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Profile: Helen Hattab (University of Houston)
  1. Helen Hattab (2014). Hobbes's and Zabarella's Methods: A Missing Link. Journal of the History of Philosophy 52 (3):461-485.
    early modern philosophers commonly appeal to a mathematical method to demonstrate their philosophical claims. Since such claims are not always followed by what we would recognize as mathematical proofs, they are often dismissed as mere rhetoric. René Descartes, Thomas Hobbes, and Benedict de Spinoza are perhaps the most well-known early modern philosophers who fall into this category. It is a matter of dispute whether the ordo geometricus amounts to more than a method of presentation in Spinoza’s philosophy. Descartes and Hobbes (...)
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  2. Helen Hattab (2012). Suárez's Last Stand for the Substantial Form. In Benjamin Hill & Henrik Lagerlund (eds.), The Philosophy of Francisco Suárez. Oup Oxford.
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  3. Helen Hattab (2011). Suárez and Descartes. Studia Neoaristotelica 8 (2):143-162.
    In hac dissertatione primo ostendo Cartesii “argumentum a priori” contra formas substantiales proprie intelligendum esse ex definitione formae substantialis, quam F. Suarez proposuit, et ex ipsius argumentis a priori pro ea. Hoc quidem argumentum Cartesianum non nisi polemicam vim habere videtur, nam Cartesius potius ex superioritate explanationum mechanicarum a se percepta formas substantiales impugnavit. Tamen ipsum factum, Cartesium scil. in doctrinamSuarezianam de forma substantiali incurrisse, doctrinae Suarezianae auctoritatem et famam contestatur. Aliis verbis, Descartes sane demonstrationem, qua Suarezii argumenta ad absurdum (...)
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  4. Helen Hattab (2011). The Mechanical Philosophy. In Desmond M. Clarke & Catherine Wilson (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy in Early Modern Europe. Oup Oxford.
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  5. Helen Hattab (2010). Review of Peter Machamer, J.E. McGuire, Descartes's Changing Mind. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2010 (10).
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  6. Helen Hattab (2009). Descartes on Forms and Mechanisms. Cambridge University Press.
    Descartes' arguments against the substantial form -- Aquinas' introduction of the substantial form -- Suarez's defense of the substantial form -- Sanchez's skeptical humanist attack -- The mechanical alternative to substantial forms -- Cartesian science and the principles of Aristotelian mechanics -- Atoms, modes, and other heresies -- Descartes' metaphysical alternative to substantial forms.
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  7. Helen Hattab (2008). The Emergence of Scientific Culture: Science and the Shaping of Modernity, 1210–1685 (Review). Journal of the History of Philosophy 46 (4):pp. 640-641.
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  8. Helen Hattab (2007). Concurrence or Divergence? Reconciling Descartes's Physics with His Metaphysics. Journal of the History of Philosophy 45 (1):49-78.
    : This paper interprets Descartes's use of the Scholastic doctrine of divine concurrence in light of contemporaneous sources, and argues against two prevailing occasionalist interpretations. On the first occasionalist reading God's concurrence or cooperation with natural causes is always mediate (i.e., concurrence reduces to God's continual recreation of substances). The second reading restricts God's immediate concurrence to his co-action with minds. This paper shows that Descartes's metaphysical commitments do not necessitate either form of occasionalism, and that he is more plausibly (...)
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  9. Helen Hattab (2004). Conflicting Causalities: The Jesuits, Their Opponents, and Descartes on the Causality of the Efficient Cause. Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy 1:1-22.
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  10. Helen Hattab (2000). The Problem of Secondary Causation in Descartes: A Response to Des Chene. Perspectives on Science 8 (2):93-118.
    : 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 (...)
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