Skip to main content
Select Source:

occasionalism

occasionalism, metaphysical doctrine that denies that finite things have any active power and asserts that God is the only cause, whereas physical events and mental states are only occasions for God's action. Muslim theologians in the 8th cent. developed a version of occasionalism as an alternative to Aristotelian theories of causality. Occasionalism gained currency in the West in the 17th cent., when Arnold Geulincx and Nicolas Malebranche developed theories to resolve the problem of interaction in general, and of that between mind (immaterial) and body (material) in particular, which was posed by the dualism of René Descartes.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"occasionalism." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"occasionalism." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/occasionalism

"occasionalism." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/occasionalism

Occasionalism

Occasionalism. The view that God is the direct creator by way of cause of all occasions (as held, e.g., by some Muslims); or that God is the occasioning intermediary between soul and body: when the soul consents to an action, God moves the body, and when the body makes a demand of any sort, God makes the soul aware of it.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Occasionalism." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Occasionalism." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/occasionalism

"Occasionalism." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/occasionalism