Lisa Downing

Efficient causation and volition in Malebranche and Berkeley

In the early modern period, explicit consideration of how causation itself should be understood and characterized is fairly rare, and this despite the fact that questions about the causal structure of the world are being asked with a new urgency and are receiving new answers. Two figures who cannot entirely ignore this question, however, are Nicolas Malebranche and George Berkeley. And this is for an obvious and pressing reason: for both of them it is an important component of their metaphysics that the domain of real causes is severely restricted.