There Must Be A First: Why Thomas Aquinas Rejects Infinite, Essentially Ordered, Causal Series

Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Several of Thomas Aquinas's proofs for the existence of God rely on the claim that causal series cannot proceed in infinitum. I argue that Aquinas has good reason to hold this claim given his conception of causation. Because he holds that effects are ontologically dependent on their causes, he holds that the relevant causal series are wholly derivative: the later members of such series serve as causes only insofar as they have been caused by and are effects of the earlier members. Because the intermediate causes in such series possess causal powers only by deriving them from all the preceding causes, they need a first and non-derivative cause to serve as the source of their causal powers.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
Revision history
First archival date: 2013-09-05
Latest version: 2 (2013-10-05)
View upload history
References found in this work BETA
On What Grounds What.Schaffer, Jonathan
[Handout 12].Mackie, J. L.

View all 39 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Divine Foundationalism.Bohn, Einar Duenger

Add more citations

Added to PP index

Total views
6,109 ( #182 of 48,898 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1,031 ( #173 of 48,898 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.