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  1. added 2019-02-10
    External Cause of the Universe.Dominik Filipp - manuscript
    The article explains how the primordial singularity can be understood as a cause having brought the Universe into empirical existence. It also addresses the nonempirical nature of such a cause.
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  2. added 2019-02-10
    Essence and Cause: Making Something Be What It Is.Riin Sirkel - 2018 - Discipline Filosofiche 28 (1):89-112.
    Aristotle frequently describes essence as a “cause” or “explanation”, thus ascribing to essence some sort of causal or explanatory role. This explanatory role is often explicated by scholars in terms of essence “making the thing be what it is” or “making it the very thing that it is”. I argue that this is problematic, at least on the assumption that “making” expresses an explanatory relation, since it violates certain formal features of explanation. I then consider whether Aristotle is vulnerable to (...)
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  3. added 2019-02-10
    The Formal Cause in the Posterior Analytics.Petter Sandstad - 2016 - Filozofski Vestnik 37 (3):7-26.
    I argue that Aristotle’s account of scientific demonstrations in the Posterior Analytics is centred upon formal causation, understood as a demonstration in terms of essence (and as innocent of the distinction between form and matter). While Aristotle says that all four causes can be signified by the middle term in a demonstrative syllogism, and he discusses at some length efficient causation, much of Aristotle’s discussion is foremost concerned with the formal cause. Further, I show that Aristotle had very detailed procedures (...)
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  4. added 2019-02-02
    Meaning, Autonomy, Symbolic Causality, and Free Will.Russ Abbott - 2018 - Review of General Psychology 22 (1):85-94.
    As physical entities that translate symbols into physical actions, computers offer insights into the nature of meaning and agency. • Physical symbol systems, generically known as agents, link abstractions to material actions. The meaning of a symbol is defined as the physical actions an agent takes when the symbol is encountered. • An agent has autonomy when it has the power to select actions based on internal decision processes. Autonomy offers a partial escape from constraints imposed by direct physical influences (...)
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  5. added 2019-01-30
    Qual a motivação para se defender uma teoria causal da memória?César Schirmer Dos Santos - 2018 - In Juliano Santos do Carmo & Rogério F. Saucedo Corrêa (eds.), Linguagem e cognição. Pelotas: NEPFil. pp. 63-89.
    Este texto tem como objetivo apresentar a principal motivação filosófica para se defender uma teoria causal da memória, que é explicar como pode um evento que se deu no passado estar relacionado a uma experiência mnêmica que se dá no presente. Para tanto, iniciaremos apresentando a noção de memória de maneira informal e geral, para depois apresentar elementos mais detalhados. Finalizamos apresentando uma teoria causal da memória que se beneficia da noção de veritação (truthmaking).
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  6. added 2019-01-30
    Grounding Is Not Causation.Sara Bernstein - 2016 - Philosophical Perspectives 30 (1):21-38.
    Proponents of grounding often describe the notion as "metaphysical causation" involving determination and production relations similar to causation. This paper argues that the similarities between grounding and causation are merely superficial. I show that there are several sorts of causation that have no analogue in grounding; that the type of "bringing into existence" that both involve is extremely different; and that the synchronicity of ground and the diachronicity of causation make them too different to be explanatorily intertwined.
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  7. added 2019-01-30
    Causation in Medicine.Brendan Clarke - 2012 - In Wenceslao J. Gonzalez (ed.), Conceptual Revolutions: from Cognitive Science to Medicine. Netbiblo.
    In this paper, I offer one example of conceptual change. Specifically, I contend that the discovery that viruses could cause cancer represents an excellent example of branch jumping, one of Thagard’s nine forms of conceptual change. Prior to about 1960, cancer was generally regarded as a degenerative, chronic, non-infectious disease. Cancer causation was therefore usually held to be a gradual process of accumulating cellular damage, caused by relatively non-specific component causes, acting over long periods of time. Viral infections, on the (...)
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  8. added 2019-01-30
    Causation and Melanoma Classification.Brendan Clarke - 2011 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 32 (1):19-32.
    In this article, I begin by giving a brief history of melanoma causation. I then discuss the current manner in which malignant melanoma is classified. In general, these systems of classification do not take account of the manner of tumour causation. Instead, they are based on phenomenological features of the tumour, such as size, spread, and morphology. I go on to suggest that misclassification of melanoma is a major problem in clinical practice. I therefore outline an alternative means of classifying (...)
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  9. added 2019-01-30
    Causality in Mullā Sadrā’s Philosophical Text Al-Ta’Līqât ‘Alâ Sharḥ Ḥikmat Al-Ishrāq.Hossein Ziai - 2003 - In Seyed G. Safavi (ed.), Mulla Sadra & Comparative Philosophy on Causation. London:: Salman-Azadeh Publications. pp. 107-124.
