(2,362 words)

1. Definition

The question of what is meant when something is referred to as the cause “cause” (Lat. causa) of something else, and to what this might correspond in the things themselves, was studied already by the philosophers of Antiquity. For early modern discussion the predominant theories of causality employed the Aristotelian theory of four causes: causa…

Cite this page
Smith, Kurt, “Causality”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 15 December 2018 <>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160907

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