Substance and Accidents. And Causes.

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Substance and Accidents. And Causes.

Postby Pondero » January 21st, 2015, 5:56 pm

To start with accident does not have its normal meaning in Greek or Medieval philosophy.. 'Accident to Aristotle meant' 'attributes ' 'Qualities', that which can be discerned through the senses. And the same thing applies to the words used by St.Thomas Aquinas.
For example, you have a brown dog, the accident of the dog would be brown. If you have white painted piece of wood, then white is the accident. This is all very simple.
However, the substance in the above examples are dog and wood. But if you take away all the attributes you could say you have nothing, no material left. Aristotle would still argue that there is a' substance' left.

This distinction is important to theology - and I mention this in passing, as it is the subject of another thread. .I'll just say this that. After transubstantiation the bread is changed into the body and blood of Christ. The accidents, the chemical composition remain the same whereas the substance is changed from bread to the body and blood of Christ.
Those Catholics who can't understand the Aristoteluan philosophy or don't accept it, Accept transubstantiation on the words of Christ himself as recorded in the gospels and as taught by the Catholic Church.

A discussion of the four causes is part of this thread, but for now I will content myself with substance and Accidents, although there nay not be much to add, one never knows.
Let nothing disturb you.
Let nothing make you afraid.
All things are passing.
God alone never changes.
Patience gains all things.
If you have God you will want for nothing.
God alone suffices.

— St. Teresa, The bookmark of Teresa of Ávila, [28]
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Re: Substance and Accidents. And Causes.

Postby Bev » January 21st, 2015, 10:56 pm

Pondero wrote: For example, you have a brown dog, the accident of the dog would be brown. If you have white painted piece of wood, then white is the accident.


Seems like an odd use of the word "accident."
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Re: Substance and Accidents. And Causes.

Postby Sprocket » January 21st, 2015, 11:44 pm

It's a misuse of Aristotle to explain why the bread and wine still look, taste and smell like bread and wine, when the obvious explanation is that they still are bread and wine. How intelligent people can believe arrant nonsense like transubstantiation is beyond me.
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Re: Substance and Accidents. And Causes.

Postby Pondero » January 22nd, 2015, 10:59 am

This is a religious belief accepted on the word of Jesus Christ himself. You should ask yourself if you believe in miracles.
Let nothing disturb you.
Let nothing make you afraid.
All things are passing.
God alone never changes.
Patience gains all things.
If you have God you will want for nothing.
God alone suffices.

— St. Teresa, The bookmark of Teresa of Ávila, [28]
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Re: Substance and Accidents. And Causes.

Postby Theophilus » January 22nd, 2015, 10:36 pm

Bev wrote:
Pondero wrote: For example, you have a brown dog, the accident of the dog would be brown.


Seems like an odd use of the word "accident."


Not if the colour of the dog was different before it was brown :mrgreen:

I suppose accident is one of those words which may have altered in meaning. Think of 'accident' in this case as 'incidental', so a dog is a dog, but its colour is incidental to its inherent "doginess".
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Re: Substance and Accidents. And Causes.

Postby Serenjen » January 23rd, 2015, 9:25 pm

Although it still is just bread. I don't think you even have to be intelligent to realise that.
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Re: Substance and Accidents. And Causes.

Postby Pondero » January 23rd, 2015, 10:21 pm

Getting away from religion for a moment and back to Aristotle

I do have difficulty with "substance" .You see (apart from a miracle happening as we Catholics believe occurs during transubstantion) I find that in the case of,for example, a brown dog, you take away its brownness, and you still have a dog. If you take away all the "accidents" then there will be no dog, except in your mind, therefore no "substance". Therefore, how can you say a "substance" exists?
That was never part of my philosophy classes, so I never studied it.

On the subject of Causes,according to Aristotle.
I think the following is correct.Using a marble statue as an example.
material cause.
The raw marble, from which the statue was made.
Formal Cause.
The shape, form, plan or idea of that statue.
Efficient cause.
The person making the statue.
And the Final cause
The purpose of making that statue, beauty.

Only the efficient and final causes are used today.
Let nothing disturb you.
Let nothing make you afraid.
All things are passing.
God alone never changes.
Patience gains all things.
If you have God you will want for nothing.
God alone suffices.

— St. Teresa, The bookmark of Teresa of Ávila, [28]
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Re: Substance and Accidents. And Causes.

Postby Theophilus » January 24th, 2015, 11:23 am

Serenjen wrote:Although it still is just bread. I don't think you even have to be intelligent to realise that.


I wasn't talking about any bread when referring to accidents used in the philosophical sense :scratch:
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Re: Substance and Accidents. And Causes.

Postby Sprocket » January 24th, 2015, 6:29 pm

Accidents are the qualites something has which are not essential to it's being what it is, such as the colour of a dog: dogs can be many colours. Substances are those things which are essential to its nature, such as having canine dna. No dog can possibly have the dna of an oak tree or a beetle. In the case of bread and wine, the shape and colour of bread, and the colour of wine, are accidentals, the edibility and solidity of bread, and the drinkability, acloholic content and liquidity of wine, are substance. Also, bread will always have a mixture of dnas: of the cereal used to make it and of yeast. If consecrated bread and wine were analysed by a chemist, I assume that they would prove to be identical in chemical structure to ordinary bread and wine, and therefore still are bread and wine, not the body and blood of Christ, except symbolically. That is why I said earlier that the traditional Catholic explanation is a misuse of the term "accident" in the Aristotelian sense.
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Re: Substance and Accidents. And Causes.

Postby Pondero » January 24th, 2015, 8:04 pm

That is not substance in the Aristotelian sense, that you have described Sprocket, but material or material cause.

The substance is something else, which in the case of consecrated bread is the body and blood of Christ.
Let nothing disturb you.
Let nothing make you afraid.
All things are passing.
God alone never changes.
Patience gains all things.
If you have God you will want for nothing.
God alone suffices.

— St. Teresa, The bookmark of Teresa of Ávila, [28]
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