Dale Tuggy

Dale Tuggy is Professor of Philosophy at the State University of New York at Fredonia, where he teaches courses in analytic theology, philosophy of religion, religious studies, and the history of philosophy.


  1. trinities - Warning to New Christians (Dale)
    April 7, 2011 @ 12:45 am

    […] Regarding what Patton holds forth as “the best we can do”, take care lest you fall into inconsistency. […]

  2. trinities - Linkage: Wear your theology (Dale)
    May 12, 2010 @ 4:44 pm

    […] for paradox lovers and fans of non-standard logics (explanation). Similarly, for people who also like […]

  3. Dale
    April 24, 2007 @ 3:20 pm

    Hi Michael,

    Thanks for your comments. Please jump back in to the discussion some time (soon?) when I post on their constitution theory of the Trinity. Below are some quick comments on your comments.

    They’d say that one thing that separates lumps from statues is that lumps, but not statues, can survive a massive change of shape. IF there are such things in the world as lumps, that seems reasonable. You’re right that many will choke on the claim that two material objects (a lump and a statue) can exist in one place at one time, but I guess they’d say that that’s just a price of solving the metaphysical puzzles they’re concerned with. And they really do want to say that the Athena-shaped lump of bronze and the Athena statue are two different things (they’re not identical, in the technical sense – see my previous posting on “Identity”), although they’re “numerically identical”. In my view, you’d be right to be suspicious about this claim.

  4. Michael
    April 16, 2007 @ 3:40 am

    I have just read Rea and Brower’s paper on Material Constitution and the Trinity. Its flaw seems clear to me, but I am a novice philosopher.

    R & B say that the lump of bronze which occupies the same space as a statue is not the same thing as the statue, because a melted lump would still be a lump, but a melted statue would not be a statue. The problem with this argument is that while the term ‘lump’ would still apply to the melted material, it would not be the same lump. R & B beg the question by applying different criteria of sameness to the statue and the lump.

    Intuitively, it seems strange to say that a space is occupied by both a statue and a lump. These things look more like different ways of describing the same thing. Some attributes of the statue-shaped lump, including its matter are invariant under the melting transform. Others, including its resemblance to Athena are not.

    To my mind, it looks as though this attempt to tiptoe around the concept of identicality just looks like saying, ‘Father, Son and Holy Spirit all have divinity, so they are one’.

    A more rigorous look at that statue, by analogy with ‘seated-socrates’ would have required R & B to say ‘Athena-shaped-lump-of-bronze’, rather than just plain ‘lump of bronze’. This would have made it quite clear That the statue of Athena and the Ahtena-shaped lump of bronze are exactly the same thing.

  5. BlueNight
    March 26, 2007 @ 5:46 pm

    Triessentialism attempts to solve the problem of what exactly the difference is between the Persons of the Godhead.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that each of the Persons is constitutionally different (a different “substance”) but ontologically identical.

    A clay pot, for example is made of clay, its shape is clearly defined, and its purpose is to be a container. Without one of these three, it ceases to be ontologically a clay pot. There are clay containers, things made of clay in the shape of a pot but not a container, and pots in that shape not made of clay.

    I consider the shape and the purpose to be as much a part of making it a clay pot as the clay itself, and yet we cannot hold or touch “shape” itself or “purpose” itself. Neither is material, though both are embodied in the physical form of the cup.

    (In Triessentialist terms, the shape is Logical and the purpose is Emotional.)

  6. The Orthodox Formulas 5: The 4th Lateran Council (1215) at trinities
    September 29, 2006 @ 6:47 pm

    […] Any post-medieval, non-Catholic Christian can probably name a dozen things not to like here. (I reckon that post-Vatican II Catholics would have some complaints as well.) This was also the council that imposed certain anti-semitic measures. But sticking to the Trinity, this document strongly asserts what Brian Leftow says is the characteristic thesis of “Latin” trinitarianism, which is that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit share one token, or one trope of divinity. But it goes beyond that. This one essence/substance “is” each of the three individually, and (in the same sense, apparently) “is” also the whole Trinity. If we read this “is” as identity (which is natural enough), we get a contradictory stance – the same one pictured on the famous Trinity shield. […]

  7. AnonMoos
    September 19, 2006 @ 12:44 pm

    Greek philosophy started to be imported to deepen the understanding of many aspects of Christianity almost from the very beginning…

  8. JohnO
    August 1, 2006 @ 12:56 pm

    In regards to NT Theology, how could any first century Jew (the writers of the NT) come up with these ‘alternative forms’ of logic that have been invented in the intervening hundreds of years?

    Furthermore, if they even were familiar with these forms, what proof do we have they used them to express their ideas? And still does the Bible even suport this quasi-equivalence idea? Isn’t it much easier to stand on the Bible believing that Jesus is the human Messiah sent from YHWH? Easier to stand on the Bible, but tradition will cut your head off. We’re always answering the questions “Should I listen to you(Pharisees/tradition), or God”?