Single Idea 17254

[catalogued under 26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 8. Particular Causation / c. Conditions of causation]

Full Idea

There can be no effect but from a sufficient and necessary cause.

Gist of Idea

An effect needs a sufficient and necessary cause


Thomas Hobbes (De Corpore (Elements, First Section) [1655], 2.10.02)

Book Reference

Hobbes,Thomas: 'Metaphysical Writings', ed/tr. Calkins,Mary Whiton [Open Court 1905], p.77

A Reaction

To be compared with Mackie's subtler modern account of this matter. If two different separate causes could lead to the same result, it is hard to see how the cause must be 'necessary' (unless you say they lead to different effects).

Related Idea

Idea 8333 A cause is an Insufficient but Necessary part of an Unnecessary but Sufficient condition [Mackie]