Aspects of Agent Causes, IVinstruments

Aspects of Agent Causes, IV
instruments and dominion

All instruments are agent causes, inasmuch as they are active and perfective of an effect. The instrument adds to this the idea of receiving some power from the agents superior to it. This reception means that the instrument exists by participation in its superior agents. It makes no difference that an instrument can sometimes continue to act and cause when it is separated from its superior agent- as would happen, for example, if a man were to fire a rocket and then change his mind about wanting it to hit the target. Not every superior agent, taken separately, has perfect dominion over the instrument. And in a certain sense, the rocket is moving according to an intention- an intention the man now regrets.

No man has perfect dominion over his instruments, for anything that exists can act in some way, but man does not have perfect control over what exists. Man is not the agent reason for existence.

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