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The Physics of Duns ScotusThe Scientific Context of a Theological Vision$
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Richard Cross

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198269748

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198269748.001.0001

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The Plurality of Forms

The Plurality of Forms

(p.47) 4 The Plurality of Forms
The Physics of Duns Scotus

Richard Cross

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the plurality of forms. The discussion starts with the theories of Scotus's opponents, Aquinas and Henry of Ghent, and Scotus's objections to these theories. Then, it outlines Scotus's own theories. According to Aquinas, it is impossible for a composite substance to have more than one substantial form. On the contrary, Scotus argues that some composite substances have more than one substantial form. He believes that one form is sufficient in the case of non-living things; but in the case of living things, more than one form is needed. The forms that Scotus lays down are the form of the body, the animating form or soul, and the forms of the body's organs. He also proposes that it is not necessary to assume the existence of the forms of the elements in a compound substance.

Keywords:   Henry of Ghent, Aquinas, form of the body, animating form, form of body organs, composite substances, plurality of forms

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