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  1. Specificity and Redundant Causation.Henning Strandin - manuscript
    In this paper I present a metaphysically minimalist but theoretically strong version of fact causation, in which the causal relata constitute a full Boolean algebra, mirroring the entailment relation of the sentences that express them. I suggest a generalization of the notion of multiple realizability of causes in terms of specificity of facts, and employ this in an interpretation of what goes on in cases of apparently redundant causation.
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  2. Why Your Causal Intuitions Are Corrupt: Intermediate and Enabling Variables.Christopher Clarke - forthcoming - Erkenntnis.
    When evaluating theories of causation, intuitions should not play a decisive role, not even intuitions in flawlessly-designed thought experiments. Indeed, no coherent theory of causation can respect the typical person’s intuitions in redundancy (pre-emption) thought experiments, without disrespecting their intuitions in threat-and-saviour (switching / short-circuit) thought experiments. I provide a deductively sound argument for these claims. Amazingly, this argument assumes absolutely nothing about the nature of causation. I also provide a second argument, whose conclusion is even stronger: the typical person’s (...)
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  3. The Metaphysics of Creation: Secondary Causality, Modern Science.O. P. James Dominic Rooney - forthcoming - In Eleonore Stump & Thomas Joseph White (eds.), Cambridge Companion to Thomas Aquinas, Second Edition.
    This chapter moves from the most fundamental parts of Aquinas’s metaphysics to Aquinas’s thought about the created world, and especially the way in which things in the created world are able to act as beings in their own right, without altering their dependence on the creator. The result is an account of the causality of creatures that does not impugn their connection to the more basic causality of the Deity and that allows this part of Aquinas’s account to be compatible (...)
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  4. Omissive Overdetermination: Why the Act-Omission Distinction Makes a Difference for Causal Analysis.Yuval Abrams - 2022 - University of Western Australia Law Review 1 (49):57-86.
    Analyses of factual causation face perennial problems, including preemption, overdetermination, and omissions. Arguably, the thorniest, are cases of omissive overdetermination, involving two independent omissions, each sufficient for the harm, and neither, independently, making a difference. A famous example is Saunders, where pedestrian was hit by a driver of a rental car who never pressed on the (unbeknownst to the driver) defective (and, negligently, never inspected) brakes. Causal intuitions in such cases are messy, reflected in disagreement about which omission mattered. What (...)
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  5. Mental Causation, Autonomy and Action Theory.Dwayne Moore - 2022 - Erkenntnis 87 (1):53-73.
    Nonreductive physicalism states that actions have sufficient physical causes and distinct mental causes. Nonreductive physicalism has recently faced the exclusion problem, according to which the single sufficient physical cause excludes the mental causes from causal efficacy. Autonomists respond by stating that while mental-to-physical causation fails, mental-to-mental causation persists. Several recent philosophers establish this autonomy result via similar models of causation :1031–1049, 2016; Zhong, J Philos 111:341–360, 2014). In this paper I argue that both of these autonomist models fail on account (...)
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  6. Causal Exclusion and Ontic Vagueness.Kenneth Silver - 2022 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 100 (1):56-69.
    The Causal Exclusion Problem is raised in many domains, including in the metaphysics of macroscopic objects. If there is a complete explanation of macroscopic effects in terms of the microscopic entities that compose macroscopic objects, then the efficacy of the macroscopic will be threatened with exclusion. I argue that we can avoid the problem if we accept that macroscopic objects are ontically vague. Then, it is indeterminate which collection of microscopic entities compose them, and so information about microscopic entities is (...)
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  7. Relativizing Proportionality to a Domain of Events.Caroline Torpe Touborg - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-20.
    A cause is proportional to its effect when, roughly speaking, it is at the right level of detail. There is a lively debate about whether proportionality is a necessary condition for causation. One of the main arguments against a proportionality constraint on causation is that many ordinary and seemingly perfectly acceptable causal claims cite causes that are not proportional to their effects. In this paper, I suggest that proponents of a proportionality constraint can respond to this objection by developing an (...)
