Causation in Early Modern Philosophy: Cartesianism, by Steven M. Nadler

By Steven M. Nadler

Three common money owed of causation stand out in early smooth philosophy: Cartesian interactionism, occasionalism, and Leibniz's preestablished concord. The members to this quantity learn those theories of their philosophical and historic context. They deal with them either as a method for answering particular questions relating to causal kin and of their relation to each other, particularly, evaluating occasionalism and the preestablished concord as responses to Descartes's metaphysics and physics and the Cartesian account of causation. Philosophers mentioned comprise Descartes, Gassendi, Malebranche, Arnauld, Leibniz, Bayle, l. a. Forge, and different, much less famous figures.

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The famous little paper "First Truths" contains both the denial, strictly speaking, of interaction among created substances and the assertion of preestablished harmony (unlabeled in the Discourse and termed the 'hypothesis of concomitance' in both "First Truths" and the correspondence with Arnauld). Especially given Loemker's approximate dating of "ca. 1680-84" for "First Truths," 13 many will be attracted by the idea that not only do the statements of the "First Truths" antedate those of the Discourse (and hence contradict the hypothesis with which we began), but that they also may provide the answer to the question of how these views on the denial of intersubstantial causation among creatures and the preestablished harmony might have arisen in Leibniz's thought: he came to believe that they followed from his theory of truth -that the predicate is always contained in the subject of a true proposition -- and adopted them as a result of this.

P. 291. , p. 286. -100this might have affected the development of Leibniz's views on causation and preestablished harmony. We will consider such questions again when we return to de Vleeschauwer in section III. There are two important topics we have not yet touched on in this brief survey of views on Leibniz's early development on causation and the preestablished harmony. The topics are Leibniz as interactionist and Leibniz as dualist. We turn to these now in considering remarks of Willy Kabitz.

P. 280. Ibid. Ibid. -99of Leibniz's views on causation and the preestablished harmony. But de Vleeschauwer, in a detailed reexamination of the issue, does not come down on Zeller's side. Without entirely supporting Pfleiderer either, he claims it is quite likely that Leibniz knew Geulincx's work and seems to leave open, without insisting on, the possibility of some borrowing by Leibniz. In turning to a few of the details of de Vleeschauwer's position, we begin with what he says about Leibniz's Paris period.

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