Comments on Armand Maurer’s Essay (2004) “Darwin, Thomists and Secondary Causality” (Part 2)

0024 Franscisco Suarez (7348-7417 U0’) lives at the time of Galileo.  He continues the scholastic tradition.  He comments on Aquinas, just as previously, Aquinas comments on the Book of Causes.  The doctrine of secondary causes is well established, not as I portray it here, using category-based nested forms, but as a foil to primary causation and a mirror to instrumental causes.

Suarez writes the first systematic treatise on metaphysics in the Western world.  His book is translated and read across Europe.

0025 He makes four points about primary and secondary causes (C-F).

The first created thing is being (C).  God is the primary cause of being (A).

Secondary causes are true causes (D).  They are not symptoms of primary causation (B).  Creatures have powers that make events happen.

Secondary causes cannot be divorced from primary causality (E).  This point distinguishes secondary from instrumental causality.

The claim that creatures exhibit true active powers gives a greater dignity to creatures and their Creator, than claims that secondary powers are symptoms of primary causation (F).

0026 Darwin grasps this last point (F) as a metaphysical justification for his theory of evolution through natural selection.