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  8. Actual Causation.Enno Fischer - 2021 - Dissertation, Leibniz Universität Hannover
    In this dissertation I develop a pluralist theory of actual causation. I argue that we need to distinguish between total, path-changing, and contributing actual causation. The pluralist theory accounts for a set of example cases that have raised problems for extant unified theories and it is supported by considerations about the various functions of causal concepts. The dissertation also analyses the context-sensitivity of actual causation. I show that principled accounts of causal reasoning in legal inquiry face limitations and I argue (...)
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  9. Why All Classical Theists Should Believe in Physical Premotions, but It Doesn’T Really Matter.James Dominic Rooney - 2020 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 88 (2):139-166.
    “Physical premotion” is a concept associated with Baroque Catholic theological debates concerning grace and freedom. In this paper, I present an argument that the entities identified in this debate, physical premotions, are necessary for any classical theist’s account of divine causality. A “classical theist” is a theist who holds both that God is simple, that is, without inhering properties, and that humans and God are both free in the incompatibilist sense. In fact, not only does the acceptance of physical premotions (...)
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  10. Aristotle's Ontology of Change.Mark Sentesy - 2020 - Chicago, IL, USA: Northwestern University Press.
    This book investigates what change is, according to Aristotle, and how it affects his conception of being. Mark Sentesy argues that change leads Aristotle to develop first-order metaphysical concepts such as matter, potency, actuality, sources of being, and the teleology of emerging things. He shows that Aristotle’s distinctive ontological claim—that being is inescapably diverse in kind—is anchored in his argument for the existence of change. -/- Aristotle may be the only thinker to have given a noncircular definition of change. When (...)
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  11. Another Cartoon Portrait of the Mind From the Reductionist Metaphysicians--A Review of Peter Carruthers ‘The Opacity of Mind’ (2011) (Review Revised 2019).Michael Starks - 2019 - In Suicidal Utopian Delusions in the 21st Century -- Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization -- Articles and Reviews 2006-2019 4th Edition Michael Starks. Las Vegas, NV USA: Reality Press. pp. 236-264.
    Materialism, reductionism, behaviorism, functionalism, dynamic systems theory and computationalism are popular views, but they were shown by Wittgenstein to be incoherent. The study of behavior encompasses all of human life, but behavior is largely automatic and unconscious and even the conscious part, mostly expressed in language (which Wittgenstein equates with the mind), is not perspicuous, so it is critical to have a framework which Searle calls the Logical Structure of Rationality (LSR) and I call the Descriptive Psychology of Higher Order (...)
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  12. Why Making No Difference Makes No Moral Difference.Christine Tiefensee - 2019 - In Karl Maker, Annette Schmitt & Jürgen Sirsch (eds.), Demokratie und Entscheidung. Beiträge zur Analytischen Politischen Theorie. Wiesbaden: Springer. pp. 231-244.
    Ascribing moral responsibility in collective action cases is notoriously difficult. After all, if my individual actions make no difference with regard to the prevention of climate change, the alleviation of poverty, or the outcome of national elections, why ought I to stop driving, donate money, or cast my vote? Neither consequentialist nor non-consequentialist moral theories have straightforward responses ready at hand. In this contribution, I present a new suggestion which, based on thoughts about causal overdetermination along the lines of Mackie’s (...)
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  13. Kim on Causation and Mental Causation.Panu Raatikainen - 2018 - E-Logos Electronic Journal for Philosophy 25 (2):22–47.
    Jaegwon Kim’s views on mental causation and the exclusion argument are evaluated systematically. Particular attention is paid to different theories of causation. It is argued that the exclusion argument and its premises do not cohere well with any systematic view of causation.
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  14. Overdetermination Underdetermined.Sara Bernstein - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (1):17-40.
    Widespread causal overdetermination is often levied as an objection to nonreductive theories of minds and objects. In response, nonreductive metaphysicians have argued that the type of overdetermination generated by their theories is different from the sorts of coincidental cases involving multiple rock-throwers, and thus not problematic. This paper pushes back. I argue that attention to differences between types of overdetermination discharges very few explanatory burdens, and that overdetermination is a bigger problem for the nonreductive metaphysician than previously thought.
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  15. A Closer Look at Trumping.Sara Bernstein - 2015 - Acta Analytica 30 (1):1-22.
