Accident: A Philosophical and Literary History

Terry Eagleton writes:

It would be surprising if millions of ordinary people turned out to be familiar with the Platonic Forms or Spinoza’s doctrine of nature, yet millions of waiters, nurses and truck drivers have a working knowledge of Aristotle’s distinction between substance and accident. This is because they are Roman Catholics, and the Council of Trent drew on Aristotle’s teaching to account for how the bread and wine of the Eucharist are changed into the body and blood of Christ despite continuing to look and taste like bread and wine. In this way, one opaque doctrine was obscured by another.

(LRB 25 September 2008)