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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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The Aristotelian Background

The Aristotelian Background

(p.20) 3 The Aristotelian Background
Causation and Laws of Nature in Early Modern Philosophy

Walter Ott (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Before turning to Descartes, we must first know something of the view he seeks to supplant. This chapter argues in detail that Aristotelian causation is logical necessitation. Even on the concurrentist picture, it is logically impossible for all of the requisite powers, plus God's concurrence, to obtain, and yet the effect not result. This chapter defends this interpretation from charges of triviality and historical anachronism. Next, it moves on to the ontology of relations, establishing a key feature of scholastic powers: their esse‐ad, or directedness. Finally, the chapter explains the contrast between manifest and occult qualities by way of showing how the scholastics link perceivability and intelligibility in their physics.

Keywords:   Cartesian predicament, ontology, Descartes, Régis, Hume

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