    This paper argues that so-called “trumping preemption” is in fact overdetermination or early preemption, and is thus not a distinctive form of redundant causation. I draw a novel lesson from cases thought to be trumping: that the boundary between preemption and overdetermination should be reconsidered.
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  16. Causal Overdetermination and Kim’s Exclusion Argument.Michael Roche - 2014 - Philosophia 42 (3):809-826.
    Jaegwon Kim’s influential exclusion argument attempts to demonstrate the inconsistency of nonreductive materialism in the philosophy of mind. Kim’s argument begins by showing that the three main theses of nonreductive materialism, plus two additional considerations, lead to a specific and familiar picture of mental causation. The exclusion argument can succeed only if, as Kim claims, this picture is not one of genuine causal overdetermination. Accordingly, one can resist Kim’s conclusion by denying this claim, maintaining instead that the effects of the (...)
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  17. Introduction to Special Issue on 'Actual Causation'.Michael Baumgartner & Luke Glynn - 2013 - Erkenntnis 78 (1):1-8.
    An actual cause of some token effect is itself a token event that helped to bring about that effect. The notion of an actual cause is different from that of a potential cause – for example a pre-empted backup – which had the capacity to bring about the effect, but which wasn't in fact operative on the occasion in question. Sometimes actual causes are also distinguished from mere background conditions: as when we judge that the struck match was a cause (...)
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  18. Overdetermination in Intuitive Causal Decision Theory.Esteban Céspedes - 2013 - In Miguel Hoeltje, Thomas Spitzley & Wolfgang Spohn (eds.), Was dürfen wir glauben? Was sollen wir tun? Sektionsbeiträge des achten internationalen Kongresses der Gesellschaft für Analytische Philosophie e.V.
    Causal decision theory defines a rational action as the one that tends to cause the best outcomes. If we adopt counterfactual or probabilistic theories of causation, then we may face problems in overdetermination cases. Do such problems affect Causal decision theory? The aim of this work is to show that the concept of causation that has been fundamental in all versions of causal decision theory is not the most intuitive one. Since overdetermination poses problems for a counterfactual theory of causation, (...)
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  19. Emerging From the Causal Drain.Richard Corry - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (1):29-47.
    For over 20 years, Jaegwon Kim’s Causal Exclusion Argument has stood as the major hurdle for non-reductive physicalism. If successful, Kim’s argument would show that the high-level properties posited by non-reductive physicalists must either be identical with lower-level physical properties, or else must be causally inert. The most prominent objection to the Causal Exclusion Argument—the so-called Overdetermination Objection—points out that there are some notions of causation that are left untouched by the argument. If causation is simply counterfactual dependence, for example, (...)
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  20. Of Miracles and Interventions.Luke Glynn - 2013 - Erkenntnis 78 (1):43-64.
    In Making Things Happen, James Woodward influentially combines a causal modeling analysis of actual causation with an interventionist semantics for the counterfactuals encoded in causal models. This leads to circularities, since interventions are defined in terms of both actual causation and interventionist counterfactuals. Circularity can be avoided by instead combining a causal modeling analysis with a semantics along the lines of that given by David Lewis, on which counterfactuals are to be evaluated with respect to worlds in which their antecedents (...)
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  21. Making Causal Counterfactuals More Singular, and More Appropriate for Use in Law.Geert Keil - 2013 - In Benedikt Kahmen Markus Stepanians (ed.), Causation and Responsibility: Critical Essays. De Gruyter. pp. 157-189.
    Unlike any other monograph on legal liability, Michael S. Moore’s book CAUSATION AND RESPONSIBILITY contains a well-informed and in-depth discussion of the metaphysics of causation. Moore does not share the widespread view that legal scholars should not enter into metaphysical debates about causation. He shows respect for the subtleties of philosophical debates on causal relata, identity conditions for events, the ontological distinctions between events, states of affairs, facts and tropes, and the counterfactual analysis of event causation, and he considers all (...)
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  22. Counterfactuals, Overdetermination and Mental Causation.Simona Aimar - 2011 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 111 (3pt3):469-477.
