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Aristotle on How Efficient Causation Works

  • Tyler Huismann EMAIL logo


In this article I argue that, in light of his critique of rival theories of efficient causation, there is a puzzle latent in Aristotle’s own account. According to that critique, efficient causes must explain why their effects come about when they do rather than at some other time, a feature I call temporal contrastiveness. But it is not clear how the various elements of one of Aristotle’s preferred examples of such causation, the activity of experts, can enjoy this feature. Solving the puzzle yields a novel reading of Aristotle, one according to which experts, but not their characteristic arts or skills, are efficient causes.

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Published Online: 2021-06-30
Published in Print: 2022-12-31

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