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  1. added 2018-07-29
    Horizontal Surgicality and Mechanistic Constitution.Michael Baumgartner, Lorenzo Casini & Beate Krickel - 2018 - Erkenntnis:1-14.
    While ideal interventions are acknowledged by many as valuable tools for the analysis of causation, recent discussions have shown that, since there are no ideal interventions on upper-level phenomena that non-reductively supervene on their underlying mechanisms, interventions cannot—contrary to a popular opinion—ground an informative analysis of constitution. This has led some to abandon the project of analyzing constitution in interventionist terms. By contrast, this paper defines the notion of a horizontally surgical intervention, and argues that, when combined with some innocuous (...)
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  2. added 2018-05-14
    Absence Causation for Causal Dispositionalists.Randolph Clarke - 2018 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 4 (3):323-331.
    Several theories of causation reject causation of or by absences. They thereby clash with much of what we think and say about what causes what. This paper examines a way in which one kind of theory, causal dispositionalism, can be modified so as to accept absence causation, while still retaining a fundamental commitment of dispositionalism. The proposal adopts parts of a strategy described by David Lewis. The paper concludes with a brief discussion of the problem of the proliferation of causes.
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  3. added 2018-02-17
    Causal Argument for the Existence of a Supreme Being.Ray Liikanen - 2017 - Vancouver B.C.: Self-published.
    This work addresses and resolved Kant's first antinomy, and brings metaphysics in line with advances in he science of big bang cosmology, introduces a new philosophical argument for the existence of a Supreme Being, and is presented in three versions, with the first version quoting Kant's most relevant remarks with regard to what he calls a science of metaphysics, and an abbreviated version without any quotes, as well as a one page abstract diagram of the argument.
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  4. added 2018-02-09
    Dispositional Explanations in Dualism.Janko Nesic - 2013 - Filozofija I Društvo 24 (4):218-241.
    In order to defend mental explanations dualists may appeal to dispositions (powers). By accepting a powers theory of causation, a dualist can more plausibly defend mental explanations that are given independently of physical explanations. Accepting a power-based theory still comes with a price. Absences and double preventers are not causes in a powers theory, and solutions based on them can only defend their explanatory relevance in mental explanations. There is still a chance that such mental explanations can be causal explanations, (...)
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  5. added 2017-04-18
    Grounding-Mechanical Explanation.Kelly Trogdon - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (6):1289-1309.
    I argue that there is an important similarity between causation and grounding. In particular I argue that, just as there is a type of scientific explanation that appeals to causal mechanisms—causal-mechanical explanation—there is a type of metaphysical explanation that appeals to grounding mechanisms—grounding-mechanical explanation. The upshot is that the role that grounding mechanisms play in certain metaphysical explanations mirrors the role that causal mechanisms play in certain scientific explanations. In this light, it becomes clear that grounding-mechanical explanations make crucial contributions (...)
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  6. added 2017-02-15
    On the Limits of Causal Modeling: Spatially-Structurally Complex Biological Phenomena.Marie I. Kaiser - 2016 - Philosophy of Science 83 (5):921-933.
    This paper examines the adequacy of causal graph theory as a tool for modeling biological phenomena and formalizing biological explanations. I point out that the causal graph approach reaches it limits when it comes to modeling biological phenomena that involve complex spatial and structural relations. Using a case study from molecular biology, DNA-binding and -recognition of proteins, I argue that causal graph models fail to adequately represent and explain causal phenomena in this field. The inadequacy of these models is due (...)
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  7. added 2015-11-13
    Weighted Explanations in History.Robert Northcott - 2008 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 38 (1):76-96.
    , whereby some causes are deemed more important than others, are ubiquitous in historical studies. Drawing from influential recent work on causation, I develop a definition of causal-explanatory strength. This makes clear exactly which aspects of explanatory weighting are subjective and which objective. It also sheds new light on several traditional issues, showing for instance that: underlying causes need not be more important than proximate ones; several different causes can each be responsible for most of an effect; small causes need (...)
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  8. added 2015-10-19
    The Explanatory Virtue of Abstracting Away From Idiosyncratic and Messy Detail.Christopher Clarke - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (6):1429-1449.
