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Causation and Laws of Nature in Early Modern Philosophy$
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Walter Ott

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199570430

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199570430.001.0001

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(p.187) 22 Conclusion
Causation and Laws of Nature in Early Modern Philosophy

Walter Ott (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Any attempt to resuscitate the powers of created beings, and hence the bottom‐up picture, must navigate between two obstacles. On one side lies occultism: given ontological mechanism, there seems no place for powers in nature, and nothing for them to do even if there were. On the other lurks voluntarism: if God is directly responsible for the distribution of motion, the bottom‐up view has been sacrificed, and the supervenience base of the powers of bodies must include more than their intrinsic properties. This chapter gathers up the threads of the previous ones to show precisely how Locke finds his own path between these two pitfalls.

Keywords:   occultism, voluntarism, supervenience, powers of nature, Locke

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