Divine Simplicity: The Aspectival Account


  • Joshua Reginald Sijuwade London School of Theology




Simplicity, Identity, Tropes, Aspects


This article aims to provide a consistent explication of the doctrine of Divine Simplicity. To achieve this end, a re-construal of the doctrine is made within an “aspectival trope-theoretic” metaphysical framework, which will ultimately enable the doctrine to be elucidated in a consistent manner, and the Plantingian objections raised against it will be shown to be unproblematic.


Alvarado, José T. 2019. “Are Tropes Simple?”. Teorema 38: 51–72.

Baxter, Donald. 1988. “Identity in the Loose and Popular Sense”. Mind XCVII: 575–82. doi:10.1093/mind/XCVII.388.575.

— . 1988. “Many-One Identity”. Philosophical Papers 17: 193–216. doi:10.1080/05568648809506300.

— . 1999. “The Discernibility of Identicals”. Journal of Philosophical Research 24: 37–55. doi:10.5840/jpr_1999_16.

— . 2001. “Instantiation as Partial Identity”. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 79: 449–64.

— . 2016. “Aspects and the Alteration of Temporal Simples”. Manuscrito 39: 169–81. doi:10.1590/0100–6045.2016.v39n4.db.

— . 2018. “Oneness, Aspects, and the Neo-Confucians”. In The Oneness Hypothesis: Beyond the Boundary of Self, edited by Phillip J. Ivanhoe et al., 90–105. New York: Columbia Univ. Press.

— . 2018. “Self-Differing, Aspects, and Leibniz’s Law”. Noûs 52: 900–920. doi:10.1111/nous.12199.

Bohn, Einar. 2019. “Composition as Identity: Pushing Forward”. Synthese: 1–17. doi:10.1007/s11229–019–02193-x.

Branson, Beau. forthcoming. “The Neglected Doctrine of the Monarchy of the Father and the Analytic Debate About the Trinity”. In Analytic Theology and the Tri-Personal God, edited by Olivier Riaudel and Alejandro Pérez. Leuven.

Brower, Jeffrey. 2008. “Making Sense of Divine Simplicity”. Faith and Philosophy 25: 3–30. doi:10.5840/faithphil20082511.

Campbell, Keith. 1990. Abstract Particulars. Oxford: Blackwell.

Cotnoir, Aaron, and Achille Varzi. 2021. Mereology. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

Crisp, Oliver. 2019. “A Parsimonious Model of Divine Simplicity”. Modern Theology 35, no. 3: 558–73. doi:10.1111/moth.12520.

Dolezal, James. 2011. God Without Parts. Eugene: Pickwick Publications.

Ehring, Douglas. 2011. Tropes: Properties, Objects and Mental Causation. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

Fisher, A.R.J. 2018. “Instantiation in Trope Theory”. American Philosophical Quarterly 55, no. 2: 153–64.

— . 2020. “Abstracta and Abstraction in Trope Theory”. Philosophical Papers 49, no. 1: 41–67. doi:10.1080/05568641.2019.1571938.

Garcia, Robert K. 2015. “Is Trope Theory a Divided House?”. In The Problem of Universals in Contemporary Philosophy, edited by Gabrielle Galluzzo and Michael Loux, 133–55. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press.

— . 2015. “Tropes as Divine Acts: The Nature of Creaturely Properties in a World Sustained by God””. European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 7, no. 3: 105–30. doi:10.24204/ejpr.v7i3.107.

— . 2015. “Two Ways to Particularize a Property”. Journal of the American Philosophical Association 1: 635–52. doi:10.1017/apa.2015.21.

— . 2016. “Tropes as Character-Grounders”. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94: 499–515. doi:10.1080/00048402.2015.1106567.

Giannotti, Joaquim. 2019. The Identity Theory of Powers Revised. Erkenntnis:

Hasker, William. 2013. Metaphysics and the Tri-Personal God. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

Heil, John. 2012. The Universe As We Find It. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

Lando, Giorgio. 2017. Mereology: A Philosophical Introduction. London: Bloomsbury.

Langton, Rae, and David Lewis. 1998. “Defining Intrinsic”. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 58: 333–45.

Levinson, Jerrold. 1978. “Properties and Related Entities”. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 39: 1–22. doi:10.2307/2107027.

Loux, Michael. 2015. “An Exercise in Constituent Ontology”. In The Problem of Universals in Contemporary Philosophy, edited by Gabrielle Galluzzo and Michael Loux, 9–45. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press.

Lowe, Jonathan E. 2006. The Four-Category Ontology: A Metaphysical Foundation For Natural Science. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

MacBride, Fraser. 2004. “Whence the Particular-Universal Distinction?”. Grazer Philosophische studien 67: 181–94. doi:10.1163/18756735–90000828.

Maurin, Anna-Sofia. “Tropes”. In Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/tropes/.

— . 2002. If Tropes. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Morris, Thomas V. 1991. Our Idea of God: An Introduction to Philosophical Theology. Illinois: InterVarsity Press.

Peckham, John. 2019. The Doctrine of God: Introducing the Big Questions. New York: T&T Clark.

Plantinga, Alvin. 1980. Does God Have A Nature? Milwaukee: Marquette Univ. Press.

Schärtl, Thomas. 2018. “Divine Simplicity”. European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 10, no. 2: 51–88. doi:10.24204/ejpr.v10i2.2554.

Sider, Ted. 2007. “Parthood”. Philosophical Review 116: 51–91. doi:10.1215/00318108–2006–022.

Simons, Peter. 1987. Parts: A Study in Ontology. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Swinburne, Richard. 1994. The Christian God. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

— . 2010. Is There a God? Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

— . 2016. The Coherence of Theism. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

Turner, Jason. 2014. “Donald Baxter’s Composition as Identity”. In Composition as Identity, edited by Donald Baxter and Aaron Cotnoir, 225–43. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

Williams, Donald C. 1953. “On the Elements of Being”. Review of Metaphysics 7: 171–92.

— . 1986. “Universals and Existents”. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 64: 1–14. doi:10.1080/00048408612342191.



How to Cite

Sijuwade, Joshua Reginald. 2021. “Divine Simplicity: The Aspectival Account”. European Journal for Philosophy of Religion, June. https://doi.org/10.24204/ejpr.2021.3306.



Research Articles