Do you need to know in order to act? The case for a Suárezian legacy in early modern occasionalism

Andrea Sangiacomo*

*Corresponding author for this work

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The goal of this article is to suggest that in early modern discussions of agency and causal efficacy it is possible to detect an attempt at pushing to its extreme consequences a specific account of agency and causality that was developed in late scholastic thought. More specifically, the article examines Francisco Suárez's (1548–1617) account of freedom and how this relates to his views on efficient causality. Despite Suárez's careful way of differentiating between natural (necessary) and human (free) agents, his view can be exploited to drive home occasionalist positions that deny causal efficacy for natural agents lacking reason. The family resemblance that might be noted between early modern positions could be traced back to the reception of a common late scholastic background and to the tensions and potential nestled there.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)506-526
Number of pages21
JournalSouthern Journal of Philosophy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept-2023

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