Noctua 9 (1):79-103 (2022)

Abstract
This discussion note aims to call into question the first part of Gloria Frost’s article, Aquinas and Scotus on the Source of Contingency, devoted to Aquinas’s thought on the source of contingency in creation. I shall discuss three controversial claims that represent the key points of Frost’s interpretation of Aquinas’s account on contingency: with re spect to existence, every creature exists contingently on the grounds that no creature is necessarily willed by God; with respect to cause-and-effect relationship, only those effects that derive from a voluntary cause are contingently caused; God’s will, as a voluntary cause, is a contingently operating cause and thus cannot immediately produce a necessary effect. According to my analysis, Frost’s misinterpretation of Aquinas’s position on contingency in creation derives from the erroneous assumption that, for Aquinas, the freedom of a cause implies the contingency of such a cause and of all the effects following from it. I shall prove that Frost’s misunderstanding consists in neglecting that Aquinas does not endorse this co-implication between freedom and contingency: in fact, if the freedom of a cause indicates that it can refrain from producing its effect, the contingency of a cause means its mutability and fallibility, namely that it can be prevented in producing its effect.
Keywords Gloria Frost   Thomas Aquinas   contingency   freedom   divine will
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DOI 10.14640/noctuaix4
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Aquinas and Scotus on the Source of Contingency.Gloria Frost - 2014 - Oxford Studies in Medieval Philosophy 2 (1).
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