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Chapter 6 - Action and Passion

from Part I - The Elements of Paradigm Instances of Efficient Causation

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 November 2022

Gloria Frost
Affiliation:
University of St Thomas, Minnesota
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Summary

This chapter examines Aquinas’s views on the ontological status of the actualization of an agent’s active power, namely its action, and the patient’s passive power, namely its passion. Aquinas claims that one and the same motion constitutes both an agent’s action and its patient’s passion. This chapter considers Aquinas’s motivations for defending the “action-passion sameness” thesis and his responses to common objections. The chapter also includes a solution to a longstanding interpretive difficulty regarding Aquinas’s views on the ontological status of action. Aquinas claims in some texts that actions are accidents in the agent as subject. This seems to conflict with his standard view that an agent’s action is the motion which it causes in its patient. While advancing a solution to this textual difficulty, the chapter proposes a novel interpretation of Aquinas’s understanding of the relationship between forms and accidents and the metaphysics of inherence.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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  • Action and Passion
  • Gloria Frost, University of St Thomas, Minnesota
  • Book: Aquinas on Efficient Causation and Causal Powers
  • Online publication: 11 November 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009225403.008
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  • Action and Passion
  • Gloria Frost, University of St Thomas, Minnesota
  • Book: Aquinas on Efficient Causation and Causal Powers
  • Online publication: 11 November 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009225403.008
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Action and Passion
  • Gloria Frost, University of St Thomas, Minnesota
  • Book: Aquinas on Efficient Causation and Causal Powers
  • Online publication: 11 November 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009225403.008
Available formats
×