American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly

Volume 90, Issue 2, Spring 2016

Elizabeth Anscombe

John Zeis
Pages 249-262

Anscombe and the Metaphysics of Human Action

In “Causality and Determination,” Anscombe rejects the two received opinions on the nature of causality in the modern philosophical tradition. She rejects the Humean conception of universal generalization based on the constant conjunction in experience of cause and effect, and she also rejects the notion that causality entails a necessary connection between cause and effect. As an alternative, she suggests that the core notion of causality is one of the derivativeness of the effect from the cause. Her consideration of causality ranges generally over all types of causality, but I believe that the most significant implication of her position is in application to the causality of human action. In this paper, I will articulate what I take to be that position.