File spoon-archives/bhaskar.archive/bhaskar_2000/bhaskar.0010, message 62


Subject: BHA: Re: reasons 
Date: Thu, 12 Oct 2000 23:16:01 -0400


Hi Ruth--

> I need to think more about all of this.  The one thing that strikes me is
> how useful Aristotle's typology regarding cause is in sorting out what we
> mean by cause.  I mean, isn't the question between you two whether or not
> final causes can function as efficient causes?

No, I don't think so, since causes of all types (Aristotelean or otherwise)
must have powers and susceptibilities (or generative mechanisms if you
prefer), or else they simply wouldn't be causal in any sense at all.
Whether we think reasons are final causes or efficient causes, if a reason
makes a person act in a certain manner, then the reason has exerted a
certain kind of power in shaping that person's thought.  Moreover, if our
sociology were to exclude final causes, then we would be left with a
thoroughly positivist approach which can do no more than trace the patterns
of individuals' outward behaviors.

---
Tobin Nellhaus
nellhaus-AT-mail.com
"Faith requires us to be materialists without flinching": C.S. Peirce





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