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Nathanael Stein
Florida State University (Tallahassee, FL 32306-0001)
Causation and Explanation in Aristotle

Research and writing leading to a book on Aristotle’s view on causation and his natural philosophy.

Aristotle’s theory of causation, and why it is important for the study of nature, lies at the origin of a two-thousand-year history of inquiry into these topics. Yet for all the work that has been done, there has been no full-length study of his actual writings on the topic in over a century, in part because of a popular myth about the rise of modern thought and science. Standard approaches to the history of the topic see a radical break between ancient and the modern thinking, and assume that ancient thinkers are working with radically different concepts than our own. This narrative has been shown to be false. We misinterpret ancient thinkers and misunderstand what is distinctive about our own ideas by making these assumptions. This project will establish a better interpretation of Aristotle’s theory of causation and its place in the study of nature. It will then use that interpretation to explore ways in which our thinking on these matters differs, and ways it might be improved.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
History of Philosophy; Metaphysics; Philosophy of Science


Research Programs

$60,000 (approved)
$60,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2020 – 7/31/2021