Neo-Aristotelian Perspectives on Formal Causation  book cover
1st Edition

Neo-Aristotelian Perspectives on Formal Causation

ISBN 9780367341206
Published March 22, 2021 by Routledge
316 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This is the first volume of essays devoted to Aristotelian formal causation and its relevance for contemporary metaphysics and philosophy of science. The essays trace the historical development of formal causation and demonstrate its relevance for contemporary issues, such as causation, explanation, laws of nature, functions, essence, modality, and metaphysical grounding.

The introduction to the volume covers the history of theories of formal causation and points out why we need a theory of formal causation in contemporary philosophy. Part I is concerned with scholastic approaches to formal causation, while Part II presents four contemporary approaches to formal causation. The three chapters in Part III explore various notions of dependence and their relevance to formal causation. Part IV, finally, discusses formal causation in biology and cognitive sciences.

Neo-Aristotelian Perspectives on Formal Causation will be of interest to advanced graduate students and researchers working on contemporary Aristotelian approaches to metaphysics and philosophy of science.

This volume includes contributions by José Tomás Alvarado, Christopher J. Austin, Giacomo Giannini, Jani Hakkarainen, Ludger Jansen, Markku Keinänen, Gyula Klima, James G. Lennox, Stephen Mumford, David S. Oderberg, Michele Paolini Paoletti, Sandeep Prasada, Petter Sandstad, Wolfgang Sattler, Benjamin Schnieder, Matthew Tugby, and Jonas Werner.

Table of Contents

  1. Introducing Formal Causation
  2. Ludger Jansen and Petter Sandstad

    Part I: Scholastic Approaches to Formal Causation

  3. Form, Intention, Information: From Scholastic Logic to Artificial Intelligence
  4. Gyula Klima

  5. Formal Causation: Accidental and Substantial
  6. David S. Oderberg

    Part II: Contemporary Approaches to Formal Causation

  7. A Non-hylomorphic Account of Formal Causation
  8. Petter Sandstad and Ludger Jansen

  9. Formal Causes for Powers Theorists
  10. Giacomo Giannini and Stephen Mumford

  11. Away with Dispositional Essences in Trope Theory
  12. Jani Hakkarainen and Markku Keinänen

  13. Functional Powers
  14. Michele Paolini Paoletti

    Part III: Formal Causation and Dependence

  15. An Aristotelian Approach to Existential Dependence
  16. Benjamin Schnieder and Jonas Werner

  17. Finean Feature Dependence and the Aristotelian Alternative
  18. Wolfgang Sattler

  19. A Problem for Natural-Kind Essentialism and Formal Causes
  20. José Tomás Alvarado and Matthew Tugby

    Part IV: Formal Causation in Biology and Cognitive Sciences

  21. Form as Cause and the Formal Cause: Aristotle’s Answer
  22. James G. Lennox

  23. Form, Cause, and Explanation in Biology: A Neo-Aristotelian Perspective
  24. Christopher J. Austin

  25. Formal Explanation and Mechanisms of Conceptual Representation

          Sandeep Prasada

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Ludger Jansen teaches philosophy at the Centre for Philosophy of Science at the University of Münster and at the University of Rostock, where he was head of the project “Formal Causation in Aristotle and Analytic Metaphysics and Philosophy of Science” funded by the German Research Foundation. He is the author of Gruppen und Institutionen (2017) and Tun und Können (2015); and co-editor with Barry Smith of Biomedizinische Ontologie (2008) and with Christoph Jedan of Philosophische Anthropologie in der Antike (2010).

Petter Sandstad is a doctoral student at the University of Rostock working on Aristotelian formal causation, and was a researcher on the project “Formal Causation in Aristotle and Analytic Metaphysics and Philosophy of Science” funded by the German Research Foundation. He has published papers on Socrates and Aristotle, as well as on contemporary metaphysics.


'This volume collects cutting-edge work on topics of robust current interest in metaphysics, such as essentialism and hylomorphism, under the thematic heading of formal causation. Does formal causation belong in the toolbox of contemporary metaphysics? The volume might well be seen in the years to come as bringing the topic of formal causation to the forefront of discussions of kinds, essences, and hylomorphism.'Phil Corkum, University of Alberta, Canada