Descartes' Causal principle and the case of body-to-mind Causation 1

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It is a common view that Descartes' causal principle is to be understood in light of a similarity condition that accounts for how finite causes (as opposed, or in addition, to God) contribute to an explanation of their effects. This paper challenges this common view and offers a sui generis reading of Descartes' views on causation that has also the advantage of solving the two exegetical issues of whether Descartes thought of the body-to-mind relation in occasionalist or causal terms and of whether Descartes regarded sensory ideas innate or caused by bodies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)438-459
Number of pages22
JournalCanadian Journal of Philosophy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 4 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy


  • Body-to-Mind Causation
  • Causal Principle
  • Causation
  • Descartes
  • Sensory Ideas
  • Similarity Condition


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