participle for "being"?

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elduce
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participle for "being"?

Post by elduce » Mon Jan 14, 2008 5:15 pm

Salve, amice/amica,

Is there a Latin participle for esse, i.e. being? E.g. Being a fool, he lost all his money betting. I know there are probably ways to skirt this, such as "He lost his money betting because he was a fool."

Gratias ago,
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ego amo megaforce

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Post by Kyneto Valesio » Mon Jan 14, 2008 5:48 pm

Salve bone

Ut rem intellego linguae classicae nullum aderat participium sed aliquis - fortasse Augustus ipse fuit, nescio - hanc linguae inopiam lugens proposuit ut vox "ens entis" adhiberetur quae mihi male sonat. Vale

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Lucus Eques
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Post by Lucus Eques » Mon Jan 14, 2008 10:07 pm

Yeah, none properly in Latin, although you see a notion of it in praesens. I think Augustine had a philosophical piece called Ens et Sentia, or something like that.
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Post by anphph » Mon Jan 14, 2008 10:19 pm

Ego semper doctus sum 'ens' participium praesentis uerbi 'esse' esse. Explicationibus vestris, grammaticam meam videns scio illud falsum fuisse. :oops:

Gratias uobis ago!

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Post by Amadeus » Mon Jan 14, 2008 11:40 pm

I also thought "ens" was the participle of esse. So I went and did a little digging in my philosophical papers on ontology, and found this:

"Essence" comes from the Greek ο?σία, which is related to εἰναι, and especially with its participle ών, οῦσα, όν.

"The Latin form essentia, has more or less the same history. It derives from essens, essentis, an archaic participle, absent from Classical Latin. Essentia is, then, the neuter plurar of the present (archaic) participle of the verb esse." (Don't know the author of this quote)
Lisa: Relax?! I can't relax! Nor can I yield, relent, or... Only two synonyms? Oh my God! I'm losing my perspicacity! Aaaaa!

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Post by adrianus » Tue Jan 15, 2008 1:03 pm

I used to study medieval philosophy but without the advantage of Latin and training (so I'm no authority). I did teach a course in it, but as others in the forum recognize, you don't have to know anything to pretend to teach. (Actually, I did try to stay ahead of the students, at least.) And when I would see "ens" I would think nominally, rather than participially, as referring more specifically to a certain being (or thing or entity), or to the existence of entities, or to the metaphysical state of being (being-ness). When I look back at sources, I understand now better the distinction that was made by Medieval philosophers such as Aquinas between "ens ut nomen" and "ens ut participium", as they said. When Ockham, for example, says "Chimera est non-ens", he is using "ens" nominally and substantively, I believe, and not in the verbal-adjectival sense of a participle. D. P. Henry discusses this in "The Logical Grammar of the Transcendentals", The Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 43, No. 173, Special Issue: Philosophers and Philosophies. (Oct., 1993), pp. 431-446.
Lewis & Short wrote:ens , entis, n. [sum] ,
I. a thing; formed, like essentia, after the Gr. ousia, by Flavius (or Fabianus), acc. to Quint. 8, 3, 33 Spald. N. cr., but first used by Caesar, acc. to Prisc. 18, 8, 75: entia (= taonta), Quint. 2, 14, 2.
You see L&S note "ens" as belonging to "sum". So what do they mean, then, to say its first recorded appearance was in an attribution by Priscian to Caesar. They are referring, surely, to its first recorded "ens ut nomen" usage. I think the Romans, then, might have considered "ens" as once-upon-a-time a present participle of the verb "sum/esse" and once-upon-a-time useful in building other participles from verbs (in "doc-ens", say, as a functor, as says Henry and as Lucus refers to above), but that it was long lost, with any former need for it superceded in the Latin language of the Romans in the classical period. But the word was either resurrected or reinvented because of its usefulness in medieval philosophy to express particular metaphysical concepts, but more in the "ens ut nomen" sense, as distinct from an "ens ut participium" sense. I don't know of evidence for its consideration as a participle of "sum/esse" in classical Roman times, not that I believe the evidence couldn't exist, but it would be interesting to know who did use in in their writing and how exactly (if anyone did, in fact, refer to it, even if only as an archaic form). Does anyone know? The likelihood is that it just hadn't survived independently as a participle in classical times, but was reinvented in medieval times from its pre-classical roots to serve a need ("ens ut nomen et ut participium").