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  10. added 2018-07-15
    A Response to Prelec.Luc Bovens - 2013 - In Adam Oliver (ed.), Essays in Behavioural Public Policy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 228-33.
    At the heart of Drazen Prelec’s chapter is the distinction between outcome utility and diagnostic utility. There is a particular distinction in the literature on causal networks (Pearl 2000), namely the distinction between observing and intervening, that maps onto Prelec’s distinction between diagnostic and outcome utility. I will explore the connection between both frameworks.
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  11. added 2018-06-18
    Causation, Production, and Dependence, or A Model-Invariant Theory of Causation.J. Dmitri Gallow - manuscript
    I provide a theory of causation formulated within the causal modeling framework. This theory is model-invariant in the following sense: if the theory says that C caused (didn't cause) E in a causal model, M, then it will continue to say that C caused (didn't cause) E once we've removed an inessential variable from M. On this theory, we can understand causation as a model-invariant generalization of a relation of causal production. Begin by saying that C produces E iff they (...)
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  12. added 2018-06-01
    Russell and the Temporal Contiguity of Causes and Effects.Graham Clay - 2018 - Erkenntnis 83 (6):1245-1264.
    There are some necessary conditions on causal relations that seem to be so trivial that they do not merit further inquiry. Many philosophers assume that the requirement that there could be no temporal gaps between causes and their effects is such a condition. Bertrand Russell disagrees. In this paper, an in-depth discussion of Russell’s argument against this necessary condition is the centerpiece of an analysis of what is at stake when one accepts or denies that there can be temporal gaps (...)
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  13. added 2018-02-20
    Causes As Difference‐Makers For Processes.Christian Loew - 2019 - 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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  14. added 2017-01-09
    Interventionism Defended.Kevin McCain - 2015 - Logos and Episteme 6 (1):61-73.
    James Woodward’s Making Things Happen presents the most fully developed version of a manipulability theory of causation. Although the ‘interventionist’account of causation that Woodward defends in Making Things Happen has many admirable qualities, Michael Strevens argues that it has a fatal flaw. Strevens maintains that Woodward’s interventionist account of causation renders facts about causation relative to an individual’s perspective. In response to this charge, Woodward claims that although on his account X might be a relativized cause of Y relative to (...)
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  15. added 2016-12-10
    Grounding and the Argument From Explanatoriness.David Kovacs - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (12):2927-2952.
    In recent years, metaphysics has undergone what some describe as a revolution: it has become standard to understand a vast array of questions as questions about grounding, a metaphysical notion of determination. Why should we believe in grounding, though? Supporters of the revolution often gesture at what I call the Argument from Explanatoriness: the notion of grounding is somehow indispensable to a metaphysical type of explanation. I challenge this argument and along the way develop a “reactionary” view, according to which (...)
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  16. added 2016-11-08
    Comparing Apples with Oranges.Robert Northcott - 2005 - Analysis 65 (1):12-18.
    Comparisons of causal efficacy are ubiquitous in the practice of science and indeed everyday life. I focus on just one aspect of this task – one to my knowledge nowhere yet addressed satisfactorily – namely, comparing the efficacies of two causes that work in apparently incommensurable ways. Contrary to common opinion I argue that, to be comparable, it is neither necessary nor sufficient that two causes also be commensurable.
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  17. added 2016-08-17
    Folk Intuitions of Actual Causation: A Two-Pronged Debunking Explanation.David Rose - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (5):1323-1361.
    How do we determine whether some candidate causal factor is an actual cause of some particular outcome? Many philosophers have wanted a view of actual causation which fits with folk intuitions of actual causation and those who wish to depart from folk intuitions of actual causation are often charged with the task of providing a plausible account of just how and where the folk have gone wrong. In this paper, I provide a range of empirical evidence aimed at showing just (...)
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  18. added 2016-03-12
    Is Hume a Causal Realist? A (Partial) Resolution of the 'Two Definitions of Cause Dispute' in Hume's Account of Causation.Stephen John Plecnik - manuscript
    Modern Hume scholarship is still divided into two major camps when it comes to the issue of causation. There are those scholars who interpret Hume as a causal anti-realist, and there are those who interpret him as a causal realist. In my paper, I argue that there is an overwhelming amount of evidence – especially textual evidence – that should lead us to read Hume as being a causal anti-realist. That is to say, one who believes that cause and effect (...)
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  19. added 2016-03-12
    Advice for Eleatics.Sam Cowling - forthcoming - In Chris Daly (ed.), Palgrave Handbook of Philosophical Methods.
    Eleaticism ties ontology to causality by denying the impossibility of causally inert entities. This paper examines some challenges regarding the proper formulation and general plausibility of Eleaticism. After suggesting how Eleatics ought to respond to these challenges, I consider the prospects for extending Eleaticism from ontology to ideology by requiring all primitive ideology to be causal in nature. Surprisingly enough, the resulting view delivers an eternalist and possibilist metaphysical picture in the neighborhood of Lewisian modal realism.
