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Sunday, December 06, 2009

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I don't know that I can properly term this a "response", as I'm quite thoroughly out of my league. I've been studying A-T philosophy on my own over the last couple of years, and I'm getting to the point where I can kind of follow along. I can raise questions, and I have some notion of the A-T answers to some questions; I'm certainly not capable of defending them at this point. But be all that as it may....

With regard to your point #3, I believe Thomas would say that it is indeed part of human nature to have a body; even the disembodied soul is individuated from other human souls by association with a particular body. And it's clear from the doctrine of the resurrection that human souls are meant to be embodied; the time between death and resurrection is an abnormal state. (As you see, I'm writing from an orthodox Roman Catholic perspective.)

Thus, with regard to point #2, I have to affirm the hypostatic union. It's part of my input data, just as it was for Thomas. Not, perhaps, very philosophical of me, but there it is.

The notion that we are made in the image of God in the sense that we are made in the image of the incarnate Christ is found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 381. This is clearly not the only sense in which the CCC teaches that man is made in the image of God, and not even the most important.

Your point 5 is, I fear, completely beyond me.

I'll take a look at the post you link to.

I note with amusement that your post on a hylomorphic solution to the interaction problem quotes page 175 of Feser's Philosophy of Mind; so happens that I'm currently reading it, but have only gotten up to page 104. Feser's argument is that formal and final causes are no less an aspect of nature than material and efficient causes; that there is more to interaction than simply efficient causality. Beyond that I have not penetrated.

Hi Will,

You are perhaps at a bit of a disadvantage, but only because I have been at this longer that you have. My purpose is not to out-argue you or attack the tenets of A-T or of Catholicism (in which I was brought up); my purpose is exploratory. It is part of an attempt on my part to really understand the A-T view and see whether I ought to accept it.

>>I believe Thomas would say that it is indeed part of human nature to have a body; even the disembodied soul is individuated from other human souls by association with a particular body. And it's clear from the doctrine of the resurrection that human souls are meant to be embodied; the time between death and resurrection is an abnormal state.<<

We can agree that the state of disembodiment between death and resurrection is an abnormal state for the soul to be in, and indeed a substandard state. In this regard the A-T view differs markedly from the view one gets from the Platonic dialogues, namely, that (i) we are essentially souls rather than soul-body complexes, and that (ii) liberation from embodiment -- all emebodiment whether in thislife or another -- is a great good.

But my point is that it cannot be the case that a soul is essentially embodied if it is to continue to exist and maintain its numerical identity over time post mortem and pre resurrection. What is essentially embodied can never be disembodied.

Thanks for the reference to para 381. I will have to take a look at it.

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