Scott Williams

37 Comments

  1. JT Paasch
    June 16, 2008 @ 4:23 pm

    Yep, Scotus thinks the persons are formally distinct from the personal properties.

  2. Stephen Hipp
    June 10, 2008 @ 5:47 pm

    One question… For Scotus, the divine persons are constituted of the divine essence + personal property. Now, the divine essence and the divine persons are formally distinct. Also, the divine essence is formally distinct from the personal properties. But (this is my question) are the persons formally distinct from their personal properties?

    Please email any response to stephen_daniela@yahoo.com

    Thank you for any feedback!

  3. trinities - HoG: On Why a Contingent Creation Requires a Triune God (Scott)
    March 14, 2008 @ 1:59 pm

    […] In previous posts and some comments I outlined Henry’s philosophical psychology of the Trinity. It is on this basis that Henry answers the question above. Below is how I summarize Henry’s premises by which he builds his argument for a ‘yes’ answer to the question posed to him in his public Q & A at Paris in the 1280s (= Quodlibet = whatever the folk want to ask the master). […]

  4. JT Paasch
    December 12, 2007 @ 6:51 pm

    My Leibniz point was this: if one causal source x of kind K were to produce two infinite products y and z, then y and z would have all the same properties, so by Leibniz’s Law y and z would be identical. Thus, x could only produce one product. For example, the divine intellect could only produce one product. Similarly, the divine will could only produced one product. Ergo, each divine causal source of kind K can only produce one infinite product.

    As for the Bonaventurean solution, yeah, Ockham takes that view too. He denies Henry’s and Scotus’s argument that the persons are distinguished because they come from different causal principles (intellect and will). For Ockham, there is only one causal principle, the divine essence. But that causal principle can produce two infinite products, and those two are distinguished just because there are two different productions, just like how there are two baseballs.

    PS. I like the baseball example. =)

  5. Scott
    December 9, 2007 @ 6:11 pm

    Why didn’t I think of this before… another option here is Bonaventure’s view–we can identify different persons b/c of different emanations rather than identifying the peculiar causal origin of the emanation. This is like identifying that we see 2 baseballs flying through the air; we can say, there are 2 balls flying through the air–but we aren’t (yet) identifying the precise source of each baseball flying through the air.

    Jos Decorte has a nice article about this. There are three options for answering the question: what is the basic cause of the real distinction btwn. divine persons: (1) opposed relation, (2) emanation, or (3) causal origin (intellect and will). Aquinas, Bonaventure and Henry all agree that we can identify (1)-(3), but each locates one as more basic than the other. For Aquinas the order is (1), (2), (3); For Bonaventure the order is (2), (3), (1) –if I recall correctly; for Henry the order is (3),(2), (1).

  6. Scott
    December 9, 2007 @ 5:56 pm

    Don’t worry about it; for a brief moment I was wondering about the arg. for Scotus’s position and was just wanting to emphasize the importance of the non-identity of infinite products–whether we conceive of the infinite products as being non-identical by origin (intellect or will) or non-identical by being different infinite sets (e.g. 1,2,3, ad infinitum; or 1′,2′,3′, ad infinitum’). But again, I don’t know enough about this philosophy of math stuff to go far with it; though, I am tacitly interested in this stuff–via A. Badiou.

  7. JT Paasch
    December 9, 2007 @ 4:11 pm

    Well, I’m not sure I understand why you want to respond to the argument for Leibniz’s Law. It’s an argument for Henry’s and Scotus’s account, so are you trying to disprove it? I’m just not sure I understand what you’re trying to do here.

    Secondly, I didn’t track with your talk about infinite sets. Again, not sure what you’re trying to do or say with that. Could you explain it a bit?

  8. Scott
    December 9, 2007 @ 2:43 am

    Which bit, on kinds of infinite sets, the general vs. specific acct. of Henry’s?

