Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement


Causality and derivativeness

Stephen Makin

This paper is a reflection on some of Elizabeth Anscombe's influential work on causation, in particular on some comments in her Inaugural Lecture at Cambridge, published as ‘Causality and Determination’. One of Anscombe's major concerns in that paper is the relation between causation and necessitation, and she critically discusses the cast of mind which links causality with some kind of necessary connection or with exceptionless generalisation. In place of a semi-technical analysis of causation, Anscombe identifies the obvious and yet little considered core of the causal relation as follows:

Stephen Makin took his PhD. at Cambridge with Elizabeth Anscombe, and teaches at Sheffield University. He is author of Indifference Arguments, and has published papers on Aristotelian metaphysics, Aquinas, method in ancient philosophy, and modality. He is currently completing a volume on Aristotle's Metaphysics Theta for the Clarendon Aristotle series.