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Defending the Non-inherence of Accidents in Transubstantiation

As I study issues surrounding the Development of Doctrine, I have stumbled upon an interesting distinction between the process of reasoning in Physics (in the philosophical sense) and Metaphysics.

This leads to a more profound reflection on why the Protestant argument against transubstantiation by an appeal to the "necessary inherence of accidents" is problematic.

First, one must understand the difference between an "essential note" and a "property." An essential note is that which constitutes something in its species, i.e., that which makes something what it is. For men, our "essential notes" are "rationality" and "animality." A property, on the other hand, is that which flows form the essence. For men, our ability to laugh, our ability to laugh (risibility), and many other attributes are "properties."

Looping back to essence, we can distinguish between "essence" in its most plain sense (that which is "minimal" to constitute something in its species) from "essence" in its *connatural* sense (also called integral/perfect). This is the essence of some thing working with all the physical properties that it has. For example, a fire that burns has the essence of fire in its *connatural* sense.

Further, we can make a distinction within our consideration of the "properties" of a certain essence. First, a property might be "aptitudinal," i.e., the property is virtually/potentially there and the essence has some sort of aptitude or ordering towards the actualization of that property. Second, a property might be "actual," i.e., the subject has the property.