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American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly

Volume 81, Issue 4, Fall 2007

Christopher M. Brown
Pages 655-668

Souls, Ships, and Substances
A Response to Toner

I do four things in responding to Patrick Toner’s incisive critique of my Aquinas and the Ship of Theseus (AST). First, I further motivate Aquinas’s position that Socrates exists in the post-mortem and ante-resurrection state by noting that Socrates’ situation is at least analogous to other states of affairs that would certainly count as atypical (although not impossible). Secondly, I offer a revised Thomistic account of artefact identity through time in light of Toner’s objections to Aquinas’s restrictive view. Unlike the restrictive view, this revised account is compatible with common-sense intuitions. Thirdly, I show how my defense of Aquinas’s substance metaphysic in AST is useful for the purpose of constructing defeators for certain kinds of arguments for reductionism. Fourthly, I defend Aquinas’s views on the unity of substance against Toner’s suggestion that they are implausible on the grounds that they are in conflict with certain so-called “scientifically informed” common-sense beliefs.

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