more from Gottfried Leibniz

Single Idea 5059

[catalogued under 26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 3. Final causes]

Full Idea

In all of nature efficient causes correspond to final causes, because everything proceeds from a cause which is not only powerful, but wise; and with the rule of power through efficient causes, there is involved the rule of wisdom through final causes.

Gist of Idea

Power rules in efficient causes, but wisdom rules in connecting them to final causes


Gottfried Leibniz (Metaphysical conseqs of principle of reason [1712], 5)

Book Reference

Leibniz,Gottfried: 'Philosophical Writings', ed/tr. Parkinson,G.H.R. [Dent 1973], p.174

A Reaction

Nowadays this carrot-and-stick view of causation is unfashionable, but I won't rule it out. The deepest 'why?' we can ask won't just go away. This unity by a divine mind strikes me as too simple, but Leibniz is right to try to unify Aristotelian causes.