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Sunday, June 22, 2014

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Bill,

If the distinction exists in any way outside of the mind, either as real or metaphysical, it cannot be what the Thomists call 'virtual', for they define the virtual distinction as being purely logical. Therefore, what they call 'virtual distinction' cannot be other than no distinction whatsoever. So it's useless to try to figure out what kind of distinction the virtual distinction is because it's, by definition, not a distinction at all, except a logical one.

So what's the point of virtual distinction? It's merely a way to signify the absolute simplicity of a cause whose effects, however, are diverse and distinct from one another.

I am basing my discussion on Feser, and he would say you are mistaken: a virtual distinction is not purely logical. See his Schol. Metaph. pp. 72-73.

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