Double Agency

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Double Agency

The idea of double agency arises in discussions of divine action through the operation of finite causes and the actions of human agents. Thomas Aquinas
(c. 12251274) contended that God as creator is the first, or primary, cause who gives being to finite things and empowers them to act as they do. As a result, the activity of creatures is also the action of God, though God and creatures act on different levels. Claims about double agency raise particularly difficult issues when considering God's relation to free human actions. Here one must grapple with questions about whether and in what sense the act can simultaneously be ascribed to more than one agent.

See also Divine Action; Providence; Thomas Aquinas


aquinas, thomas. summa theologiae (12661273), ia, qq. 22-23, 103-05, ed. timothy mcdermott. london: blackfriars, 1964.

farrer, austin. faith and speculation. london: a. & c. black; new york: new york university press, 1967.

thomas f. tracy