Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thomism leads to ... nominalism (?)

The theory of plural substantial forms is not a problem for the Platonist mind-set [i.e., for Bonaventure]. However, the view of the rational soul as the form of the human body [i.e., Thomas's view] is a problem, for this view seems to cast considerable doubt on the possibility of the soul's immortality. Furthermore, the unicity doctrine implies that form is not being, since such a union could only take place if essence and existence are really distinct and enter into composition. Conversely, if form is being, and essence and existence are not really distinct, a plurality of substantial forms, when hypostasized or instantiated in an individual, remain distinct though hierarchically ordered. The unicity doctrine seems a first step on the slippery slope to nominalism.

--Christopher Cullen, Bonaventure (Oxford University Press, 2009), p. 50

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