Samuel Clarke on Agent Causation, Voluntarism, and Occasionalism

Andrea Sangiacomo*

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

6 Citaten (Scopus)
10 Downloads (Pure)


ArgumentThis paper argues that Samuel Clarke's account of agent causation (i) provides a philosophical basis for moderate voluntarism, and (ii) both leads to and benefits from the acceptance of partial occasionalism as a model of causation for material beings. Clarke's account of agent causation entails that for an agent to be properly called an agent (i.e. causally efficacious), it is essential that the agent is free to choose whether to act or not. This freedom is compatible with the existence of conceptually necessary connections. Hence, Clarke can harmonize God's freedom of choosing with the existence of eternal and necessary relations among things. Moreover, in Clarke's account, only intelligent entities can be properly understood as efficacious causes. Beings deprived of intelligence are not agents or efficacious causes at all and their effects are thus the result of the immediate action of some intelligent being operating upon them.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)421-456
Aantal pagina's36
TijdschriftScience in Context
Nummer van het tijdschrift4
StatusPublished - dec-2018

Citeer dit