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date: 21 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Geulincx is known as one of the first early modern defenders of occasionalism—the doctrine according to which God is the only cause of natural phenomena, while finite beings are merely “occasional causes” for God’s intervention. Although Geulincx has been portrayed as a Cartesian occasionalist, this chapter argues that Geulincx’s occasionalism does not arise from Descartes’s philosophy, but rather he exploits some central tenets of Descartes’s metaphysics in order to develop his own philosophical and theological agenda. The chapter suggests that the argumentative strategy Geulincx uses to develop his occasionalism is shaped by theological concerns and addresses problems left unresolved in the later Scholastic and Renaissance natural philosophy, which were made more urgent by the Calvinist account of God’s special providence.

Keywords: Arnold Geulincx, occasionalism, quod nescis, Calvinism, special providence

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