James Hutton
University of Edinburgh
In the Second Analogy, Kant argues that every event has a cause. It remains disputed what this conclusion amounts to. Does Kant argue only for the Weak Causal Principle that every event has some cause, or for the Strong Causal Principle that every event is produced according to a universal causal law? Existing interpretations have assumed that, by Kant’s lights, there is a substantive difference between the two. I argue that this is false. Kant holds that the concept of cause contains the notion of lawful connection, so it is analytic that causes operate according to universal laws. He is explicit about this commitment, not least in his derivation of the Categorical Imperative in Groundwork III. Consequently, Kant’s move from causal rules to universal laws is much simpler than previously assumed. Given his commitments, establishing the Strong Causal Principle requires no more argument than establishing the Weak Causal Principle.
Keywords Kant  causation  laws  laws of nature  Second Analogy  categories
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DOI 10.1016/j.shpsa.2021.01.003
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Kant on the Necessity of Causal Relations.Toni Kannisto - 2017 - Kant-Studien 108 (4):495-516.
Epistemic Normativity in Kant's “Second Analogy”.James Hutton - 2019 - European Journal of Philosophy 27 (3):593-609.
Two Views on Nature: A Solution to Kant's Antinomy of Mechanism and Teleology.Angela Breitenbach - 2008 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 16 (2):351 – 369.

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