Locke and the Real Problem of Causation

Locke Studies 15:53-77 (2015)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Discussions of John Locke’s theory of causation tend, understandably, to focus on the related notion of power and in particular the dialectic with David Hume. But Locke faces a very different threat, one that is internal to his view. For he argues both that causation is a relation and that relations are not real. The obvious conclusion is intolerable. And yet the premises, I argue, are unassailable. Building on an interpretation of Locke’s treatment of relations I have developed elsewhere, I show how Locke can at once speak meaningfully of causation and deny its mind-independent existence.

Author's Profile

Walter Ott
University of Virginia


Added to PP

937 (#9,468)

6 months
77 (#21,312)

Historical graph of downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.
How can I increase my downloads?