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Abstract: Trinitarians claim there are three Divine persons each of which is God, and yet there is only one God. It seems they want three to equal one. It just so happens, some metaphysicians claim exactly that. They accept Composition as Identity: each fusion is identical to the plurality of its parts. I evaluate Composition as Identity’s application to the doctrine of the Trinity, and argue that it fails to give the Trinitairan any options he or she didn’t already have. Further, while Composition as Identity does give us a new way to assert polytheism, its help requires us to endorse a claim that undercuts any Trinitarian motivation for the view.
Comment: An excellent paper for an advanced UG/Masters course on the metaphysics of theism, as this draws upon metaphysical issues (composition) as well as issues in the philosophy of religion. Provides a great overview of problems facing an orthodox metaphysics of the trinity. NB: this is of course focused on metaphysics of Christianity, so if for a general metaphysics of theism course, it would be important to include metaphysical issues facing other religions.Export citation in BibTeX formatExport text citationView this text on PhilPapersExport citation in Reference Manager formatExport citation in EndNote formatExport citation in Zotero format
Kleinschmidt, Shieva. Many-One Identity and the Trinity
2012, Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion (J. Kvanvig (ed.)) Vol. 4: 84-96.