    Nevermind about the infinite sets line– it is a line of thought I haven’t pursued enough, or know enough about set theory to give a coherent sort of explanation. I was just suggesting one way to construe your response to 2 above.

  9. JT Paasch
    December 8, 2007 @ 10:49 pm

    Scott, I’m not sure I understood this. Could you explain it a bit more for me?

  10. Scott
    December 6, 2007 @ 2:13 pm

    One possible response to an appeal to Leibniz’s law (Indiscernability of Identicals) is that if there are two infinite products by kind K, if there is perhaps to ask about the nature of this infinity. What if it is an infinite set? If so, could we posit 2 (or more) infinite sets of kind K? It seems kind K is a crucial premise. This seems to be an important motivating reason as to why Henry (and Scotus following him) starts his ‘specific account’. of the production of the divine persons by locating the kinds of causal powers in God, and he finds that there are two kinds. (Henry’s substance-and-opposed-relations model is his ‘general account’ of the unity and diversity of divine persons; at least, this is what I argue in my D.Phil. thesis; this general model is what we had discussed before in talking about Henry’s ‘modal model’ of the Trinity; I’ll post on this soon enough).

  11. JT Paasch
    December 6, 2007 @ 10:19 am

    To your first proof:

    Looks good to me. One caveat. Non-necessary = volitional. It does not equal ‘contingent’. All the medievals say that even though the Spirit is produced by volition (the non-necessary) power, God couldn’t have done otherwise.

    To your second proof:

    Yeah, the infinite thing is right. Scotus and Alnwick would probably agree with your thoughts here, I think. Alternatively, one could appeal to Leibniz’s Law: if two infinite products are of like kind, they would have all the same properties and thus be one.

  12. M. Anderson
    December 3, 2007 @ 4:48 pm

    I’ve also been thinking about the arguments from parsimony for the uniqueness of each divine person (and possibly for the unicity of God, mutatis mutandis). I’m borrowing an analogy from things like the Game of Life, where each square is born, lives, and dies based only on the immediate surroundings.

    (1) Something produces based only on local conditions.
    (1a) These conditions are what constitute a moment, whether logical, natural, or temporal; the distinctions mark different sorts of local conditions.
    (1b) Local conditions include the present moment, immediate effects from the previous moment, and anticipation toward the next moment.
    (2) Like productions produce like effects.
    (3) At any given moment, the only “record” of a production is the effect.
    (4) By (2) and (3), multiple productions of the same sort will produce the same effect.
    (5) Infinite productions produce infinite effects.
    (6) By (4) and (6), there would be stacking of infinite effects if there are multiple productions.
    (7) If there are multiple infinite effects, there could be no distinction between them (i.e. we couldn’t tell that we had double or triple the effect).
    (8) For an infinite production, the local conditions relating the effects only tell the different sorts of effects, not the number of each sort.
    (9) Given that a nature produces infinite effects, the nature can either produce if there is an effect, or not produce if the effect is extant (these are the only two things it can “know”; voluntary production can overcome this, but any sort of necessary production, even that from a volitional power, has only these two options).
    (10) If the former, there would be an infinite number of productions, barring some external block (which God would not have).
    (11) If the latter, there would be only one production.
    (12) It is ridiculous that there be infinite productions of intellect and will in God (alternatively, it is possible that there are a finite number of productions for each).
    (13) Therefore, there is only one production each of intellect and will. Q.E.D.

    How badly does this mangle their thought?

  13. M. Anderson
    December 3, 2007 @ 4:34 pm

    Ok, I’ll try to take another stab at this; let me know how it goes.

    (1) We explain the Trinity with 2 types of productions.
    (1a) There are two different types of productions: necessary and non-necessary.
    (1b) Both are found in DE through our proofs for God’s existence.
    (1c) Therefore, DE has at least 2 types of productions.
    (1d) We can explain the productions in DE without having to subdivide these into multiple, actually producing productions.
    (1e) Therefore, we have a possible explanation of DE having at most 2 possible productions.
    (2) Whatever can be capturing in a coherent explanation of DE, is possible.
    (3) Therefore, it is possible that DE has 2 productions.
    Ergo, &c.

