David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Inquiry 51 (4):412 – 437 (2008)
Spinoza is most often seen as a stern advocate of mechanistic efficient causation, but examining his philosophy in relation to the Aristotelian tradition reveals this view to be misleading: some key passages of the Ethics resemble so much what Surez writes about emanation that it is most natural to situate Spinoza's theory of causation not in the context of the mechanical sciences but in that of a late scholastic doctrine of the emanative causality of the formal cause; as taking a look at the seventeenth-century philosophy of mathematics reveals, this is in consonance also with Spinoza's geometrical cast of mind. Against this background, I examine Spinoza's essentialist model of causation according to which each thing has a formal character determined by the thing's essence and what follows from that essence. In the case of real things this essential causal architecture results in efficacy, i.e. in bringing about real effects, the key idea being that without the essential, formally structured causal thrust there would be no efficacy in the first place. I also explain how this model accounts for efficient causation taking place between finite things
|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
Carl Hempel (1965). Aspects of Scientific Explanation and Other Essays in the Philosophy of Science. The Free Press.
Rom Harré (1975). Causal Powers: A Theory of Natural Necessity. Rowman and Littlefield.
Jonathan Bennett (1984). A Study of Spinoza's 'Ethics'. Cambridge University Press.
Gilles Deleuze (1990). Expressionism in Philosophy: Spinoza. Distributed by MIT Press.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
D. Benjamin Barros (2013). Negative Causation in Causal and Mechanistic Explanation. Synthese 190 (3):449-469.
J. C. Skewes & C. A. Hooker (2009). Bio-Agency and the Problem of Action. Biology and Philosophy 24 (3):283 - 300.
Colin R. Marshall (2009). The Mind and the Body as 'One and the Same Thing' in Spinoza. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 17 (5):897-919.
George Louis Kline (1952/1981). Spinoza in Soviet Philosophy: A Series of Essays, Selected and Translated, and with an Introduction. Hyperion Press.
Stephen Yablo (1992). Cause and Essence. Synthese 93 (3):403 - 449.
Nicholas Okrent (1998). Spinoza on the Essence, Mutability and Power of God. Philosophy and Theology 11 (1):71-84.
Menno Hulswit (2005). How Causal is Downward Causation? Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 36 (2):261 - 287.
Bruce Baugh (2011). Time, Duration and Eternity in Spinoza. Comparative and Continental Philosophy 2 (2):211-233.
Valtteri Viljanen (2011). Spinoza's Geometry of Power. Cambridge University Press.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads54 ( #78,035 of 1,796,251 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #349,760 of 1,796,251 )
How can I increase my downloads?