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Causality and Explanation in Descartes' Natural Philosophy

In Peter K. Machamer & Robert G. Turnbull (eds.), Motion and Time, Space and Matter. Ohio State University Press. pp. 168--199 (1976)

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  1. The Metaphysical Roots of Cartesian Physics: The Law of Rectilinear Motion.Geoffrey Gorham - 2005 - Perspectives on Science 13 (4):431-451.
    : This paper presents a detailed account of Descartes' derivation of his second law of nature—the law of rectilinear motion—from a priori metaphysical principles. Unlike the other laws the proof of the second depends essentially on a metaphysical assumption about the temporal immediacy of God's operation. Recent commentators (e.g., Des Chene and Garber) have not adequately explained the precise role of this assumption in the proof and Descartes' reasoning has continued to seem somewhat arbitrary as a result. My account better (...)
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  • Force (God) in Descartes' Physics.Gary Hatfield - 1979 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 10 (2):113-140.
    It is difficult to evaluate the role of activity - of force or of that which has causal efficacy - in Descartes’ natural philosophy. On the one hand, Descartes claims to include in his natural philosophy only that which can be described geometrically, which amounts to matter (extended substance) in motion (where this motion is described kinematically).’ Yet on the other hand, rigorous adherence to a purely geometrical description of matter in motion would make it difficult to account for the (...)
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