Michał ChaberekCorresponding authorORCID id

The Metaphysical Problem for Theistic Evolution
Accidental Change Does Not Generate Substantial Change

26/1 – Spring 2021, pages 35-49
Date of online publication: 30 June 2021
Date of publication: 30 June 2021


This paper focuses on one of the metaphysical problems for theistic evolution which is the problem of evolutionary transition from one specified substantial form to another. According to the evolutionary account, new substantial forms appear owing to accidental changes in previously existing substances. However, the accidental change may only lead to production of new accidents not entirely new distinct substantial forms. The solutions proposed by modern Thomists head in two directions: One is the reduction of the number of substantial forms (species); the other consists of diminishing substantial form altogether. Both proposals stray from classical metaphysics. The evolutionary account of the origin of species ultimately needs to challenge the real existence of species and leads to nominalism. As such it cannot be reconciled with classical metaphysics.


Cite this article

Chaberek, Michał. “The Metaphysical Problem for Theistic Evolution: Accidental Change Does Not Generate Substantial Change.” Forum Philosophicum 26, no. 1 (2021): 35–49. doi:10.35765/forphil.2021.2601.04.


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