Actuality VS Potentiality in Aristotle

June 4, 2012

Actuality and Potentiality are constrasting terms for that which has form, in Aristotle‘s sense, and that which has merely the possibility of having form.

Actuality (energeia in Greek) is that mode of being in which a thing can bring other things about or be brought about by them, the realm of events and facts.

By contrast, potentiality (dynamis in Greek) is not a mode in which a thing exists, but rather the power to effect change, the capacity of a think to make transitions into different states.

Later, in the philosophy of Husserl, actuality means existence in space and time, as opposed to possibility.