Volume 89, 2015
Analyzing Catholic Philosophy
Descartes as Catholic Philosopher and Natural Philosopher
A Catholic philosophy requires an account of God as the first cause of all being. Descartes provides this, but he does so at a high price, for his Creator of ontologically and causally independent moments of creaturely existence precludes all secondary causes. Descartes’s philosophy thus results in occasionalism, which I try to show is the unhappy result of errors in natural philosophy concerning material forms and duration. Suarez provides a contrasting scholastic account of creation, showing how novel, and problematic, Descartes’s position is.