    The Exclusion Problem for mental causation suggests that there is a tension between the claim that the mental causes physical effects, and the claim that the mental does not overdetermine its physical effects. In response, Karen Bennett puts forward an extra necessary condition for overdetermination : if one candidate cause were to occur but the other were not to occur, the effect would still occur. She thus denies one of the assumptions of EP, the assumption that if an effect has (...)
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  23. Can Determinable Properties Earn Their Keep?Robert Schroer - 2011 - Synthese 183 (2):229-247.
    Sydney Shoemaker's "Subset Account" offers a new take on determinable properties and the realization relation as well as a defense of non-reductive physicalism from the problem of mental causation. At the heart of this account are the claims that (1) mental properties are determinable properties and (2) the causal powers that individuate a determinable property are a proper subset of the causal powers that individuate the determinates of that property. The second claim, however, has led to the accusation that the (...)
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  24. The Microstructure View of the Brain-Consciousness Relation.Michael Schmitz - 2008 - In Sven Walter & Helene Bohse (eds.), Selected Contributions to GAP. 6, Sixth International Conference of the Society for Analytical Philosophy. Berlin:
    How can consciousness, how can the mind be causally efficacious in a world which seems—in some sense—to be thoroughly governed by physical causality? Mental causation has been a nagging problem in philosophy since the beginning of the modern age, when, inspired by the rise of physics, a metaphysical picture became dominant according to which the manifest macrophysical world of rocks, trees, colors, sounds etc. could be eliminated in favor of, or identified with, the microconstituents of these entities and their basic (...)
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  25. The Supervenience Argument.Juhani Yli-Vakkuri & Ausonio Marras - 2008 - In S. Gozzano & F. Oralia (eds.), Universals, Tropes and the Philosophy of Mind. Ontos Verlag. pp. 101-132.
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  26. How Effects Depend on Their Causes, Why Causal Transitivity Fails, and Why We Care About Causation.Gunnar Björnsson - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 133 (3):349-390.
    Despite recent efforts to improve on counterfactual theories of causation, failures to explain how effects depend on their causes are still manifest in a variety of cases. In particular, theories that do a decent job explaining cases of causal preemption have problems accounting for cases of causal intransitivity. Moreover, the increasing complexity of the counterfactual accounts makes it difficult to see why the concept of causation would be such a central part of our cognition. In this paper, I propose an (...)
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  27. Beyond Program Explanation.Cynthia Macdonald & Graham Macdonald - 2006 - In Geoffrey Brennan, Robert E. Goodin & Michael A. Smith (eds.), Common Minds: Essays in Honour of Philip Pettit. Oxford University Press. pp. 1--27.
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  28. Causal Exclusion and Overdetermination.Markus E. Schlosser - 2006 - In E. Di Nucci & J. McHugh (eds.), Content, Consciousness and Perception. Cambridge Scholars Press.
    This paper is about the causal exclusion argument against non-reductive physicalism. Many philosophers think that this argument poses a serious problem for non-reductive theories of the mind — some think that it is decisive against them. In the first part I will outline non-reductive physicalism and the exclusion argument. Then I will distinguish between three versions of the argument that address three different versions of non-reductive physicalism. According to the first, the relation between mental and physical events is token-identity. According (...)
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  29. On Causal Relevance: A Reply to Sullivan.Paul Raymont - 2004 - Dialogue 43 (2):367-376.
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  30. Some Evidence for Physicalism.Andrew Melnyk - 2003 - In Sven Walter & Heinz-Dieter Heckmann (eds.), Physicalism and Mental Causation. Imprint Academic. pp. 155-172.
    This paper presents an irreducibly inductive argument for physicalism based on the causal closure of the physical (for which it argues), and defends it against various detractors.
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  31. Reply to Child.Tim Crane - 1997 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 97 (1):103-108.
    In ‘The Mental Causation Debate’ (1995), I pointed out the parallel between the premises in some traditional arguments for physicalism and the assumptions which give rise to the problem of mental causation. I argued that the dominant contemporary version of physicalism finds mental causation problematic because it accepts the main premises of the traditional arguments, but rejects their conclusion: the identification of mental with physical causes. Moreover, the orthodox way of responding to this problem (which I call the ‘constitution view’) (...)
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