Kant’s Theory of Causation and Its Eighteenth-Century German Background

Andrew Chignell, Derk Pereboom

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4 Scopus citations


This essay highlights the important contributions Watkins's books have made to our understanding of theories about causation developed in eighteenth-century German philosophy and by Kant in particular. Watkins provides a convincing argument that central to Kant's theory of causation is the notion of a real ground or causal power that is non-Humean (since it doesn't reduce to regularities or counterfactual dependencies among events or states) and non-Leibnizean because it doesn't reduce to logical or conceptual relations. However, we raise questions about Watkins's more specific claims that Kant completely rejects a model on which the first relatum of a phenomenal causal relation is an event and that he maintains that real grounds are metaphysically and not just epistemically indeterminate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)565-591
Number of pages27
JournalThe Philosophical Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy


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