Hattab H. Descartes on Forms and Mechanisms. 2009.
Hattab H. Descartes on Forms and Mechanisms. - Cambridge University Press, 2009. - 236 p.
The modern view of causation can be traced back to the mechanistic science of Descartes, whose rejection of Aristotelian physics, with its concept of substantial forms, in favor of mechanical explanations was a turning-point in the history of philosophy. However the reasoning which led Descartes and other early moderns in this direction is not well understood. This book traces Descartes' groundbreaking theory of scientific explanation back to the mathematical demonstrations of Aristotelian mechanics and interprets these advances in light of the available arguments for and against substantial forms. It also examines how Descartes' new theory led him to develop a metaphysical foundation for his science that could avoid skeptical objections. It will appeal to a wide range of readers interested in the philosophy and science of the early modern period.
IntroductionResurrecting the Substantial Form
Descartes' arguments against the substantial form.
Aquinas' introduction of the substantial form.
Suarez's defense of the substantial form.Challenging the Substantial Form
Sanchez's skeptical humanist attack.
The mechanical alternative to substantial forms.
Cartesian science and the principles of mechanics.Eliminating Substantial Forms
Atoms, modes and other heresies.
Descartes' metaphysical alternative to substantial forms.