Saturday, October 30, 2010

Bodies, Animals, and Minds 5 --- Aquinas 3

Another deep-seated intuition we have is that two material objects cannot occupy the same place at the same time. Take any two material objects and try to get them into the same space. You can’t do it. They bounce off each other; they repel each other. And indeed, this is precisely why we don’t try to park our cars in spots that are already occupied by other cars.

The same goes for human beings. As Aquinas sees it, if there were a distinct body and a distinct animal in this region of space where I am now standing, then there would be two material objects in the same place at the same time, and surely that’s impossible. Aquinas’s view captures this intuition nicely as well: there can only be one thing here in this spot right now, and that’s me.

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