PDC Homepage

Home » Products » Purchase

American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly

Volume 84, Issue 3, Summer 2010

Edward M. Engelmann
Pages 461-482

Expressive Causality and the Ontological Integrity of Nature

This essay seeks to ground the ontological integrity of natural things by examining the dialectic between substantial form, which is the “being-in-itself ” of substances, and second acts, the “being-toward-others” of substances. It is found that a new category of causality needs to be established, that of “expressive causality.” The effects of expressive causality—second acts—are expressions of their substantial form, their cause. It is determined that second acts are sufficient conditions for substantial form, while substantial form itself is a necessary condition for its second acts. This implies that substantial form is ontologically prior to its second acts, which are proper attributes. These proper attributes are distinct from yet essentially connected with substantial form, and can never exhaust the content of the form.

Usage and Metrics