David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 67 (2):131-156 (1994)
My topic is God's activity in the ordinary course of nature. The precise mode of this activity has been the subject of prolonged debates within every major theistic intellectual tradition, though it is within the Catholic tradition that the discussion has been carried on with the most philosophical sophistication. The problem, in its simplest form, is this: Given the fundamental theistic tenet that God is the provident Lord of nature, the First Efficient Cause who creates the universe, sustains it in being, and exists in all things by His essence, presence, and power,1 how exactly do the actions of secondary (i.e., created) causes fit in with God's own activity in the ordinary course of nature? Or, to put it a bit more neutrally, how exactly is God's own action as the First Cause in nature related to the causal activity, if any , of His creatures?
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