The essence of an accident consists in its relationship (dispositione) to a substance. For we should not imagine that an accident is a thing in its own right to which gets attached a relationship or a link (respectus) to a substance in which that accident exists. For if so, an accident would be something in its own right, dependent on substance only as extrinsic, and on this view, an accident could be cognized apart from the substance. These outcomes are impossible, however. Hence, what an accident is to something of the substance: either a measure (as a quantity is), or a state (as a quality is), and so on. Thus, the Philosopher says that an accident has being only because it belongs to something that has being (Oriel ms. 33 in Donati, Utram Accidens, 600 quoted in Pasnau 2011, p. 185).

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