Causa sui

Causa sui

"Causa sui" (meaning "cause of itself" in Latin) denotes something, which is generated within itself. This concept was central to the works of Spinoza, Freud, and Ernest Becker, where it relates to the purpose that objects can assign to themselves. In Freud and Becker's case, the concept was often used as an immortality vessel, where something could create meaning or continue to create meaning beyond its own life.

In Phenomenology of Perception, Maurice Merleau-Ponty critiqued Descartes cogito ergo sum by saying it was a causa sui. That is, to be self-conscious one must be conscious of being conscious of something at the moment one becomes conscious of that something. Self-consciousness, therefore, would be a causa sui in the cogito. It must be the cause of itself. [citation| first=Maurice| last=Merleau-Ponty| author-link=Maurice Merleau-Ponty | title=Phenomenology of Perception | publisher=Routledge | year = 2005]

In traditional Western theism, God cannot be created by any other force or being, therefore God is either self-caused ("causa sui") or uncaused.


Baruch Spinoza famously argued this view.

Schopenhauer's reply

Schopenhauer likened Spinoza's argument to one of the legends told of Baron Münchhausen:

ee also

* Causality


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Causa sui — (latin : cause de soi même) dénote quelque chose qui est généré à partir de lui même. Ce concept fut central dans les travaux[Lesquels ?] de Spinoza, Freud et Ernest Becker, où il se réfère à l idée que des objets peuvent se… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Causa sui —         (лат.) причина себя (схо ластич. термин). По Спинозе, субстанция причина самой себя. Философский энциклопедический словарь. М.: Советская энциклопедия. Гл. редакция: Л. Ф. Ильичёв, П. Н. Федосеев, С. М. Ковалёв, В. Г. Панов. 1983 …   Философская энциклопедия

  • Causa sui — Der Begriff Causa sui (lateinisch Causa für Grund, Ursache und sui für sich) bezeichnet in der Philosophie bisweilen die Selbstursache, d. h., wenn etwas Ursache für sein eigenes Sein ist. In der Scholastik wird der Ausdruck causa sui… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • causa sui —    Something is a causa sui if it is a cause of itself.    This is variously applied to God as (1) God s timelessly causing himself to exist, (2) God s simultaneously causing at every moment himself to exist at that moment, and (3) God s causing… …   Christian Philosophy

  • causa sui — /kɔzə ˈsui/ (say kawzuh soohee) noun a philosophical concept of a being which is caused by no other but is the cause of itself or without a cause; often linked to a notion of God. {Latin: cause of itself} …   Australian English dictionary

  • causa sui — (Lat., cause of itself). The (problematic) property possessed only by God, of being His own cause, i.e. independent of any other ground, yet containing within Himself a sufficient explanation of His own being. See also cosmological argument,… …   Philosophy dictionary

  • Causa sui —  (лат. причина самого себя)    философское обозначение Бога как существа, не обусловленного каким либо другим источником или силой …   Вестминстерский словарь теологических терминов

  • causa — (izg. kȁuza) ž DEFINICIJA 1. uzrok, razlog 2. pravn. sudski predmet, spor pred sudom SINTAGMA causa civilis (izg. causa civílis) građanski spor; causa morbi (izg. causa mȍrbi) razlog bolesti (ili oboljenja); causa mortis (izg. causa mȍrtis) uzrok …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • CAUSA —         (лат.) причина, основание. Философский энциклопедический словарь. М.: Советская энциклопедия. Гл. редакция: Л. Ф. Ильичёв, П. Н. Федосеев, С. М. Ковалёв, В. Г. Панов. 1983. CAUSA …   Философская энциклопедия

  • Causa — Problemstellung; Thema; Fragestellung; Aufgabe; Problematik; Angelegenheit; Sache; Problem; Anliegen * * * Cau|sa 〈f.; , sae [ sɛ:]〉 Ursache, Rechtsgrund, Rechtsfall [lat …   Universal-Lexikon

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.