Religious Studies

Haecceities, individuation and the Trinity: a reply to Keith Yandell

a1 Tyndale College, 25 Ballyconnor Court, Toronto, M2M 4B3, Canada


In this paper I reply to Keith Yandell's recent charge that Anselmian theists cannot also be Trinitarians. Yandell's case turns on the contention that it is impossible to individuate Trinitarian members, if they exist necessarily. Since the ranks of Anselmian Trinitarians includes the likes of Alvin Plantinga, Robert Adams, and Thomas Flint, Yandell's claim is of considerable interest and import. I argue, by contrast, that Anselmians can appeal to what Plantinga calls an essence or haecceity – a property essentially unique to an object – to distinguish Trinitarian members. I go on to show that the main Yandellian objection to this individuative strategy is not successful.