Causation, Intentionality, and the Case for Occasionalism

Walter Ott
2008 Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie  
Despite their influence on later philosophers such as Hume, Malebranche's central arguments for occasionalism remain deeply puzzling. Both the famous 'no necessary connection' argument and what I call the epistemic argument include assumptions -e.g., that a true cause is logically necessarily connected to its effectthat seem unmotivated, even in their context. I argue that a proper understanding of late scholastic views lets us see why Malebranche would make this assumption. Both arguments turn
more » ... Both arguments turn on the claim that a volition is the only candidate for a cause, because only a volition can include an effect as its intentional content.
doi:10.1515/agph.2008.007 fatcat:k6u62jaspjddzlvcgari4psw7y