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Are the Father and Son Different in Kind? Scotus and Ockham on Different Kinds of Things, Univocal and Equivocal Production, and Subordination in the Trinity

In: Vivarium
Author: JT Paasch1
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  • 1 Georgetown University
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Abstract

In this paper, I examine how Scotus and Ockham try to solve the following problem. If different kinds of constituents contribute some difference in kind to the things they constitute, then the divine Father and Son should be different in kind because they are constituted by at least some constituents that are different in kind (namely, fatherhood and sonship). However, if the Father and Son are different in kind, the Son’s production will be equivocal, and equivocal products are typically less perfect than their producers. Therefore, the Son must be subordinate to the Father. In response, Scotus argues that different kinds of constituents do not necessarily result in different kinds of things, but Ockham rejects this, arguing instead that although the Father and Son are different in kind, they are still equal in perfection because of their identity with the divine essence.

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