Causation, Language, and the Kabbalah

  • Allison P. Coudert
Part of the International Archives of the History of Ideas / Archives Internationales d’Histoire des Idées book series (ARCH, volume 142)


In an extremely interesting and insightful article Lois Frankel points out that it is difficult for the modern reader to comprehend Leibniz’s concept of causation because we use different models which ultimately derive from Hume. We reject metaphysical, non-mechanical causal connections and tend to define causal relations in non-causal terms. As Frankel says, “the contem­porary theorists seek formulas to determine when causation obtains, not an understanding of what causation is.”370 Where we tend to think of causation in terms of a relation between events, philosophers in earlier centuries viewed causation in the much broader terms of the qualities, essences, and powers of substances acting upon each other on different levels of ontological reality. Thus, for Leibniz, God acts in one way, monads in another, and physical bod­ies in still another way. Yet, as Frankel points out, all these different forms of interaction are analogous, a point we will come back to.


Ontological Reality Creative Power Divine Attribute Hebrew Letter Hebrew Alphabet 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Allison P. Coudert
    • 1
  1. 1.Arizona State UniversityArizonaUSA

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