Modality and Causality in the First Part
of Aquinas’s Third Way
Charles J. Kelly, Le Moyne College
In seiner Tertia Via behauptet Thomas von Aquin, dass einige Dinge, da sie entstehen
und vergehen, möglicherweise existieren und möglicherweise nicht existieren. „Es
ist aber“ fährt er fort
enable an all-encompassing experience. Especially the category of causality and the causal principle connected to it are ascribed such a function. Only an experience that includes knowledge of laws and thus enables explanations may also be referred to as theoretical knowledge in the strict sense. Whether
Final Causation in Spinoza1
Paul Hoffman (†), University of California Riverside
John Carriero has argued that for Spinoza there is no final causality in the Aris-
totelian sense and that the striving of things is merely to be understood in terms of
metaphysical inertia. This paper makes a
-words, deterministic laws cannot contain such expressions.
The will is not a particular cause, but only a dependent moment in the process. Causality
of freedom should be dened by the logical structure of the involved laws. Actions can be
explained, but only ex post.
Als primäre Träger der Eigenschaft, frei zu sein
sake of specific ends, but every active substance (like animals and
elements) does. It is this claim I reconstruct and discuss in this paper. I argue
that it is based on Aquinas’ understanding of causality which is best – or so I
suggest – conceived as a dispositional theory of causation. However
Bennett, J. 1990. Spinoza and Teleology: A Reply to Curley. In: Curley, E./Moreau, P.-F.
(eds.). Spinoza: Issues and Directions. Leiden: Brill, 53–57.
Carriero, J. 2005. Spinoza on Final Causality. In: Garber, D./Nadler, S. (eds.). Oxford Studies
in Early Modern Philosophy, Vol. 2. Oxford: Oxford
Hume. However, it seems
questionable whether Hume really endorsed the (in)conceivability-(im)possibility
link. I maintain that to Hume conceivability is a guide to metaphysical modalities
(section 1). I address two opposite problems for this view, which arise from
Hume’s reasoning about causality
Einstein, Note 1 above; also Louis de Broglie, Physics and Microphysics (New York:
Harper & Row, 1960); Schrödinger, Letters on Wave Mechanics (op. cit.); David Bohm, Causality
and Chance in Modern Physics (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1957); David Bohm and B.J.
Hiley, The Undivided Universe : an
that beliefs have more X because of custom and habit . The effect of
custom consists in the preservation of the repeated order and constant conjunction
of the received perception-pairs in imagination. All of this supports the idea that
Hume includes causality and custom in his definition of belief: A
Form durch Aggregation von kleineren Einzeldingen, und das Produkt solcher Entstehungsprozesse
sind Aggregate. Demgegenüber haben Organismen die Form von Systemen (vgl. KU, 30).
24 Vgl. Allison 1991, 28: „Mechanism in this sense encompasses any mode of causality that operates