Article ID: CBB963884018

Johann Christoph Sturm's Natural Philosophy: Passive Forms, Occasionalism, and Scientific Explanations (2020)


This paper presents the first systematic investigation into Johann Christoph Sturm's natural philosophy and his account of causation and scientific explanations. While Sturm maintains that God is the only true cause of natural effects, he also claims that the specificity of natural effects must be empirically investigated by inquiring into natural forms. Forms, however, do not have any active role in the causal process that brings the phenomenon about, but they only account for its specific features. To articulate this view, Sturm engages with a number of crucial topics discussed by seventeenth-century authors, such as the rejection of scholastic substantial forms and the occasionalist claim that only God is the true efficacious cause of natural effects. Sturm's account departs significantly from other currently available early modern positions and offers a still largely overlooked perspective to investigate the seventeenth-century debate on causation.

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Authors & Contributors
Osler, Margaret J.
Ducheyne, Steffen
Sangiacomo, Andrea
Rosengren, Cecilia
Wardhaugh, Benjamin
Sakamoto, Kuni
British Journal for the History of Philosophy
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
Isis: International Review Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
Osiris: A Research Journal Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
Journal of the History of Ideas
Oxford University Press
Universiteit Gent (Belgium)
Natural philosophy
Mechanism; mechanical philosophy
Philosophy of science
Newton, Isaac
Boyle, Robert
Gassendi, Pierre
Descartes, René
Conway, Anne
Kepler, Johannes
Great Britain
17th century
18th century
16th century
Early modern

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