Philosophica 76 (2005)
In this essay, we discuss how Descartes arrives at his mature view of material causation. Descartes position changes over time in some very radical ways. The last section spells out his final position as to how causation works in the world of material objects. When considering Descartes causal theories, it is useful to distinguish between vertical and horizontal causation. The vertical perspective addresses Gods relation to creation. God is essential being, and every being other than God depends upon God in order to exist and to continue in existence.Thus, from the vertical perspective, the act of creating and fact of coming into existence are co-extensive notions. This metaphysical/theological framework is the basis of Descartes commitment to three interrelated notions: that genuine causes and effects occur simultaneously; that causing is appropriately the case only when the cause is acting; and the view that God is the efficient, total, and continuous cause of everything that exists and every action that occurs. So from the vertical perspective, things are nothing without Gods continuous creation, and there is a problem in articulating how they are said to have independent being and causal efficacy. It is in terms of these commitments that Descartes views on horizontal, or material, causation must be approached. We will make apparent the radical extent to which his account of intra-worldly causation abandons his earlier and more traditional views about material causation. To this end we discuss Descartes journey to his mature position by emphasizing the growing epistemic limitations of his philosophy, which culminate in what we call his epistemic stance.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Cartesian Causation: Continuous, Instantaneous, Overdetermined.Geoffrey Gorham - 2004 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 42 (4):389-423.
Divine Activity and Motive Power in Descartes's Physics.Andrew R. Platt - 2011 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 19 (4):623 - 646.
The Relation of God and Being in Descartes.Ilyas Altuner - 2012 - Igdir University Journal of Social Sciences (2): 33-51.
The Problem of Secondary Causation in Descartes: A Response to Des Chene.Helen Hattab - 2000 - Perspectives on Science 8 (2):93-118.
Descartes on Divine Providence and Human Freedom.C. P. Ragland - 2005 - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 87 (2):159-188.
Descartes on the Immutability of the Divine Will.David Cunning - 2003 - Religious Studies 39 (1):79-92.
Descartes, Conceivability, and Logical Modality.Lilli Alanen - 1991 - In Tamara Horowitz (ed.), Thought Experiments in Science and Philosophy. Rowman & Littlefield.
A Journey Around the Cartesian Circle.Ewing Y. Chinn - 1983 - Philosophy Research Archives 9:279-292.
Cartesian Metaphysics: The Late Scholastic Origins of Modern Philosophy.Jorge Secada - 2000 - Cambridge University Press.
Added to index2013-03-01
Total downloads18 ( #271,773 of 2,171,803 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #326,702 of 2,171,803 )
How can I increase my downloads?