Descartes on Causation
By (author) Tad M. Schmaltz
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Descartes on Causation by Tad M. Schmaltz
Book DescriptionThis book is a systematic study of Descartes' theory of causation and its relation to the medieval and early modern scholastic philosophy that provides its proper historical context. The argument presented here is that even though Descartes offered a dualistic ontology that differs radically from what we find in scholasticism, his views on causation were profoundly influenced by scholastic thought on this issue. This influence is evident not only in his affirmation in the Meditations of the abstract scholastic axioms that a cause must contain the reality of its effects and that conservation does not differ in reality from creation, but also in the details of the accounts of body-body interaction in his physics, of mind-body interaction in his psychology, and of the causation that he took to be involved in free human action. In contrast to those who have read Descartes as endorsing the "occasionalist" conclusion that God is the only real cause, a central thesis of this study is that he accepted what in the context of scholastic debates regarding causation is the antipode of occasionalism, namely, the view that creatures rather than God are the causal source of natural change. What emerges from the defense of this interpretation of Descartes is a new understanding of his contribution to modern thought on causation.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780195327946
(242mm x 161mm x 21mm)
Imprint: Oxford University Press Inc
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Publish Date: 7-Feb-2008
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Tad M. Schmaltz
Early Modern Cartesianisms, Hardback (December 2016)
This new comparative study considers the impact of Descartes's thought on early modern philosophy, theology and science. This consideration reveals that competing Cartesianisms emerged in the Netherlands and France during a period dating from the last decades of Descartes's life to the century or so following his death in 1650.
Efficient Causation, Paperback (November 2014)
This volume is a collection of new essays by specialists that trace the concept of efficient causation from its discovery (or invention) in Ancient Greece, through its development in late antiquity, the medieval period, and modern philosophy, to its use in contemporary metaphysics and philosophy of science.
Receptions of Descartes, Paperback (April 2013)View all books by Tad M. Schmaltz
'Receptions of Descartes' is a collection of work by an international group of authors that focuses on the various ways in which Descartes was interpreted, defended and criticized in early modern Europe.
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