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Efficient CausationA History$
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Tad M. Schmaltz

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199782185

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199782185.001.0001

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Efficient Causation in Kant

Efficient Causation in Kant

(p.258) Chapter Nine Efficient Causation in Kant
Efficient Causation

Eric Watkins

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes how Kant’s views on causality, which contrast starkly with both his empiricist and his rationalist predecessors, are developed in most abstract form in the principles and arguments of the Critique of Pure Reason’s Second and Third Analogies of Experience. It then shows that a model of causality involving substances and causal powers rather than events is entailed by these causal principles, and how it can be illustrated with examples of physical forces as expressed in the Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science. In light of this rather generic account of causality, the chapter then describes the essential features of Kant’s account of efficient causality in particular, especially as it is discussed in the Critique of the Power of Judgment, where Kant contrasts mechanistic, efficient causality with the kind of teleology that is found in organisms.

Keywords:   causal powers, Critique of Pure Reason, efficient causality, final causality, Kant, Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science, organisms, Second Analogy of Experience, teleology, Third Analogy of Experience

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