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American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly

Volume 86, Issue 1, Winter 2012

Timothy J. Pawl
Pages 71-96

Transubstantiation, Tropes, and Truthmakers

This article addresses a difficult case at the intersection of philosophical theology and truthmaker theory. I show that three views, together, lead to difficulties in providing truthmakers for truths of contingent predication, such as that the bread is white. These three views are: the Catholic dogma of transubstantiation, a standard truthmaker theory, and a trope (or accident) view of properties. I present and explain each of these three views, at each step noting their connections to the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas. After presenting the three views, I show why they entail a difficulty for providing truthmakers for truths of contingent predication, drawing on two cases that are not impossible, for all we know. I then present four ways that one can respond to this difficulty, afterward noting some shortcomings of those responses.

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