Does the Problem of Material Constitution Illuminate the Doctrine of the Trinity?

Faith and Philosophy 22 (1):77-86 (2005)
Abstract
Michael Rea and Jeffery Brower have offered a provocative new model of the Trinity on the analogy of the Aristotelian solution to the problem of material constitution. Just as a fist and a hand can be distinct entities composed of a common matter and yet numerically the same object, so the persons of the Trinity can be distinct entities (persons) composed of a common "matter" (the divine essence) and yet numerically the same object (God). I express doubts about the degree to which this analogy sheds light on the doctrine of the Trinity due to the disanalogy that neither God nor the Trinitarian persons are to be thought of as composed of any sort of stuff and to the model’s lack of explanatory power as to how a common matter can be simultaneously imbued with seemingly incompatible forms to constitute one object
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