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Organon F

Volume 26, February 2019, Issue 1, Pages 40–61

ISSN 2585-7150 (online) ISSN 1335-0668 (print)

Research Article | Special issue on Causality, Free Will, and Divine Action

The Principle of the Causal Openness of the Physical

Daniel von Wachter



The argument from causal closure for physicalism requires the principle that a physical event can only occur through being necessitated by antecedent physical events. This article proposes a view of the causal structure of the world that claims not only that an event need not be necessitated by antecedent events, but that an event cannot be necessitated by antecedent events. All events are open to counteraction. In order to spell out various kinds of counteraction I introduce the idea of ‘directedness.’


Causal closure; determinism; free will; miracles.

Author(s) and affiliation(s)


Daniel von Wachter


International Academy of Philosophy in the Principality of Liechtenstein


International Academy of Philosophy in the Principality of Liechtenstein, Fürst-Franz-Josef-Str. 19, FL-9493 Mauren, Liechtenstein



About this article


16 July 2018


3 December 2018

Published online

22 January 2019


Institute of Philosophy of the Slovak Academy of Sciences

Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences

Cite as


Wachter, D. von (2019). The Principle of the Causal Openness of the Physical. Organon F, 26(1), 40–61. https://doi.org/10.31577/orgf.2019.26104


Wachter, Daniel von. 2019. "The Principle of the Causal Openness of the Physical." Organon F 26 (1): 40–61. https://doi.org/10.31577/orgf.2019.26104


Wachter, D. von (2019). The Principle of the Causal Openness of the Physical. Organon F, 26(1), pp. 40–61. https://doi.org/10.31577/orgf.2019.26104

Copyright information

© Daniel von Wachter

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