Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie
Ed. by Horn, Christoph / Serck-Hanssen, Camilla / Carriero, John / Meyer, Susan Sauvé
Editorial Board: Adamson, Peter / Allen, James V. / Bartuschat, Wolfgang / Curley, Edwin M / Emilsson, Eyjólfur Kjalar / Floyd, Juliet / Förster, Eckart / Frede, Dorothea / Friedman, Michael / Garrett, Don / Grasshoff, Gerd / Guyer, Paul / Irwin, Terence / Kahn, Charles H. / Knuuttila, Simo / Koistinen, Olli / Kosch, Michelle / Kraut, Richard / Longuenesse, Béatrice / McCabe, Mary / Pasnau, Robert / Perler, Dominik / Reginster, Bernard / Simmons, Alison / Timmermann, Jens / Trifogli, Cecilia / Weidemann, Hermann / Zöller, Günter
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CiteScore 2017: 0.33
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Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.968
On the Significance of Formal Causes in Spinoza’s Metaphysics
The paper argues for a formal-causal account of Spinoza’s metaphysics. Its basic claim is that neither relations of ideas alone nor efficient causality – especially if interpreted “mechanistically” – articulate the basic sense of the Spinozistic ‘cause’. Instead it is formal causality, as understood by Descartes and other 17th-century mathematicians on the basis of Aristotleʼs Posterior Analytics, which fits best both with the textual evidence and with the more general conceptual constraints of Spinoza’s metaphysics. Building on the work of Carraud and Viljanen, the paper develops a more precise concept of formal causality and a systematic formal-causal account of Spinoza’s metaphysics. It gives this account footing in new arguments, shows its explanatory superiority to rival interpretations and connects it to other Spinozistic doctrines.
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