This volume brings together a collection of new essays by leading scholars on the subject of causation in the early modern period, from Descartes to Lady Mary Shepherd. Aimed at researchers, graduate students and advanced undergraduates, the volume advances the understanding of early modern discussions of causation, and situates these discussions in the wider context of early modern philosophy and science. Specifically, the volume contains essays on key early modern thinkers, such as Descartes, Hobbes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Hume, Kant. It also contains essays that examine the important contributions to the causation debate of less widely discussed figures, including Louis la Forge, Thomas Brown and Lady Mary Shepherd.
'Keith Allen and Tom Stoneham's anthology is a very welcome addition to the growing literature on this central topic in the modern period. Unlike its closest predecessor … the work included here goes far beyond the rationalists of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.'
– Walter Ott, Virginia Tech, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews
Selected Contents: Introduction, Keith Allen and Tom Stoneham 1: Galileo: Reflections on Failure, David Wootton 2: Primary and Secondary Causes In Descartes’s Physics, Tad M. Schmaltz 3: Causation and the Cartesian Reduction of Motion: God’s Role in Grinding the Gears, William Eaton and Robert Higgerson 4: Spinoza’s Conatus as an Essence Preserving, Attribute-Neutral Immanent Cause: Toward a New Interpretation of Attributes and Modes, Eric Schliesser 5: Are Mind-Body Relations Natural And Intelligible? Some Early Modern Perspectives, Pauline Phemister 6: Hobbes’s Redefinition Of The Commonwealth, Timothy Stanton 7: Hume, Causal Realism, and Free Will, Peter Millican 8: Pouring New Wine into Old Skin: The Meaning of Hume’s Necessary Connexions, Constantine Sandis 9: Is Causation a Relation? Boris Hennig 10: Kant on Causal Knowledge: Causality, Mechanism and Reflective Judgment, Angela Breitenbach 11: Regularities All The Way Down: Thomas Brown’s Philosophy of Causation, Stathis Psillos 12: Causality and Causal Induction: The Necessitarian Theory of Lady Mary Shepherd, Martha Brandt Bolton