  14. Scott
    December 1, 2007 @ 1:55 pm

    Just so I teach JT to stop gambling, I am going to say that I have doubts about the success of the Psychological model. But regarding the opposed relations view, I think this has as Aquinas says the strength to show that the doct. of the Trinity is not incoherent–at least, if a non-Christian asks for a coherent acct. of it, then I think the opposed relations one is the first I’d present to defeat the objection that the Trinity is metaphysically incoherent (which is what I did over at The Trinity Challenge on that Muslim blog Dale cited). I think a weakness of the opposed relations view is the part about active spiration and passive spiration; at least, this opposed relations doesn’t seem to derive in anyway from the opposed relation Father-Son; and it is the psychological model that does try to make such a connection, namely, if the Holy Spirit is produced by a productive act of mutual love (i.e. by will), we can see this ‘follows’ from the Father’s perfect knowledge and production of the Word.

    What is odd with the psych. model is trying to wrap your brain around how (i) the Word and Zeal (Holy Spirit) subsist in the divine essence (rather than be inhering properties, analogous to whiteness inhering in JT; (ii) how the Word and Zeal each ‘have’ intellect and will–i.e. that they count as persons who think and love. (ii) of course will be responded by Henry with the claim that whatever person has DE, that person can and does think and love.

  15. JT Paasch
    December 1, 2007 @ 12:04 pm

    Oh yeah, I think I already know what Scott’s going to say, but I’ve been best friends with Scott for a long time. So I still think Scott should pipe in too, but I’ve placed a bet at Ladbrokes (a betting agency) about what Scott’s going to say. =)

  16. JT Paasch
    December 1, 2007 @ 11:43 am

    And of course, there’s the secret dark horse here, Dale, who has awesome views on these things too. Maybe he would tell us what he thinks.

  17. JT Paasch
    December 1, 2007 @ 11:41 am

    Btw, Joseph has some sound views on these matters. Maybe he could pipe in and tell us his feelings about this stuff.

  18. JT Paasch
    December 1, 2007 @ 11:40 am

    I think your 1-5 is correct. At least, that’s how I understand it myself. But have a read of the Ockham texts I mentioned/translated. They include the arguments from both Scotus and William Alnwick for (1).

    As for the psychological model, my mind is not made up on this. I used to like it. Well, I should say that there’s the dominican view (represented by Aquinas/Ockham), and there’s the franciscan view, represented by Richard, Henry, Scotus, Alnwick, and Swinburne. I’ve never liked the franciscan view, and I still don’t today. I used to like the dominican view. But now I’m not so sure how useful it is. I think I need to write my thesis chapter on this topic before I’ll really make up my mind. =)

  19. M. Anderson
    December 1, 2007 @ 5:39 am

    JT: Are you saying that, within medieval modal metaphysics, the fewest possible x which have to do with a necessary being, are therefore the exact number of x? Would I be correct in interpreting the claim as:

    1) It is possible that there are a few as 2 productions in God.
    2) Anything which happens in God, happens necessarily.
    3) Therefore, it is possible that necessarily there are as few as 2 productions in God.
    4) God necessarily has the number of productions which he does.
    5) Therefore, God always has 2 productions.

    That makes more sense out of things, though would still like to see more of an argument for (1).

    And for both of you (and anyone else), what do you think the contemporary value of the psychological model is? It’s been steadily growing on me the past few months, and it seems like the best way I’ve seen of saying why God is a Trinity, but I’m not sure how to put it in language for current theological discussions.

