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.

chapter |12 pages


ByKeith Allen, Tom Stoneham

chapter |18 pages


Reflections on Failure
ByDavid Wootton

chapter |17 pages

Primary and Secondary Causes in Descartes' Physics

ByTad M. Schmaltz

chapter |17 pages

Causation and the Cartesian Reduction of Motion

God's Role in Grinding the Gears
ByWilliam Eaton, Robert Higgerson

chapter |22 pages

Spinoza's Conatus as an Essence-Preserving, Attribute-Neutral Immanent Cause

Toward a New Interpretation of Attributes and Modes
ByEric Schliesser, José Benardete, Kris McDaniel

chapter |17 pages

Are Mind-Body Relations Natural and Intelligible?

Some Early Modern Perspectives
ByPauline Phemister

chapter |19 pages

Hobbes's Redefinition of the Commonwealth

ByTimothy Stanton

chapter |43 pages

Hume, Causal Realism, and Free Will

ByPeter Millican

chapter |22 pages

Pouring New Wine into Old Skin

The Meaning of Hume's Necessary Connexions
ByConstantine Sandis

chapter |13 pages

Is Causation a Relation?

ByBoris Hennig

chapter |19 pages

Kant on Causal Knowledge

Causality, Mechanism, and Reflective Judgment
ByAngela Breitenbach

chapter |22 pages

Regularities All the Way Down

Thomas Brown's Philosophy of Causation
ByStathis Psillos

chapter |20 pages

Causality and Causal Induction

The Necessitarian Theory of Lady Mary Shepherd
ByMartha Brandt Bolton