Ruggero Sciuto, ‘Diderot and d’Holbach on Causal Necessitation’

On Monday, 16 January, Ruggero Sciuto (University of Oxford) will be opening this year’s Besterman Enlightenment Workshop with a talk entitled ‘Diderot and d’Holbach on Causal Necessitation’. The abstract for the talk is as follows:

‘I set out to demonstrate that both Diderot and d’Holbach firmly believed in Causal Necessitation, i.e. in the idea – shared by Aristotle, Aquinas, Hobbes, and Spinoza, among others, – that causes necessarily produce their effects. Alongside the Causal Principle, which states that every event has a cause, Causal Necessitation was a crucial element in ancient and early modern determinism. Analysing these two French Enlightenment writers’ view on Causal Necessitation sheds light on the inner mechanisms of their deterministic theory and offers a new account of their attitude towards Christian thought, from which, as I shall show, Diderot and d’Holbach borrowed more than they would admit.’

The Workshop meets on Mondays in Hilary Term at the Voltaire Foundation (99 Banbury Road) from 5-6.30 p.m. Tea and coffee will be served.

All welcome!

The full programme of seminars for this term be found on the TORCH Enlightenment Programme/Besterman Centre for the Enlightenment website:

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