Two Aristotelian Arguments for an Unactualized Actualizer

Here are two arguments, following Aristotle, for an Unactualized Actualizer—which can then be shown to necessarily have the other properties of the classical conception of God—but this argument only gets us to a being that is Absolute Actuality.

The first argument is made by philosopher Edward Feser is his Five Proofs of God.  This is only the first 14 steps of the proof, which get to the Unactualized Actualizer.  Call it a minimal proof of the existence of God.

Feser Aristotle Unactualized Actualizer

The second is a my stab at formalizing Feser’s argument, to show that is logically VALID, and any objection to it must be a case that at least one of the premises is FALSE.  Let me know your thoughts on it.  I’m fairly sure it’s valid.

Feser Aristotle Formalization



13 comments on “Two Aristotelian Arguments for an Unactualized Actualizer

  1. GR says:

    #7. It’s absurd to say something that doesn’t exist has a potential to exist. Am I reading this right?

    Also, to go from non-existence to existence is not a change.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jonas says:

      How is saying that something has the potential to exist absurd? My children have the potential to exist, eventhough they dont exist yet. This seems to me to be pretty much common sense.

      How is a thing that didnt exist so far, but now comes into existence, not a change in the world? Imagine an empty room. Now imagine the same room, but now full of objects that just came into existence (how so is irrelevant right now). Are you meaning to tell me that inbetween the two states of the that room nothing has changed?


      • GR says:

        An empty room is not nothing. It exists as empty. So it can change and be filled with objects.

        As for your non-existent children, it is not they that have the potentiality, but you. Something non-existent can ‘have’ nothing.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Eve Keneinan says:

      Actuality entails potentiality. Anything that ACTUALLY DOES EXIST is necessarily CAPABLE OF EXISTING.


  2. Jonas says:

    Good to see you back, Eve. I look forward to seeing more of you. Why not tackle existential questions for a change? Writing about death, and what it is that makes you think that there is more coming after it?

    My questions here, just from the top of my mind, would be: What speaks against S being that which is purely actual?
    Why cant there be an infinite regress of simultaneously happening actualization (not within the temporal realm), à la Hume-Edwards-principle? You state that such a hierarchical causal series can not be regressing into the infinite, but youd have to make a case for why this is so. Or is it universally agreed on and taken as a given in metaphysics that such can not be?
    And then, of course, how would you answer the obligatory denial of change taking place, or the logical possibility of brute facts?


    • cameronwg says:

      Seems to me you are demanding an explantion, for the explanation. An infinite regression is logically incoherent.


      • Jonas says:

        Uh no, that was not what I had in mind, actually. Also, Im not quite sure what it is about an infinite regression per se that makes it incoherent – especially *logically* incoherent. Now, I understand what it is that makes such impossible on the argument at hand, but I would still have liked Eve to comment on it.
        Still, I did not demand an explanation for an explanation. Where, in your mind, did I do so?

        Eve, since Im here now anyways: I could imagine that you frequent Fesers blog. If you do not, however, then you probably dont know about this series of post on the Secular Outpost by Bradley Bowen, in which he attempts to critique the “5 Proofs”, and he starts with the Aristotelian argument. The main problem he sees with it is premise 2. You might want to check it out


        • cameronwg says:

          Kind of a long winded way of conceding, do we get points for erudition? I too read Feser’s blog. Will checkout your recommendation, but I’m betting it’s weak. Just sayin.

          Liked by 1 person

        • theofloinn says:

          A clarinet cannot make music without a clarinetist to actualize its potential, If there were no clarinetist, the instrument would stand inert. Postulating an infinite series of clarinets solves nothing, An unbeginning series actualizes nothing. It’s like postulating ‘turtles aa the way down.’

          it’s an infinite REgress that is incoherent, not an infinite PROgress. That may go on as forever as the universe extends.


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