Scotus on Accidental and Essential Causes

Franciscan Studies 66:233 - 246 (2008)

Authors
Eike-Henner Kluge
University of Victoria
Abstract
At ’Opus Oxoniense’ book I, d.2, q.1, John Duns Scotus gives an argument for the existence of God that is based on the distinction between essentially and accidentally ordered efficient causes. Historically, this argument has been rejected because the claim that accidentally ordered causes require essentially ordered causes to account for the perpetuation of forms is question-begging. I argue that the critics of Scotus’s argument have failed to consider the ontology of the theory substance, accident and causation with which Scotus is operating, and that once this is taken into account the traditional critique fails
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DOI 10.1353/frc.0.0006
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