Ockham on Divine Concurrence

Saint Anselm Journal 15:81-105 (2019)
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Abstract

The focus of this paper is Ockham's stance on the question of divine concurrence---the question whether God is causally active in the causal happenings of the created world, and if so, what God's causal activity amounts to and what place that leaves for created causes. After discussing some preliminaries, I turn to presenting what I take to be Ockham's account. As I show, Ockham, at least in this issue, is rather conservative: he agrees with the majority of medieval thinkers (including Aquinas, Giles of Rome, Duns Scotus, and others) that both God and created agents are causally active in the causal happenings of the world. Then I turn to some texts that may suggest otherwise; I argue that reading Ockham as either an occasionalist or a mere conservationist based on these texts originates from a misunderstanding of his main concern. I conclude with raising and briefly addressing some systematic worries regarding Ockham's account of concurrence.

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Zita Toth
King's College London

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