Journal Article

Leibnizian Causation

Michael J. Futch

in The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science

Published on behalf of British Society for the Philosophy of Science

Volume 56, issue 3, pages 451-467
Published in print September 2005 | ISSN: 0007-0882
Published online July 2005 | e-ISSN: 1464-3537 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjps/axi126
Leibnizian Causation

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This article examines Leibniz's philosophy of causation with the aim of clarifying how causes are related to their effects. I argue that, much like J. L. Mackie's INUS conditions, Leibnizian causes are members of complex causal conditions. More precisely, Leibniz identifies causes with elements of complex causal conditions, where the complex condition as a whole is sufficient for the effect, and the cause is a necessary part of that condition. This conception of causation is able to incorporate Leibniz's many other definitions of ‘cause’, thereby resolving what appear to be internal inconsistencies in his philosophy of science.

Introduction

The ingredients of causation

Causes and conditions

Causes as INUS conditions

Conclusion

Journal Article.  8182 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science ; Science and Mathematics

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