Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

  • Author: Tad M. Schmaltz

Cartesian plasticity: The curious case of Henricus Regius

Regius was a professor of medicine at the University of Utrecht. He was much taken with the views he had read in the scientific essays accompanying Descartes’s Discours de la méthode (1637), and was one of the first to introduce Descartes’s new mechanistic account of the material world into the Dutch academy.

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Efficient causation: Our debt to Aristotle and Hume

Causation is now commonly supposed to involve a succession that instantiates some lawlike regularity. This understanding of causality has a history that includes various interrelated conceptions of efficient causation that date from ancient Greek philosophy and that extend to discussions of causation in contemporary metaphysics and philosophy of science. Yet the fact that we now often speak only of causation, as opposed to efficient causation, serves to highlight the distance of our thought on this issue from its ancient origins.

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