  20. JT Paasch
    December 1, 2007 @ 4:39 am

    Yeah, you’re right to question Scotus and Henry on this point. But keep in mind that they had a firm belief in necessary beings and properties. If it’s possible that x is a necessary being in a world W, then x is a being in all worlds W1/2/etc. Likewise for the reduction of productive powers.

  21. Scott
    November 30, 2007 @ 4:27 am

    As a little historical background, Richard of St. Victor somewhat starts this way of making the argument by positing different causal origins. Though for him it is not by positing intellect and will, but by saying there is a divine person not from another divine persons (Father), there is a divine person from another divine person (Son), and there is a divine person from two divine persons (Holy Spirit). As you can guess, Richard is a little stuck for figuring out how to block the claim there could be a 4th divine person. Thus, enter in Henry’s appropriation of Richard’s general scheme (my notation before was as follows acc. to Henry “-+, ++, +-“), and then puts this into the new context of positing particular causal power sources for the 2 ad intra productions (intellect and will).

  22. Michael Anderson
    November 29, 2007 @ 11:43 pm

    Thanks JT. It’s good to know that I was on to something at least. Does anyone have any argument for why there must be only two productions, other than the fact that this is the fewest possible number of productions? I can make some argument for the claims to parsimony in Scotus’ arguments for the unicity of God, and of each person, but this seems to be on shakier ground, philosophically speaking.

    If you could find that translation of Ockham, that’d be great. I need to practice my Latin, but I don’t trust it very much yet, so I’d like something to check my own reading against.

    Thanks for the Flores article as well; I’ll have to pick it up sometime, when I’m not already egregiously stealing time from writing my thesis. Does it more or less cover similar (albeit simplified) ground to Metaphysics and the Trinity?

  23. JT Paasch
    November 29, 2007 @ 9:02 pm

  24. JT Paasch
    November 29, 2007 @ 8:59 pm

    Oh, and Henry too is similar (of course Scotus gets his ideas from Henry =). There’s an article about Henry’s theories here, with lots of great references in the footnotes. Juan Carlos Flores, ‘Intellect and Will as Natural Princicples’, in Henry of Ghent and the Transformation of Scholastic Thought, edited by Guy Guldentops and Carlos Steel, Lueven, 2003, pp. 277-305.

  25. JT Paasch
    November 29, 2007 @ 8:51 pm

    That’s Scotus. Also, if you know Latin, check out Scotus’s great apprentice and amenuensis, William Alnwick (pronounced ‘annuck’). William explains this a lot more clearly than Scotus. Ockham quotes William’s relevant arguments at length in the Ordinatio, distinction 2, question 1, so you can find them there. If you can’t read Latin, I have a translation somewhere (if I can find it!).

  26. JT Paasch
    November 29, 2007 @ 8:49 pm

    Yes! This is exactly Scotus’s position. Scotus argues that all kinds of productive power in divine production will be reduced to the fewest possible number. That fewest possible number is two: necessary and non-necessary productive causes. So we will have two kinds of productive powers.

    Scotus further adds that each of these are perfect, and so they will produce a perfect product. A perfect product, however, will ‘equalize’ the productive power, and so the productive power won’t need to produce again. Thus, each of these will produce only one product. In the end, then, we get exactly two produced persons, and so along with the unproduced person, we have 3 and only 3 persons.

  27. M. Anderson
    November 28, 2007 @ 4:50 pm

    Thanks for the help, JT and Scott.

    Concerning the two productions in God, are there any arguments for why this is so within the emanation theory? It seems that one advantage of this over the relational model is that it has resources to explain why there are only 3 persons, but I’m only familiar with Scotus’ argument from parsimony (or at very least, that’s all I can remember right now).

    I think the following would be a blend of medieval thought with contemporary modal logic, with all the dangers which that entails, but let me know what you think. There are two kinds of production: natural and volitional. These two categories exhaust the types of productions, and do not overlap. This is because a natural cause produces necessarily, while a volitional cause produces non-necessarily. Anything which produces necessarily is natural, and anything which produces non-necessarily is volitional. (Maybe we could tighten this up to explain where probabilistic quantum causation fits, but that’s another story). Therefore, there are two manners of production, unless one of these can be further subdivided into different manners.

