotle’s work from the Physics and

Metaphysics, Gilson states, “It clear then... that there is a substance which is eternal and

immovable, and separate from sensible things. It has been shown that this substance

cannot have any magnitude, but is without parts and indivisible….” This is the

Substance of the Greek philosopher Anaximander which is mentioned in the work of

John Locke. In my Critical Thomistic theology and philosophy, Substance is the

Metaphysical Quiddity underlying the Holy Spirit. Recall that the Nicean Creek states

that God the Father and God the Son are one and same Substance (Holy Spirit).