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Scotistic Pluralism about Substantial Form—Part I

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on integral parts, specifically the integral parts of organisms, and develops a view about John Duns Scotus's answer to the question, "How do organic parts, things like bones, flesh, hearts, livers, eyes, teeth and hands, compose one substance, an animal?" Scotus thinks that a substance is a composite of matter and substantial form, and he thinks that the substances include organisms like plants and animals, inorganic compounds such as bronze, and what he recognizes as the basic elements of such compounds: earth, water, air, and fire. Scotus presents himself with a theoretical challenge that unitarians and standard pluralists need not face. His response is that some substances are able to be informed by the soul if they have a special kind of unity, what Scotus calls a unity of order, which is the sort of unity that things have when one depends on another.

Keywords: integral parts; John Duns Scotus; prime matter; soul; standard pluralists; substantial form; unitarians



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