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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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Force

Force

Chapter:
(p.61) 8 Force
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/9780199570430.003.0009

Descartes's picture of the laws of nature thus implies a very strong version of the top‐down model of laws. And yet Descartes often speaks as if bodies had vis, “force” or “power.” This chapter argues that such language is merely a convenience, and that Descartes cannot, strictly speaking, hold that bodies have vis.

Keywords:   force, vis, Descartes, power

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