According to the standard history of philosophy, Descartes ushers in a new era in thought by focusing on epistemology in general and scepticism in particular, and by rejecting whole‐heartedly the philosophical excesses of scholastic thought. He repudiates Aristotle's four causes, maintaining only efficient causation, and rejects the idea that bodies can have real qualities inherent in them. So far, so good. But part of the standard story also claims that there is little logical and philosophical space between Descartes' own account of causation and the doctrine of occasionalism advocated by ‘Cartesians’. In his excellent new book Descartes on Causation, Tad Schmaltz argues that this picture is false on a number of counts. Following many scholars who have sought continuity between late scholasticism and modern philosophy, he sets Descartes' account of causation in the context of late scholastic debates on God and his...

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