Being and Non-Being



As we have seen, mutability in Augustine’s metaphysics, is defined in terms of not-being (non-esse) and immutability in terms of being (esse or vere esse): “non enim est verum esse, ubi est et non esse.”1 If follows that these two principles — esse and nonesse — are formally more basic in the metaphysical dimension of his thought than are the more explicitly stressed mutability-immutability pair. Hence it is formally, though implicitly, more accurate to say that in Augustine’s ontology their rôle, rather than that of the mutability-immutability couplet, is analogous to the part played by the act-potency pair in “Thomism.”2


Natural Evil Christian Doctrine Technical Precision Latin Language Metaphysical Dimension 
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Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, Netherlands 1965

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Villanova UniversityUSA

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