David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Perspectives on Science 8 (2):93-118 (2000)
: In this paper I address the vexed question of secondary causation in René Descartes' physics, and examine several influential interpretations, especially the one recently proposed by Dennis Des Chene. I argue that interpreters who regard Cartesian bodies as real secondary causes, on the grounds that the modes of body include real forces, contradict Descartes' account of modes. On the other hand, those who deny that Descartes affirms secondary causation, on the grounds that forces cannot be modes of extension, commit Descartes to the problematic view that the undetermined and immutable will of God is the sole cause of determinate and variable motions. Des Chene's contextualist approach to Descartes' texts leads him to an intermediate position that combines elements of both interpretations. However, in my view, Des Chene's interpretation likewise fails to resolve apparent tensions in Descartes' claims. I thus propose to separate the issue of secondary causation from what Des Chene dubs 'the problem of force'. On the basis of this approach, and a study of Jesuit commentaries familiar to Descartes, I develop a new interpretation which takes seriously Descartes' claim that the laws of nature are the secondary and particular causes of particular motions and changes in motion
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Stephen Philip Menn (2000). On Dennis Des Chene's. Perspectives on Science 8 (2).
Geoffrey Gorham (2004). Cartesian Causation: Continuous, Instantaneous, Overdetermined. Journal of the History of Philosophy 42 (4):389-423.
Dennis Des Chene (2003). Life After Descartes: Regis on Generation. Perspectives on Science 11 (4):410-420.
Dennis des Chene (2007). Descartes Reinvented (Review). Journal of the History of Philosophy 45 (3):498-499.
Dennis des Chene (2005). Cogito, Ergo Sum: The Life of Rene Descartes (Review). Journal of the History of Philosophy 43 (1):113-115.
Dennis Des Chene (2003). Life After Descartes: Régis on Generation. Perspectives on Science 11 (4):410-420.
Dennis Des Chene (2000). On Laws and Ends: A Response to Hattab and Menn. Perspectives on Science 8 (2):144-163.
Edward Slowik (1999). Descartes, Spacetime, and Relational Motion. Philosophy of Science 66 (1):117-139.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads23 ( #71,290 of 1,096,527 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #246,097 of 1,096,527 )
How can I increase my downloads?