David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Perspectives on Science 8 (2) (2000)
: Dennis Des Chene's Physiologia: Natural Philosophy in Late Aristotelian and Cartesian Thought reconstructs the discourse of late scholastic natural philosophy, and assesses Descartes' agreements and disagreements. In a critical discussion, I offer a different interpretation of late scholastic theories of final causality and of God's concursus with created efficient causes. Fonseca's and Suárez' conceptions of final causality in nature depend on their claim that a single action can be the action of two agents at once--in particular, of God and of a creature. I discuss both their theory of action and its implications for natural teleology. I then compare Descartes, emphasizing his demolition of the Aristotelian hierarchy of causes, with unmoved movers (culminating in God) regulating the action of inferior moved movers. Aristotle argues that unmoved causes are needed to produce a stable world-order; he takes arts (tÁxnai) as his models of unmoved causes, and uses this model to support natural teleology. Descartes radically simplifies this system by denying all unmoved movers other than God, and denying anything analogous to an art in non-human nature. I explore the implications for Descartes' notion of concursus and his criticism of natural teleology, and discuss his resulting difficulties in explaining natural stability.
|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
Dennis des Chene (2007). Descartes Reinvented (Review). Journal of the History of Philosophy 45 (3):498-499.
Stephen Menn (2000). On Dennis Des Chene's Physiologia. Perspectives on Science 8 (2):119-143.
Dennis des Chene (2000). Life's Form: Late Aristotelian Conceptions of the Soul. Cornell University Press.
Steven Nadler (2010). Descartes on Forms and Mechanisms (Review). Journal of the History of Philosophy 48 (3):399-400.
Thomas Tuozzo (2011). How Dynamic Is Aristotle's Efficient Cause? Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy 15 (2):447-464.
Helen Hattab (2000). The Problem of Secondary Causation in Descartes: A Response to Des Chene. Perspectives on Science 8 (2):93-118.
Dennis Des Chene (1996). Physiologia: Natural Philosophy in Late Aristotelian and Cartesian Thought. Cornell University Press.
Timothy J. Reiss (2003). Souls and Machines: The Cartesian Rupture? - Dennis Des Chene, Life's Form: Late Aristotelian Conceptions of the Soul ; Dennis Des Chene, Spirits and Clocks: Machine and Organism in Descartes. [REVIEW] Metascience 12 (1):37-45.
Dennis Des Chene (2000). On Laws and Ends: A Response to Hattab and Menn. Perspectives on Science 8 (2):144-163.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads18 ( #174,675 of 1,781,480 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #167,885 of 1,781,480 )
How can I increase my downloads?