Note on the supposed quantifier shift in the Third Way

The Third Way defines generation as what did not exist at some time and later does. But everything cannot be generated, since then nothing would exist. The “everything” is used broadly to include both substances and whatever they’re made of. So taken, if everything – cars, matter, ducks, elements, energy, etc, – is generated, then all you have to do is count backwards from now till you have absolutely nothing: no space, cars, ducks, matter, energy, God, angels, whatever.

Accusations of a quantifier shift require that we take “everything” to mean “all individual substances”, and not in a way that includes the internal principles of the substances too.

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