Consequently it is unknowable and inexpressible (1962, V.3.13, VI.9.3).Plotinus voices an argument for the One’s simplicity that will emerge as a standard line of argument in later thinkers: Even in calling it The First we mean no more than to express that it is the most absolutely simplex: it is Self-Sufficing only in the sense that it is not of that compound nature which would make it [emphasis added]; it is the Self-Contained because everything contained in something alien must also exist by that alien.Classic statements of the doctrine of divine simplicity are found in Augustine (354–430), Anselm (1033– 1109), and Aquinas (1225–74). E.) presents an early Monism, the idea that all things are of a single substance. His metaphysics posits a supreme good constituting a unity beyond all ordinary being.Aquinas is often thought to represent the historical peak of the doctrine’s articulation and defense. He holds that common to all things is their being, taken as a collective undifferentiated mass of all the being in the universe. The Platonic idea of a highest principle, combining supreme unity and utter perfection, strongly influenced Jewish and early Christian discussions of God’s supreme unity and perfection. E.) posits the supreme being to be a subsisting and unchanging form that is also a first mover.This treatment will mainly discuss objections to the doctrine’s internal coherence.Problems involving the compatibility of simplicity with another particular teaching generally require highly individual treatment beyond the present scope; this is also so with revealed matters such as the Trinity or Incarnation.Modern discussions usually reference his version as a standard, however, the roots of simplicity go back to the Ancient Greeks, well before its formal defense by representative thinkers of the three great monotheistic religions— Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. He further introduces being as possessing an incorruptible perfection. Plato leaves the causal role of the supreme good somewhat vague. Aristotle’s prime mover sits at the top of an efficient causal hierarchy governing all motion and change in the universe.(The current English-speaking debates over simplicity usually refer to its Western, Christian developments, which are thus a focus of the present discussion.) Greek philosophers well before Socrates and Plato were fascinated by the idea of a fundamental unity underlying the vast multiplicity of individuals and their kinds and qualities. E.) posits all material objects as ultimately constituted by compressed air of varying density. Aristotle’s first mover is a simple, unchanging form that still causally affects other beings: in Aristotle’s case the heavenly spheres would move themselves in imitation of the divine perfection, resulting in the motions of terrestrial beings.
Progress on the systematic issues seems tied to understanding the intrinsic claims of the doctrine.Thus, the entirety of God is whatever is attributed to him.Divine simplicity is the hallmark of God’s utter transcendence of all else, ensuring the divine nature to be beyond the reach of ordinary categories and distinctions, or at least their ordinary application.Next it looks at what has motivated the doctrine throughout its long career.A look at the origins and motives is followed by some representative objections.