Obiter, I like your note on essentia, Amadee.

"Ens ut nomen" versus "ens ut participium", as well as being understood in a (wordy) linguistic sense, also has a (worldly) descriptive sense: "existence or reality thought of as things" versus "existence or reality thought of as action or process". I don't think the second (worldly) reading weakens the first (wordy) one. It depends on it, after all.

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Post by benissimus » Sun Jan 27, 2008 2:19 pm



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Post by Amadeus » Sun Jan 27, 2008 4:59 pm

benissimus wrote:this is not true. essentia was created to parallel with the greek, but in form it is a latin native.
The quote didn't say essentia came from Greek.
Lisa: Relax?! I can't relax! Nor can I yield, relent, or... Only two synonyms? Oh my God! I'm losing my perspicacity! Aaaaa!

Homer: Well it's always in the last place you look.

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Post by benissimus » Sun Jan 27, 2008 8:59 pm

i assumed that the purpose of the quotation marks was to say that the word "essence" derives from Greek. did you instead mean the concept of essence derives from Greek? conturbatus sum.

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Post by Chris Weimer » Sun Jan 27, 2008 9:40 pm

It's still wrong. Essence comes the Latin essens (though as has been noted ens is the correct participle, since the -se, if I recall correctly, is the infinitive ending). It was formed on imitation of the Greek since ens, entis was never popular.

More to the point, Latin in the context that elduce uses being often omits it entirely.

Morus omnia pecunia deposuit. Being a fool, he threw away all his money.

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Post by Amadeus » Mon Jan 28, 2008 12:21 am

benissimus wrote:i assumed that the purpose of the quotation marks was to say that the word "essence" derives from Greek. did you instead mean the concept of essence derives from Greek? conturbatus sum.
The quote is not from a book on philology. Neither the concept of essence nor the word essentia come from Greek. That is plain obvious. The author merely wanted to introduce the Greek participle of being to the reader.

If you read the second part of the quote, you'll notice he clearly knows the Latin has its own parallel form.
Lisa: Relax?! I can't relax! Nor can I yield, relent, or... Only two synonyms? Oh my God! I'm losing my perspicacity! Aaaaa!

Homer: Well it's always in the last place you look.

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Post by benissimus » Mon Jan 28, 2008 1:04 am



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Post by Amadeus » Mon Jan 28, 2008 1:54 am

benissimus wrote:i am confused as to why you are defending this statement. if you consider "essence" and "essentia" to be the same word, then the two statements above are incongruous.
I am confused too. Why do you insist in finding fault? It is obvious there's no conection between the Latin essentia and the Greek ousia. Read the second paragraph: "The Latin form essentia, has more or less the same history [as the Greek participle]." In other words, he himself recognizes that the two words essentia and ousia are parallel, not one descending from the other. :roll:
Lisa: Relax?! I can't relax! Nor can I yield, relent, or... Only two synonyms? Oh my God! I'm losing my perspicacity! Aaaaa!

Homer: Well it's always in the last place you look.

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Post by Lucus Eques » Mon Jan 28, 2008 4:41 am

Benissimus ?? Random time to reappear.

I think Amadeus has been perfectly logical the whole time, although I too misinterpreted his meaning at first. A reread solved the issue.
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Post by Chris Weimer » Mon Jan 28, 2008 8:22 am



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Post by Lucus Eques » Mon Jan 28, 2008 12:45 pm


L. Amadeus Ranierius

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