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  20. added 2016-03-12
    Evolution Beyond Determinism - on Dennett's Compatibilism and the Too Timeless Free Will Debate.Maria Brincker - 2015 - Journal of Cognition and Neuroethics 3 (1):39-74.
    Most of the free will debate operates under the assumption that classic determinism and indeterminism are the only metaphysical options available. Through an analysis of Dennett’s view of free will as gradually evolving this article attempts to point to emergentist, interactivist and temporal metaphysical options, which have been left largely unexplored by contemporary theorists. Whereas, Dennett himself holds that “the kind of free will worth wanting” is compatible with classic determinism, I propose that his models of determinism fit poorly with (...)
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  21. added 2016-03-12
    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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  22. added 2016-03-12
    Die Erfahrung der Widerständigkeit der Welt als Wahrnehmung kausaler Kraft.Markus Schrenk - 2014 - In Anne Sophie Spann & Daniel Wehinger (eds.), Vermögen und Handlung. mentis. pp. 23-62.
    Hume glaubte, die Kausalverknüpfung sei eine „secret connection“, also eine Verknüpfung, die mindestens unerkennbar, wenn nicht sogar inexis- tent ist. Einige moderne Gegner Humes halten dem entgegen, dass apos- teriorisch entdeckte, metaphysische Notwendigkeit, wie wir sie bei- spielsweise von Kripke und Putnam kennen, diejenige objektiv-reale Verknüpfung in der Welt ist, die auch die Rolle einer kausalen Verknüp- fung in der Welt spielen kann. Ich hinterfrage diese anti-Hume’sche Identifizierung kausaler mit me- taphysischer Notwendigkeit, zeige aber auch einen anderen Weg auf, kausale (...)
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  23. added 2016-03-12
    No Successfull Infinite Regress.Laureano Luna - 2014 - Logic and Logical Philosophy 23 (2):189-201.
    We model infinite regress structures -not arguments- by means of ungrounded recursively defined functions in order to show that no such structure can perform the task of providing determination to the items composing it, that is, that no determination process containing an infinite regress structure is successful.
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  24. added 2016-03-12
    Ultimate Naturalistic Casual Explanations.Graham Oppy - 2013 - In Ty Goldschmidt (ed.), Why is the something rather than nothing? Routledge. pp. 46-63.
    This paper discusses attempts to explain why there are more than zero instances of the causal relation. In particular, it argues for the conclusion that theism is no better placed than naturalism to provide an "ultimate causal explanation".
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  25. added 2016-03-12
    Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation and Hume's Conception of Causality.Matias Slavov - 2013 - Philosophia Naturalis 50 (2):277-305.
    This article investigates the relationship between Hume’s causal philosophy and Newton ’s philosophy of nature. I claim that Newton ’s experimentalist methodology in gravity research is an important background for understanding Hume’s conception of causality: Hume sees the relation of cause and effect as not being founded on a priori reasoning, similar to the way that Newton criticized non - empirical hypotheses about the properties of gravity. However, according to Hume’s criteria of causal inference, the law of universal gravitation is (...)
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  26. added 2016-03-12
    New Work in Metaphysics of Science.Andreas Hüttemann - 2013 - Metascience 22 (2):275-282.
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  27. added 2016-03-12
    Uncaused Beginnings.Graham Oppy - 2010 - Faith and Philosophy 27 (1):61-71.
    I defend the view that it is possible for reality to have a contingent initial state under the causal relation even though it is impossible for any other (non-overlapping) parts of reality to have no cause. I claim that, while there are good theoretical and commonsense grounds for maintaining that it is simply not possible for non-initial parts of reality to have no cause, these good grounds do not require one to claim that it is impossible that reality has an (...)
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  28. added 2016-03-12
    Fact and Law in the Causal Inquiry.Alex Broadbent - 2009 - Legal Theory 15 (3):173-191.
    This paper takes it as a premise that a distinction between matters of fact and of law is important in the causal inquiry. But it argues that separating factual and legal causation as different elements of liability is not the best way to implement the fact/law distinction. What counts as a cause-in-fact is partly a legal question; and certain liability-limiting doctrines under the umbrella of “legal causation” depend on the application of factual-causal concepts. The contrastive account of factual causation proposed (...)
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  29. added 2016-03-12
    Causation, Laws and Dispositions.Andreas Hüttemann - 2007 - In Max Kistler & Bruno Gnassounou (eds.), Dispositions and Causal Powers. Ashgate.
    In this paper I take a look at what I take to be the best argument for dispositions. According to this argument we need dispositions in order to understand certain features of scientific practice. I point out that these dispositions have to be continuously manifestable. Furthermore I will argue that dispositions are not the causes of their manifestations. However, dispositions and causation are closely connected. What it is to be a cause can best be understood in terms of counterfactuals that (...)