    Some explanations are relatively abstract: they abstract away from the idiosyncratic or messy details of the case in hand. The received wisdom in philosophy is that this is a virtue for any explanation to possess. I argue that the apparent consensus on this point is illusory. When philosophers make this claim, they differ on which of four alternative varieties of abstractness they have in mind. What’s more, for each variety of abstractness there are several alternative reasons to think that the (...)
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  9. added 2015-09-16
    Hume, the New Hume, and Causal Connections.Ken Levy - 2000 - Hume Studies 26 (1):41-75.
    In this article, I weigh in on the debate between "Humeans" and "New Humeans" concerning David Hume's stance on the existence of causal connections in "the objects." According to New Humeans, Hume believes in causal connections; according to Humeans, he does not. -/- My argument against New Humeans is that it is too difficult to reconcile Hume's repeated claims that causal connections are inconceivable with any belief that they these inconceivable somethings still exist. Specifically, Hume either assumes or does not (...)
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  10. added 2014-11-20
    Mancanze, omissioni e descrizioni negative.Achille C. Varzi - 2006 - Rivista di Estetica 32 (2):109-127.
    Assuming that events form a genuine ontological category, shall we say that a good inventory of the world ought to include “negative” events—failures, omissions, things that didn’t happen—along with positive ones? I argue that we shouldn’t. Talk of non-occurring events is like talk of non-existing objects and should not be taken at face value. We often speak as though there were such things, but deep down we want our words to be interpreted in such a way as to avoid serious (...)
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  11. added 2014-11-05
    Spiegazioni, omissioni e resoconti causali.Daniele Santoro - 2014 - In Elena Casetta & Valeria Giardino (eds.), Mettere a fuoco il mondo. © ISONOMIA – Epistemologica, University of Urbino. pp. 72-85.
    In «Mancanze, omissioni, e descrizioni negative»,55 Achille Varzi esplora le conseguenze di una forma comune di ragionamento causale, quella in cui citiamo mancanze od omissioni nel fornire una spiegazione delle cause degli eventi. Tale forma appare di comune uso nei contesti normativi del diritto, nelle spiegazioni tipiche delle scienze sociali e, più in generale, nel ragionamento ordinario. Ciò che accomuna questi casi è l’idea intuitiva secondo cui le cause possono anche consistere in eventi negativi. L’intuizione non è però metafisicamente innocua, (...)
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  12. added 2014-10-09
    Omissions and Causal Explanations.Achille C. Varzi - 2007 - In Francesca Castellani & Josef Quitterer (eds.), Agency and Causation in the Human Sciences. Mentis Verlag. pp. 155–167.
    In previous work I have argued that talk about negative events should not be taken at face value: typically, what we are inclined to think of as a negative event (John’s failure to go jogging) is just an ordinary, positive event (his going to the movie instead); it is a positive event under a negative description. Here I consider more closely the difficulties that arise in those cases where no positive event seems available to do the job, as with putative (...)
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  13. added 2014-09-24
    Addendum to "A Formal Framework for Representing Mechanisms?".Alexander Gebharter - manuscript
    In (Gebharter 2014) I suggested a framework for modeling the hierarchical organization of mechanisms. In this short addendum I want to highlight some connections of my approach to the statistics and machine learning literature and some of its limitations not mentioned in the paper.
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  14. added 2014-07-23
    On an Intrinsic Quantum Theoretical Structure Inside Einstein's Gravity Field Equations.Han Geurdes - manuscript
    As is well known, Einstein was dissatisfied with the foundation of quantum theory and sought to find a basis for it that would have satisfied his need for a causal explanation. In this paper this abandoned idea is investigated. It is found that it is mathematically not dead at all. More in particular: a quantum mechanical U(1) gauge invariant Dirac equation can be derived from Einstein's gravity field equations. We ask ourselves what it means for physics, the history of physics (...)
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  15. added 2014-06-10
    On the Classification of Diseases.Benjamin Smart - 2014 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 35 (4):251-269.
    Identifying the necessary and sufficient conditions for individuating and classifying diseases is a matter of great importance in the fields of law, ethics, epidemiology, and of course, medicine. In this paper, I first propose a means of achieving this goal, ensuring that no two distinct disease-types could correctly be ascribed to the same disease-token. I then posit a metaphysical ontology of diseases—that is, I give an account of what a disease is. This is essential to providing the most effective means (...)
