The following summary comes from years of studying and interacting with Joseph Farrell’s theological works. I had a breakthrough yesterday on the nature of the soul. Many substance dualists see the soul as the person, yet Christologically this is impermissible, as Christ has two souls yet is one person. Farrell’s definition of the person, as seen below, shows that the person is more than the soul. This is why animals have souls but they aren’t persons.
Def. Person = an absolutely undefinable concrete uniqueness without analogy to any other person, save in that very uniqueness. It is important to remember that we are not defining person in terms of the functions of soul or nature.
Leontius refined it to mean “being-for-oneself.” It is what distinguishes a concrete being from others of the same genus (HuvB 223). It is the ontological subject of the ascription of an essence, not the consciousness of such a subject.
- soul: the animating principle. Not to be confused with the idea of “person.”
- nature: the whatness of a thing. Nature exists in a “mode of existence,” which is the hypostasis (Loudonikos 93ff). Essence, substance, being, genus, or nature. The actual concrete reality of a thing, the underlying essence, (in earlier Christian thought the synonym of physis.)
- attribute: the static quality which something possesses (I prefer the term property).
- operations: the dynamic quality which something does by virtue of being what it is.
- Agency: surprisingly, a nature can function as an agent, in that natures have operations. This doesn’t confuse person and nature, though, since the doing of a nature is seen more in the category of capacity.
- If an individual person acts, then it is the mode of his operation and such mode is exclusively personal.
Persons –> operations –> essence
Who is doing it? What are they doing? What are they that are doing these things? Heresies in the early church arose by confusing the essence with some operation (Eunomianism–seeing the nature in terms of the operation of unbegottenness).