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Aquinas's Way to GodThe Proof in De Ente et Essentia$
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Gaven Kerr

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780190224806

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190224806.001.0001

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The Per Aliud Principle and Infinite Regress

The Per Aliud Principle and Infinite Regress

(p.121) 5 The Per Aliud Principle and Infinite Regress
Aquinas's Way to God

OP Gaven Kerr

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the principle that what exists through another (per aliud) is reduced to what exists in itself, as well as Aquinas’s denial of an infinite regress of causes. These issues are interconnected; indeed, just how they are connected is an important issue in itself. The chapter begins by outlining the connection between these issues, to the effect that a denial of an infinite regress of causes is an affirmation of the per aliud principle. The chapter then proceeds to outline Aquinas’s thought on per se and per accidens causal series and whether or not they can proceed to infinity. It then situates the causal series of esse within the context of per se causal series and concludes that such a series terminates in a primary cause which is pure esse—which is what God is understood to be.

Keywords:   infinity, essential causal series, accidental causal series, cause of Esse, primary cause

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