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  1. Events and their counterparts.Neil McDonnell - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (5):1291-1308.
    This paper argues that a counterpart-theoretic treatment of events, combined with a counterfactual theory of causation, can help resolve three puzzles from the causation literature. First, CCT traces the apparent contextual shifts in our causal attributions to shifts in the counterpart relation which obtains in those contexts. Second, being sensitive to shifts in the counterpart relation can help diagnose what goes wrong in certain prominent examples where the transitivity of causation appears to fail. Third, CCT can help us resurrect the (...)
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  2. Turning Negative Causation Back to Positive.Peter Fazekas & George Kampis - manuscript
    In contemporary literature, the fact that there is negative causation is the primary motivation for rejecting the physical connection view, and arguing for alternative accounts of causation. In this paper we insist that such a conclusion is too fast. We present two frameworks, which help the proponent of the physical connection view to resist the anti-connectionist conclusion. According to the first framework, there are positive causal claims, which co-refer with at least some negative causal claims. According to the second framework, (...)
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  3. Actual Causation and the Challenge of Purpose.Enno Fischer - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-21.
    This paper explores the prospects of employing a functional approach in order to improve our concept of actual causation. Claims of actual causation play an important role for a variety of purposes. In particular, they are relevant for identifying suitable targets for intervention, and they are relevant for our practices of ascribing responsibility. I argue that this gives rise to the challenge of purpose. The challenge of purpose arises when different goals demand adjustments of the concept that pull in opposing (...)
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  4. Broken brakes and dreaming drivers: the heuristic value of causal models in the law.Enno Fischer - 2024 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 14 (1):1-20.
    Recently, there has been an increased interest in employing model-based definitions of actual causation in legal inquiry. The formal precision of such approaches promises to be an improvement over more traditional approaches. Yet model-based approaches are viable only if suitable models of legal cases can be provided, and providing such models is sometimes difficult. I argue that causal-model-based definitions benefit legal inquiry in an indirect way. They make explicit the causal assumptions that need to be made plausible to defend a (...)
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  5. Why Your Causal Intuitions are Corrupt: Intermediate and Enabling Variables.Christopher Clarke - 2023 - Erkenntnis 89 (3):1065-1093.
    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 causal intuitions (...)
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  6. 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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  7. How to Trace a Causal Process.J. Dmitri Gallow - 2022 - Philosophical Perspectives 36 (1):95-117.
    According to the theory developed here, we may trace out the processes emanating from a cause in such a way that any consequence lying along one of these processes counts as an effect of the cause. This theory gives intuitive verdicts in a diverse range of problem cases from the literature. Its claims about causation will never be retracted when we include additional variables in our model. And it validates some plausible principles about causation, including Sartorio's ‘Causes as Difference Makers’ (...)
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  8. 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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  9. 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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  10. Cause and burn.David Rose, Eric Sievers & Shaun Nichols - 2021 - Cognition 207 (104517):104517.
    Many philosophers maintain that causation is to be explicated in terms of a kind of dependence between cause and effect. These “dependence” theories are opposed by “production” accounts which hold that there is some more fundamental causal “oomph”. A wide range of experimental research on everyday causal judgments seems to indicate that ordinary people operate primarily with a dependence-based notion of causation. For example, people tend to say that absences and double preventers are causes. We argue that the impression that (...)
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  11. Causes As Difference‐Makers For Processes.Christian Loew - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 98 (1):89-106.
    It is natural to think of causes as difference-makers. What exact difference causes make, however, is an open question. In this paper, I argue that the right way of understanding difference-making is in terms of causal processes: causes make a difference to a causal process that leads to the effect. I will show that this way of understanding difference-making nicely captures the distinction between causing an outcome and helping determine how the outcome happens and, thus, explains why causation is not (...)
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  12. 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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  13. 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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  14. 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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