Walter Schultz and Lisanne Winslow (University of Northwestern)

Causation, Dispositions and Divine Action


This paper provides a conceptualization of causation and dispositions on the grounds of a new view of divine action, which we call Divine Compositionalism. We first briefly describe the five-category ontology Divine Compositionalism presupposes. Taking cues from recent work asserting the dispositional nature of phenomena at the quantum level, we then describe in a concept of an event and a necessitarian view of causation consistent with scientific practice and with Divine Compositionalism. Then we show how a dispositional property can be analyzed in terms of Godís compositional, existence-conferring action according to his will or plan. Our view of divine action is a version of occasionalism regarding physical causation only. Fourth, we show how occasional causation can be understood as the relation constituting a dispositional property. Finally, we summarize how Divine Compositionalism satisfies other widelyrecognized demands upon a theory of divine action and respond to two objections.

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