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Jorati, Julia. Leibniz on Causation, Part 1
2015, Philosophy Compass 10 (6):389-397
Added by: Simon Fokt, Contributed by: Julia Jorati

Abstract: Leibniz holds that created substances do not causally interact with each other but that there is causal activity within each such creature. Every created substance constantly changes internally, and each of these changes is caused by the substance itself or by its prior states. Leibniz describes this kind of intra-substance causation both in terms of final causation and in terms of efficient causation. How exactly this works, however, is highly controversial. I will identify what I take to be the major interpretive issues surrounding Leibniz’s views on causation and examine several influential interpretations of these views. In ‘Leibniz on Causation – Part 2’ I will then take a closer look at final causation.

Comment: Can be used for a survey of early modern philosophy or for a more advanced class on the history of theories of causation.

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