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  16. added 2014-03-14
    Absences and Late Preemption.Oisín Deery - 2013 - Theoria 79 (1):309-325.
    I focus on token, deterministic causal claims as they feature in causal explanations. Adequately handling absences is difficult for most causal theories, including theories of causal explanation. Yet so is adequately handling cases of late preemption. The best account of absence-causal claims as they appear in causal explanations is Jonathan Schaffer's quaternary, contrastive account. Yet Schaffer's account cannot handle preemption. The account that best handles late preemption is James Woodward's interventionist account. Yet Woodward's account is inadequate when it comes to (...)
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  17. added 2014-03-08
    Causal Mechanisms and the Philosophy of Causation.Ruth Groff - manuscript
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  18. added 2013-12-19
    Causal Graphs and Biological Mechanisms.Alexander Gebharter & Marie I. Kaiser - 2014 - In Marie I. Kaiser, Oliver Scholz, Daniel Plenge & Andreas Hüttemann (eds.), Explanation in the special sciences: The case of biology and history. Dordrecht: Springer. pp. 55-86.
    Modeling mechanisms is central to the biological sciences – for purposes of explanation, prediction, extrapolation, and manipulation. A closer look at the philosophical literature reveals that mechanisms are predominantly modeled in a purely qualitative way. That is, mechanistic models are conceived of as representing how certain entities and activities are spatially and temporally organized so that they bring about the behavior of the mechanism in question. Although this adequately characterizes how mechanisms are represented in biology textbooks, contemporary biological research practice (...)
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  19. added 2013-11-23
    Action, Deviance, and Guidance.Ezio Di Nucci - 2013 - Abstracta (2):41-59.
    I argue that we should give up the fight to rescue causal theories of action from fundamental challenges such as the problem of deviant causal chains; and that we should rather pursue an account of action based on the basic intuition that control identifies agency. In Section 1 I introduce causalism about action explanation. In Section 2 I present an alternative, Frankfurt’s idea of guidance. In Section 3 I argue that the problem of deviant causal chains challenges causalism in two (...)
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  20. added 2011-05-24
    Causes of Causes.Alex Broadbent - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 158 (3):457-476.
    When is a cause of a cause of an effect also a cause of that effect? The right answer is either Sometimes or Always . In favour of Always , transitivity is considered by some to be necessary for distinguishing causes from redundant non-causal events. Moreover transitivity may be motivated by an interest in an unselective notion of causation, untroubled by principles of invidious discrimination. And causal relations appear to add up like transitive relations, so that the obtaining of the (...)
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  21. added 2011-05-24
    Defining Neglected Disease.Alex Broadbent - 2011 - Biosocieties 6 (1):51-70.
    In this article I seek to say what it is for something to count as a neglected disease. I argue that neglect should be defined in terms of efforts at prevention, mitigation and cure, and not solely in terms of research dollars per disability-adjusted life-year. I further argue that the trend towards multifactorialism and risk factor thinking in modern epidemiology has lent credibility to the erroneous view that the primary problem with neglected diseases is a lack of research. A more (...)
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  22. added 2010-11-10
    Merely Possible Explanation.Ghislain Guigon - 2011 - Religious Studies 47 (3):359-370.
    Graham Oppy has argued that possible explanation entails explanation in order to object to Richard Gale and Alexander Pruss’s new cosmological argument that it does not improve upon familiar cosmological arguments. Gale and Pruss as well as Pruss individually have granted Oppy’s inference from possible explanation to explanation and argue that this inference provides a reason to believe that the strong principle of sufficient reason is true. In this article, I shall undermine Oppy’s objection to the new cosmological argument by (...)
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  23. added 2009-07-15
    Bringing About and Conjunction: A Reply to Bigelow on Omnificence.Ghislain Guigon - 2009 - Analysis 69 (3):452-458.
    Church and Fitch have argued that from the verificationationist thesis “for every proposition, if this proposition is true, then it is possible to know it” we can derive that for every truth there is someone who knows that truth. Moreover, Humberstone has shown that from the latter proposition we can derive that someone knows every truth, hence that there is an omniscient being. In his article “Omnificence”, John Bigelow adapted these arguments in order to argue that from the assumption "every (...)
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