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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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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 29 November 2021

Efficient Causation in the Stoic Tradition

Efficient Causation in the Stoic Tradition

(p.54) Chapter Two Efficient Causation in the Stoic Tradition
Efficient Causation

R. J. Hankinson

Oxford University Press

The term “efficient causation” derives from the Aristotelian tradition. However, Aristotle himself treats the efficient cause as only one of four “causes” that are more or less on all fours with one another. In contrast, Michael Frede has argued in an influential paper that it is the Stoics who first insisted that causes, properly speaking, are what produce an effect. This chapter places this analysis of (efficient) causation in the context of Stoic materialism, providentialism and compatibilist accounts of free human action. There is also an investigation of how the Stoic conception of efficient causation was taken up and adapted by the subsequent medical (Galenic) tradition. This investigation is complicated by the fact that our remains of Stoicism are fragmentary and usually mediated through unfriendly, and sometimes actively hostile, sources.

Keywords:   Aristotle, compatibilism, efficient causation, free action, Galen, materialism, providentialism, Stoicism

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