    Further, when we talk about the productions in God, it is the manner in which the productions occur which produce the different persons, as the productions all originate in the same essence. Let us take natural production. The fact that something produces naturally is a fact concerning the manner of production. There can be no kinds of production within natural production which further specify the manner, as this would require a qualification on the manner of necessary production. But what is necessary cannot be only qualifiedly necessary. Any qualifications therefore will be concerning the “what” of production.

    Similarly for volitional production: any qualification on non-necessary production cannot be concerning the manner of production, as something cannot be qualifiedly non-necessary.

    Alternatively, if there are divisions within necessary production, this would not cause further divisions within DE, but within the Word. Similarly for non-necessary production and the Spirit.

    I’m pretty sure these arguments are flawed as they stands, but is there anything in them? What could our pals Scotus and Henry contribute?

  28. Scott
    November 27, 2007 @ 9:09 pm

    JT has it right about the ‘material constitution’ model that Henry employs. The only added specification here is that the powers (active and passive) in question are intellect and will. Otherwise, if there were say 3 such powers such as intellect, will and (e.g.) schmoozillect each with active potency and passive potency (= the power to make x actual, and the power to receive x actually)–then there would be 4 divine persons and not three. Henry (and Scotus) think that b/c there are two divine powers this limits the number of internal productions possible in God.

    So yes, it is right to understand Henry as affirming active and passive power in DE, but it is also important to keep in mind the kind and number of powers (intellect and will; there is no third power like schmoozillect in God).

    It is also important to keep in mind that Henry denies that DE considered by itself can do anything like think or love. There must be a subsisting agent that is constituted by DE that does these actions in virtue of having DE; and you can call the first divine agent ‘Father’. (Take look at my 40 linee outline of Henry on the psych. model).

  29. JT Paasch
    November 27, 2007 @ 6:09 pm

    Henry is quite unique amongst the scholastics for a million reasons, but one of those reasons is that he does think there really is some potency in God.

    The material production analogy works just like a clay statue: when a sculptor produces a clay statue, the sculptor takes a lump of clay, let’s call it x, and instantiates in x the property of being a statue, let’s call this property F.

    The crucial bit of this analogy is that x receives F. Henry argues that if x receives F, then x must be capable of receiving F in the first place. This rests on the scholastic notion that if some x receives some y, then x must be capable of receiving y. If x wasn’t capable of receiving y, then it wouldn’t receive y. A lump of clay, for example, is capable of receiving the property of being a statue, and so a lump of clay can actually receive that property. Air, on the other hand, is not capable of receiving such a property, so it can’t actually receive that property.

    The medieval/Aristotelian term ‘passive potency’ is just a fancy word for this capacity to receive something.

    In any case, Henry believes that the DE is just like this. It receives the Son’s personal property Fi, and so the DE must be capable of receiving Fi. (In scholastic-speak: the DE has a ‘passive potency’ for receiving Fi.)

    But you’re right to point out that for Henry, this capability is never merely an (unactualized) capability. It is always actualized. There is never a moment when the DE just has the capability to receive Fi but does not actually possess Fi. Rather, the DE always possesses Fi, and so the DE’s capability to receive Fi is always actualized.

    This is why I think your puzzle analogy works. In the DE, the capability is always actualized, so it’s like a puzzle whose pieces have never been separated.

  30. M. Anderson
    November 27, 2007 @ 2:48 pm

    I might be getting ahead of myself, or complicating the discussion, but I was wondering if I understand Henry’s claim that divine production is like material production, although DE has never had any potency. I propose the following analogies:

    (1) We’re trying to rationally piece together a jigsaw puzzle which in reality has never been separated. Rationally, we have the pieces separated because that’s what we started with, and so we have to posit the separatedness in order to piece them together, but at the same time they have never actually been in that state.

