Paul Thom

in The Logic of the Trinity

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780823234769
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780823240746 | DOI:

Series: Medieval Philosophy: Texts and Studies


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Ockham's nominalist program dictated that the semantic value of an abstract name for a relation such as ‘paternity’ be the same as that of the corresponding concrete name ‘father’: primarily such a name signified a father and secondarily the father's child. As well as describing this nominalist semantics, Ockham describes a realist semantics for relational propositions. He follows Scotus in rejecting Aquinas's double-aspect analysis of the divine relations. He also lends qualified support to Scotus's doctrine of the formal distinction so long as it does not carry ontological commitments. Like Scotus, he shows interest in a nonrelational account of the Personal properties but in the end returns to the traditional relational account, and for this purpose abandons his otherwise preferred nominalist account of relational propositions. On that account there is one substance in the Godhead and 6 non-substances (the Persons and their relational properties).

Keywords: Aquinas; Formal distinction; Nominalist; Property; Relation; Scotus; Semantic

Chapter.  6964 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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