Individuals

– Christ reveals a real division between the individual and the person. The Boethian definition of person as individual is either inadequate, or the word “individual” is an intentional term being used as a placeholder for some unspecified reality. STA suggests the latter by saying that “individual” is an intentional term used for an individual substance which, like all individual substances, is unknown to us.

-Hylomorphism requires that form as such is universal, since the thing both  is and is known by the same. But then soul as separate is mine. This is one reason why Aristotle’s account of soul as separate in 3.5 is so odd. He’s trying to articulate a sort of existence where the division between individual and sort of thing is beginning to break down.

-Cajetan’s account of “symmetry” to the body, St. Thomas’s “immersion in matter”. Metaphors at the exact moment when one wants science. Is this an apologia for myth?

-Moderate claim: the division between form and matter starts breaking down for the human soul in separation

More extreme claim: what “person” is to human nature so (some name we haven’t coined) is to canine nature; and there also the same real division between them applies.

– The problems raised against universals have parallels with individuals. Both are intentional terms.

-Call this the A-T-Nominalist position: the universal is known, but does not exist; the particular exists, but is not known. It’s hard to see how this isn’t more a critique of metaphysics than an extension of it.

-So perhaps we put existence and intelligibility as opposites on a continuum of the intentional. They are mingled together only to the extent that we have neither in their purity.

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1 Comment

  1. Dylan said,

    April 9, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    I think I’ve referenced this here before, but I’m not sure if I had a link at the time. I think something like Jacobs’ conception of pneumatic hylomorphism can help get beyond some of the problems with the Thomistic conception of the soul.

    ICYI: https://www.academia.edu/1788495/Are_Created_Spirits_Composed_of_Matter_and_Form_A_Defense_of_Pneumatic_Hylomorphism

    Jacobs’ abstract: In this essay, I argue that both human souls and angels are hylomorphic, a position Idub “pneumatic hylomorphism” (PH). Following a sketch of the history of PH, I offer both ananalytic and a confessional defense of PH. The former argues that PH is the most cogent anthropology/angelology, given the Christian understanding of the intermediate state and angels. Myconfessional defense shows that PH plays a crucial role in pro-Nicene theology. I close with anassessment of contemporary anthropological alternatives, and conclude these do not advancethe discussion beyond the patristic and medieval alternatives; thus PH remains the most cogentand confessional sound option.


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