The Metaphysics of Theism

Print ISBN 9780199246533, 2001 pp. [66]-[70]

presents his adversary with a destructive dilemma: if your thesis is true, it must be true either (1) per accidens or (2) perse; but it is true neither per

accidens nor perse; and so your thesis is false.

29 What makes a proposition true per se is that its predicate holds of its subject just because the subject is correctly characterized by the subject term—e.g. 'Every whole is greater than any proper part of it'; 'A human being is a mammal'; '17 is a prime number'; 'Water is H2O'. A proposition true on any other grounds is true per accidens.

Stage I divides naturally into two parts, then. If the first of these parts, la, succeeds, it destroys the first, per accidens lemma. Part lb is intended to finish the job by destroying the second lemma, the perse lemma.

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