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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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Occasionalism

Occasionalism

Chapter:
(p.64) 9 Occasionalism
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/9780199570430.003.0010

The top‐down nature of Descartes's view commits him to occasionalism, at least where body–body causation is concerned. This chapter rounds out the argument for this reading, appealing chiefly to the laws of nature: given their status as divine commands, Cartesian laws must be implemented at every moment by God himself. There is no sense to be made of the laws operating independently of God's activity. This reading is then defended against the concurrentist interpretation of Descartes.

Keywords:   occasionalism, Cartesian laws, concurrentism, Descartes

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