Covers topics in the metaphysics of the Trinity, Incarnation, and personal identity.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Reply to Bill on Christology, Reduplicatives, and Truthmakers

This is a comment I posted on the Maverick Philosopher in Reply to Bill Vallicella here:

[The reply is now posted as a comment there.]

We normally take 'qua' to qualify the predicate rather than the subject of the sentence. Else, in the Christological context, the worry is that we have two distinct subjects, each of whom is a person, which is the view of the Nestorian. If Jesus qua the Son is one person and Jesus qua human is another person, we have two persons, two Jesuses. The Chalcedonian definition explicitly denounces the view that, in the Incarnation, there are two Sons or Christs.

Further, the Son becomes incarnate and whatever else is true of incarnation in this context, this is: if x becomes incarnate, x becomes human. But it is not clear that, if Jesus qua the Son has divine properties and Jesus qua human has human properties, that it is true that the Son becomes human. But in that case this is no account of the Incarnation at all; rather it is an account of how the Son and a human are two parts of the same whole. Those who believe in unrestricted composition would be unperturbed!

Finally, there are accounts of what, for example, makes two temporal parts parts of the same person, perhaps some kind of causal or psychological continuity and connectedness. What makes the Son and a human two parts of one person, Christ? Is it brute and sui generis? This would not be theoretically desirable.