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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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Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
Causation and Laws of Nature in Early Modern Philosophy
Author(s):

Walter Ott (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199570430.003.0001

This chapter sets up the division the book will explore: the split between “top‐down” and “bottom‐up” views of the laws of nature. The scholastic view is a bottom‐up picture: although God must concur with the powers of bodies, those bodies determine the precise course of events. Descartes's invention of the laws of nature results in a top‐down picture: what happens in the world depends directly on the will of God.

Keywords:   Descartes, scholastics, laws of nature, concurrence

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