    (2) Like physicists, we play fast and loose with the equations as long as we get the right answer. Electrical engineers use complex numbers in order to get an answer, even though these number never appear (at least concretely) in reality. Others even divide by 0 and so on, letting it be as long as they can get rid of it by the end; and they seem to get correct answers somehow from this.

    Are either of these getting the gist of what Henry is doing?

  31. Scott
    November 22, 2007 @ 1:51 am

    JT wrote:

    “But this seems to suggest that the Father’s knowledge just is the Son.”

    Henry would deny that the Word just is the Father’s knowledge, b/c the Father does have his ‘own’ knowledge, namely his operative intellectual act prior to the production of the Word.

    Yet, JT is not wholly off the mark, b/c Henry does say that the Father does speak truths through the Word. It is like the difference btwn. thinking, “I wish JT would build me some bookshelves” and audibly saying to him, “JT, I wish you’d build me some bookshelves.” In the former case, I do know what I know and it is not dependent on my saying it to JT. However, b/c I do speak to JT, what I know is somehow now exterior to me, in fact, in some entity really distinct from my thinking, namely the audible words. So, I do speak what I know ‘through the audible words’. In a similar fashion, producing a mental Word is like my speaking the audible words to JT. And oddly, what the divine mental Word is, is a person. Well, it is easier to see that this could be a divine person if we call this product a Son (the difference btwn. speaking and generating may be in another post).

  32. JT Paasch
    November 21, 2007 @ 8:50 pm

    2. As for steps 30-32, these boys believe in the old Aristotelian claim that ‘natures don’t act, individuals do’. So if we want a person, and if a person is an intelligent agent, then we need to get an individual who can think. The DE itself is a nature which is communicable (to other persons), but an individual is not, so we need to add something to the DE, and that’s what the personal property is. Basically, the DE gets us the thinking power-pack, and adding a PP to that gets us the individual who can utilize that power-pack.

  33. JT Paasch
    November 21, 2007 @ 8:38 pm

    1. Step 9. I’m guessing that ‘strength’ here means ‘power’ or ‘capability’. Basically, the idea is that some x which possesses this divine thinking power-pack can perform two different sorts of acts: one that doesn’t produce anything, and one that does. The first is called an operation, and the other is called a production. So the two ‘strengths’ work out like this: some x that possesses a thinking power-pack can either think (an operation), or produce a thought (a production).

    Yeah, it gets very mysterious here. Why would these boys need to say a thinker can perform an operation and a production? Why not just say that it’s one or the other?

    Well, the answer, I think, goes back to some of the questions Augustine asks in De Trin, especially in book 15. The problem there is this. One way of explaining how the Father produces the Son is to say that the Father produces a mental Word, i.e., a concept. And of course, this mental Word contains all of God’s knowledge. But this seems to suggest that the Father’s knowledge just is the Son. But if that’s the case, then the Father himself doesn’t know anything, since his knowledge is the Son/Word. So Augustine wants to find a way to say that the Father produces the Word (a concept), but also a way to say that the Father himself thinks.

    One useful way of solving this problem is to say that the Father can just think (an operation), but he can also perform a different sort of mental act which results in the Word (a production). There, problem solved.

    Well, not quite. To the contemporary reader, it seems crazy to say that the some entity (like the Father) can think via an operation, but there is also another kind of intellectual act (a production). If the operation is sufficient to explain thinking, then why posit another act?

    I’m not sure myself. I guess they were just left with certain rogue phrases left over from the tradition. On the one hand, the Father is supposed to be able to think on his own. But on the other hand, the Son is supposed to be a ‘Word’, and Augustine understood ‘word’ to be a mental concept. So maybe they were just trying to justify both of those things.

