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The Philosophy of Francisco Suárez$
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Benjamin Hill and Henrik Lagerlund

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199583645

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199583645.001.0001

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Suárez on Propinquity and the Efficient Cause

Suárez on Propinquity and the Efficient Cause

(p.89) 5 Suárez on Propinquity and the Efficient Cause
The Philosophy of Francisco Suárez

Dennis Des Chene

Oxford University Press

This essay explores Suárez’s commitment to the important causal principle of propinquity or spatial contiguity. Like many, Suárez accepted the principle of no action at a distance. It is argued that this commitment can be retained even though Suárez fundamentally altered the conception of efficient causality because this principle is independent of causality’s nature. Central to understanding Suárez’s commitment to the principle of propinquity is his account of the medium. Furthermore, the contrast between Suárez’s and René Descartes’ accounts of the causal medium are historically significant for understanding the rise of mechanical philosophy during the seventeenth century.

Keywords:   Francisco Suárez, causality, efficient causation, propinquity, medium, René Descartes, mechanical philosophy

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