Encyclopedia of Medieval Philosophy

Living Edition
| Editors: Henrik Lagerlund

Causality

  • André Goddu
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-1151-5_118-2

Abstract

Modern philosophical accounts of causality deviate dramatically from medieval accounts, yet many of the views held in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries represent the end of an evolutionary process that began in the thirteenth century with the reintroduction of Aristotelian natural philosophy to medieval authors. The entry traces the evolution from premodern to modern views, explaining the transition that occurred from early medieval authors through late medieval scholastics. The crucial turning point is the tendency to distinguish explanatory principles from causes properly conceived. That tendency in turn corresponds to a critique of final causes in nature. The crucial change that occurred in the seventeenth century, however, was due less to a change in causal conceptions and more to implications of mechanical philosophy for commonsense inferences about nature and causal relations.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhysicsStonehill CollegeEastonUSA