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Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association

Volume 89, 2015

Analyzing Catholic Philosophy

Steven Baldner
Pages 287-298
DOI: 10.5840/acpaproc2016113051

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.