Koons’ argument:

  1. Every fact has a wholly contingent part.  (Why?  Because we can take the necessary parts of the fact, and subtract them.)
  2. So there is a maximal wholly contingent fact C.
  3. C has a cause.
  4. That cause does not overlap C.
  5. Therefore, the cause is necessary.
  6. The cause is not a mere aggregate—parts can exist apart from other parts.
  7. The cause does not have measurable properties.[[finished last class here]]
  8. The cause is not located in a part of space or in the whole of space.
  9. The cause is not a physical object.
  10. Now run the teleological argument!


James Ross objection:

Did God cause that he caused the universe?  Let C* be this event.  This is not wholly contingent.



Assume that in every world there is exactly one necessary being whose activity explains all contingent facts.

  1. Essentiality of power states.
  2. Exactly one necessary being whose free actions explain all the contingent truths of W.
  3. Omnipotence: explanation of all contingent facts lies in one being.



  1. Independence --> necessity.
  2. Unchangingness.  Why?  (If changing, then could have already been otherwise?  And what explains that he is as he is?)
  3. Infinite spatially.  If a being can be absent in one place, it can be absent altogether.  Likewise, cannot have lacks in self. 
  4. Simplicity: Parts induce bounds.  Cannot have “difference and diversity in the manner of existence”, else we don’t have necessity.
  5. Oneness: Its existence comes from “absolute necessity”, without anything to differentiate this necessity.  (What is this “absolute necessity”?)  Also: If we had two independent beings, they could exist apart, and hence wouldn’t be necessary beings.
  6. Cause more excellent than the effect, else the excellence in the effect came from nowhere. Hence intelligence was found in the cause.
    1. Objection: Things can arise from lesser things.
    2. Objection: Intelligence is an arrangement of matter.
      1. Response: This comes from thinking that compounds are something other than what they are compounded of. Two roots for the error: (a) Some things that we think are compounds are actually distinct, as in the case of colors; (b) Some things are still just compounds, though they seem to be more.
  7. Besides, the world is really good, so intelligence is needed. (Nice touch: Uses recent (then!) empirical data that life doesn't arise from non-life.)
  8. If motion didn't come from intelligence, where did it come from?
  9. There is no action without freedom.
  10. And if God were a necessary agent, modal fatalism would result.
  11. But there is a necessity of fitness.
  12. Teleology implies that the creator is a free agent.  (Why?  Because final causes act only on agents?)
  13. Non-agential causes are moved movers.
  14. Infinite power.  All powers of things derive from the first cause, and (hence?) are wholly dependent on it.
  15. God can create free beings—because (a) freedom is possible (as God has it) and (b) freedom is communicable, as is everything that doesn’t “imply self-existence and absolute independence”.  This is compatible with foreknowledge if (a) holds. 
  16. Freedom yields an answer to the problem of evil.
  17. Omnipresence --> omniscience. (But what about the future?)
  18. No external influence, perfect independent happiness and perfect knowledge --> moral perfection.
  19. Moral vs. natural attributes.  The moral ones are founded on the will’s necessity of following motives.


Basic idea: God is first.

1.      Eternity.

2.      No passive potentiality.  Something is needed to move the merely potential to the actual.  So anything merely potential is not first.  (Could a part of God be potential?  Well, then, it’s the actual parts that would be first, and hence it is they that would be God.  Note: Aquinas owes us an argument that God cannot be a part of a composite.)

3.      Not identical with matter—matter has potentiality.

4.      No composition.

5.      Nothing unnatural—since that would require composition.

6.      Not a body.  Bodies have parts, potentiality of subdivision, are movable and finite.

7.      God is his own essence.  Else there is composition.  Also, the essence of a thing is either the thing or a kind of cause of itself.

8.      Existence either depends on essence, or essence on existence, or both on a third item.  If the existence depends on the essence or on a third item, the existence of the first cause is not absolutely first.  If the essence depends on existence, then the thing’s having existence is independent of what sort of a thing it is, and that’s absurd.  And that by which something exists is its existence.  Hence, God’s existence cannot be different from God, or else God would exist by something other than himself.

9.      No accidents.  Since he is existence itself.  Moreover, if God were to cause himself to have some quality, he’d have to have that quality already in some way.  And hence he’d be composite.

10.  God’s being isn’t the specification of a genus.

11.  Good.  Goodness = perfection, completeness.  A being with no potentiality must be perfect.  Also: immovable movers move by being desired.  But only being good moves per se.  The good is being in act.  God is act.  Also, God is good because he spreads existence motivated by himself.

12.  God is goodness itself.  For, goodness = act, and God is his own being.  Moreover, if one has good but isn’t the good, then one is good by participation, so there must be a first good.  Moreover, participation implies a kind of potentiality.

13.  Intelligence.  Unmovedly originating motion involves appetite.  Also, first mover must have forms as universals in it.  Moreover, intelligent movers in the world are instruments of God.  Hence God is intelligent.  Also, forms are understood = forms are apart from matter.  Also, God lacks no perfection, since then there would be a way of specifying him by difference.  Moreover, teleology.