Thomists can spend many years embarrassed and befuddled by the fact that we can only define a single substance (rational animal) and that St. Thomas even says twice that we do not know substantial specific differences. But the lesson to take from this is not that the system is a failure but rather that sensation and the cosmos are not supposed to instantiate everything – they also remind us of, or suggest to us something known elsewhere. The weakness of definition arises from the things in the world being indefinite – such things do not instantiate essence, determination, or endurance in the way in which we can understand these terms. We can only define one substance because we’re the only substance in the cosmos that is definable.
An order among analogues, II
June 9, 2012 at 12:58 pm (Uncategorized)