Causa sui (Latin pronunciation: [kawsa sʊi], meaning "cause of itself" in Latin) denotes something which is generated within itself. This concept was central to the works of Baruch Spinoza, Sigmund Freud, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Ernest Becker, where it relates to the purpose that objects can assign to themselves. In Freud and Becker's case, the concept was often used as an immortality vessel, where something could create meaning or continue to create meaning beyond its own life.
In traditional Western theism, even though God cannot be created by any other force or being, he cannot be defined self-caused (causa sui) or uncaused, because this concept implies the Spinozian pantheistic idea of becoming, which contrasts with the belief of scholastic theology that God is incapable of changing.
The Catholic concept of [...] God as absolutely independent and self-existent by nature, and, consequently, all-perfect without any possibility of change from all eternity, is altogether opposed to the pantheistic concept of absolute or pure being [that] evolves, determines, and realizes itself through all time.
Changing implies development, and since God is to be considered the Absolute Perfection, there is no further need to change: he is the so-called actus purus or aseity. Instead the recent process theology inserts this concept among the attributes of God in Christianity.
- Actus purus
- Immutability (theology)
- Primum movens
- Process theology
- Sauvage, George (1907). "Aseity". Catholic Encyclopedia, New Advent. Retrieved July 14, 2012.
- John Panteleimon Manoussakis (2006). After God. Richard Kearney And the Religious Turn in Continental Philosophy. New York: Fordham University Press. p. 439. P. 413.ISBN 978-0-82322-532-3.
- Thomas Joseph White (2010). The Analogy of Being. Invention of the Antichrist Or the Wisdom of God?. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. p. 440. P. 384. ISBN 978-0-80286-533-5.
- Dolf te Velde (2010). Paths beyond tracing out. Eburon Uitgeverij B.V. p. 698. P. 302. ISBN 978-9-05972-366-5.