The Unity of Efficient and Final Causality: The Mind/Body Problem Reconsidered

In this paper, I argue that it is in the fourteenth century that the problem of the compatibility or unity of efficient and final causality emerges. William Ockham and John Buridan start to flirt with a mechanized view of nature solely explainable by efficient causality, and they hence push final causality into the human mind and use it to explain for example action, morality and the good. Their argumentation introduces the problem of how to give a unified account of the world, that is, how are nature and freedom compatible. In the paper, I set up the discussion by going through some of the problems associated with final causality in the seventeenth century and show that Ockham and Buridan's problems are similar. I then argue using a formulation from Leibniz's Monadology that the problems here traced should be seen as versions of the mind/body problem
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DOI 10.1080/09608788.2011.583413
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