    But then again, maybe I just don’t understand it enough. Marilyn Adams sometimes chastises me for saying that the medievals were just trying to synthesize rogue statements left over from the tradition. And she’s always been right. If I dig a littel deeper, I find a real issue.

  34. Dale
    November 21, 2007 @ 3:51 pm

    Hi Guys,

    Re: the mother of all long arguments. 😛 I think we need clarity about some of the core claims rather than the grand structure of his account. OK, I think that’s what I need.

    The most mysterious thing to me about this is your step 9. What does it mean to say that D’s power of thinking “has two strengths”? I’m just not following this part.

    Another question: re: steps 30-32: is a “personal property” just one such that when it is had by D (DE), then the result is a divine person? Is your P2 true by definition? If it’s not, then what is it about D, and about P (etc.) such that when D has P, this new thing (D+P) is a person (i.e. a conscious, intelligent agent)?

    Terminological complaint: can’t we just define “person” and dispense with “subsisting entity” and “supposite”? It seems to me that HOG’s lingo is getting in the way of clarity.

    Unclear question: What does Henry think he’s doing here? It seems to me he’s going well beyond the traditional game of giving multiple, seemingly inconsistent analogies and saying it must just all work out. It seems to me that he is doing full-bore metaphysics here, trying to explain how D, F, and S relate to one another, based on some allegedly obvious truths about divine cognition. Is that right?

  35. Scott
    November 17, 2007 @ 6:00 pm

    Actually, if DE functions as ‘first substance’ and DE has the property _being a Word_, then the whole counts as a subsisting entity. As mentioned somewhere else, DE and being a Word (a personal property) have per se unity, this is akin to Socrates being constituted by the per se unity of a substantial form (being human) and the ultimate subject of that substantial form–prime matter. On the creaturely level, there is a per se unity of substantial form and prime matter. But for God, as there is no prime matter, the substantial form (DE) is ‘singular’ by itself, but ‘being singular’ is not sufficient to count as a ‘person’ b/c the bare power to think and the bare power to will of themselves don’t act unless there is ‘a knower’ and ‘a willer’. I suppose this is an Aristotelian point, e.g. heat doesn’t heat, but a hot thing heats, likewise DE doesn’t cognize, but a cognizer cognizes. And, it would seem that for Henry, a cognizer is one who relates, namely, the Father having the power of intellect intellectually relates to the DE (i.e. an intellectual operative act has an object, the DE), and further, the Father relates to not merely something rationally distinct from himself, but to someone really distinct from himself, i.e. the Word.

    Sometimes it is hard thinking of a divine person and not just reducing that to two properties (DE+PP) that make a whole, but this is somehow analogous to Socrates being constituted by two per se principles (substantial form and prime matter), but Socrates himself enjoys per se (kata heautou) unity. Similarly, a divine person enjoy per se unity, except this per se unity is not by a substantial form and prime matter, but by a substantial form and a real relation to another who is dependent on that prior per se unity of substantial form (DE) and PP (being ungenerate and actually generating).

  36. Scott
    November 17, 2007 @ 1:48 pm

    Reflexive act: a productive act that copies some prior act and that act’s object (i.e. the content of the act). Henry is by far from clear about what this is. But he does say it ‘converts on the (operative) act and on its object’. Yeah, I wish I had a better definition…

    Supposite: a subsisting agent. Henry seems to indicate that a person ‘subsists’ in virtue of having the DE. He says the ‘Word subsists in the DE’. So I take it this means b/c the Word is a mode of DE, it can be said the Word ‘subsists’. If, per impossibile there were no personal property (being a Word), there wouldn’t be a subsisting person. Oddly then, DE alone wouldn’t count as subsisting, which makes me question that a divine person ‘subsists’ in virtue of having DE. I’m not entirely clear on this yet.

  37. JT Paasch
    November 17, 2007 @ 3:54 am

    What do you mean by ‘supposite’?

    What do you mean by a ‘reflexive act’?