God as Substance without Substance Ontology

Daniel von Wachter


I shall argue that one can reject substance ontology and still affirm the Christian doctrine that God is three persons in one substance. Substance ontology for the material world claims that it is subdivided ontologically into units which are exemplifications of kind universals. One has to reject this if one does not believe that there is a unique ontologically correct way of carving up the material world and that every thing belongs fundamentally to one kind, its substantial form. There is a good sense of “substance” in which one can still affirm that the three divine persons constitute a substance even if one rejects this. I shall spell out various features of God which, according to what philosophers usually mean by a substance, make it right to call God a substance.


20th century philosophy; metaphysics; philosophy; Wittgenstein Ludwig; God; kind; stuff ontology; substance

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