Dissertation Nearly Finished

In the long quest to write a dissertation, and write it well, my blogging aspirations cooled. The upshot, however, is that my dissertation is nearly finished. I expect to finish and submit by the end of Spring (2011). For those, if there be any hangers-on, interested in what my dissertation is, below is the Table of Contents as it stands presently.


D.Phil. Thesis
University of Oxford, Oriel College


PART ONE Metaphysics of Substance and Relation: Why There Can Be More Than One Divine Person and Yet One God

ONE Divine Persons: Divine Essence and Personal Relations

§1.1 Divine Substance: Primary and Secondary
§1.2 Divine Persons Defined
§1.3 Divine Persons: Incommunicable Personal Relations and the Divine Essence
§1.4 A Real Distinction Between Divine Persons
§1.5 An Interpretation of Essential Trinitarian Beliefs

TWO Internal Divine Production: Produced Persons

§2.1 Necessary Being and Possible Being
§2.2 Cognitive Potency in Creatures and in God
§2.2.1 On Why a Divine Potency is Not Eternally Actualized
§2.3 Production in Creatures and in God
§2.3.1 Henry’s Hylomorphic Example for Internal Production
§2.4 Necessary Conditions for Internally Produced Persons

THREE Internal Divine Production: Productive Persons, Kinds of Personal Relations, and the Quasi-Productive Process

§3.1 Determination of the Divine Essence
§3.2 Contra the Scotist-Interpretation
§3.3 Divine Agents
§3.4 The Quasi-Productive Process, Opposed Relations and Disparate Relations
§3.5 A Relation as the End Term of a Production

PART TWO Philosophical Psychology: Why There Are Exactly Three Divine Persons

FOUR Son and Word: Intellectual Production

§4.1 The Father's Intellectual Generation of the Son, who is the Word
§4.1.1 Intellectual Potencies
§4.1.2 Intellectual Operations and Productions
§4.1.3 Intentionality of Intellectual Acts
§4.1.4 Non-Cartesian Introspection
§4.1.5 A Mental Word is Required for Introspection
§4.1.6 The Divine Word's Intentional Contents
§4.1.7 Necessary and Jointly Sufficient Conditions for the Intellectual Production of the Son
§4.1.8 The 'Infinite Reflex Objection' to Divine Introspection
§4.1.9 Disanalogies and Recent Interpretations
§4.1.10 Son and Word
§4.2 Theological Distinctives

FIVE Holy Spirit and Zeal: Voluntary Production

§5.1 Distinction of Intellect and Will
§5.2 Intellect and Will: Disparate Potencies
§5.3 Intellect and Will: Ordered Potencies
§5.4 Intentionality of Volitions
§5.5 Quomodo Spiritus Sanctus est Amor Patris et Filii?
§5.6 Active Spiration and Passive Spiration
§5.7 Necessary and Jointly Sufficient Conditions for the Father and Son's Voluntary Production of the Holy Spirit
§5.8 The 'Infinite Reflex Objection' to Divine Second Order Mutual Loving
§5.9 Arguments for the Filioque-Clause and the Trinity of Persons

SIX Conclusion


  1. Hi,
    could you give me some info about the psychology of Henry of Ghent?
    1- What are the main works of Henry about this subject?
    2- What is the relationship of Henry's psychology with Aristotle's 'De anima'? Are there in his works explicit references to Aristotle's 'De anima', like we can find in William Auvergne 'Tractatus' for example?

    Thank you.

  2. Hi CP,

    There are two main works of Henry's, his Quaestiones Ordinariae (Summa), and his 15 Quodlibeta. Only some of these have been critically edited, and still fewer have been translated into English.

    But yes, Henry knows Aristotle's De Anima fairly well, and comments on it in lots of places in his writings. Unfortunately, there is not a commentary on the De Anima (as for instance, in the case of Thomas Aquinas). Nonetheless, like many of his colleagues, Henry knew the De Anima and critically developed his own views. You might look at Rombeiro's article that is coming out in JHP, or for greater detail, Bernd Goehring's unpublished Phd. diss from Cornell University, titled "Henry of Ghent on Cognition and Mental Representation" (I think that's the exact title).

  3. Thanks for the reply! My research is about the reception of the De Anima in 14th century, but I'm interested in 13th century authors too. Looking at the contents I think that your dissertation certainly will be a very elucidative work on Henry's psychology.

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.