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  30. added 2016-03-12
    Could God Have Made the Big Bang? (On Theistic Counterfactuals).Duncan Macintosh - 1994 - Dialogue 33 (1):3-20.
    Quentin Smith argues that if God exists, He had a duty to ensure life's existence; and He couldn't rationally have done so and made a big bang unless a counter-factual like "If God had made a big bang, there would have been life," was true pre-creation. But such counter-factuals are not true pre-creation. I argue that God could have made a big bang without irrationality; and that He could have ensured life without making big bangs non-random. Further, a proper understanding (...)
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  31. added 2016-03-12
    Conditions.Roger Wertheimer - 1968 - Journal of Philosophy 65 (12):355-364.
    Critique of prevailing textbook conception of sufficient conditions and necessary conditions as a truth functional relation of material implication (p->q)/(~q->~p). Explanation of common sense conception of condition as correlative of consequence, involving dependence. Utility of this conception exhibited in resolving puzzles regarding ontology, truth, and fatalism.
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  32. added 2015-12-30
    The Emergence of Causation.J. Dmitri Gallow - 2015 - Journal of Philosophy 112 (6):281-308.
    Several philosophers have embraced the view that high-level events—events like Zimbabwe's monetary policy and its hyper-inflation—are causally related if their corresponding low-level, fundamental physical events are causally related. I dub the view which denies this without denying that high-level events are ever causally related causal emergentism. Several extant philosophical theories of causality entail causal emergentism, while others are inconsistent with the thesis. I illustrate this with David Lewis's two theories of causation, one of which entails causal emergentism, the other of (...)
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  33. added 2015-11-13
    Partial Explanations in Social Science’.Robert Northcott - 2012 - In Harold Kincaid (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Social Science. Oxford University Press. pp. 130-153.
    Comparing different causes’ importance, and apportioning responsibility between them, requires making good sense of the notion of partial explanation, that is, of degree of explanation. How much is this subjective, how much objective? If the causes in question are probabilistic, how much is the outcome due to them and how much to simple chance? I formulate the notion of degree of causation, or effect size, relating it to influential recent work in the literature on causation. I examine to what extent (...)
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  34. added 2015-09-08
    A Theory of Structural Determination.J. Gallow - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (1):159-186.
    While structural equations modeling is increasingly used in philosophical theorizing about causation, it remains unclear what it takes for a particular structural equations model to be correct. To the extent that this issue has been addressed, the consensus appears to be that it takes a certain family of causal counterfactuals being true. I argue that this account faces difficulties in securing the independent manipulability of the structural determination relations represented in a correct structural equations model. I then offer an alternate (...)
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  35. added 2015-04-27
    The Good, the Bad, and the Timely: How Temporal Order and Moral Judgment Influence Causal Selection.Kevin Reuter, Lara Kirfel, Raphael van Riel & Luca Barlassina - 2014 - Frontiers in Psychology 5:1-10.
    Causal selection is the cognitive process through which one or more elements in a complex causal structure are singled out as actual causes of a certain effect. In this paper, we report on an experiment in which we investigated the role of moral and temporal factors in causal selection. Our results are as follows. First, when presented with a temporal chain in which two human agents perform the same action one after the other, subjects tend to judge the later agent (...)
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  36. added 2014-10-10
    The Talk I Was Supposed to Give….Achille C. Varzi - 2006 - In Andrea Bottani & Richard Davies (eds.), Modes of Existence: Papers in Ontology and Philosophical Logic. Ontos Verlag. pp. 131–152.
    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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  37. 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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  38. added 2014-04-02
    Causation, Norms, and Omissions: A Study of Causal Judgments.Randolph Clarke, Joshua Shepherd, John Stigall, Robyn Repko Waller & Chris Zarpentine - 2015 - Philosophical Psychology 28 (2):279-293.
    Many philosophical theories of causation are egalitarian, rejecting a distinction between causes and mere causal conditions. We sought to determine the extent to which people's causal judgments discriminate, selecting as causes counternormal events—those that violate norms of some kind—while rejecting non-violators. We found significant selectivity of this sort. Moreover, priming that encouraged more egalitarian judgments had little effect on subjects. We also found that omissions are as likely as actions to be judged as causes, and that counternormative selectivity appears to (...)
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  39. added 2014-04-02
    Causation, Norm Violation, and Culpable Control.Alicke Mark, Rose David & Bloom Dori - 2011 - Journal of Philosophy 108 (12):670-696.
    Causation is one of philosophy's most venerable and thoroughly-analyzed concepts. However, the study of how ordinary people make causal judgments is a much more recent addition to the philosophical arsenal. One of the most prominent views of causal explanation, especially in the realm of harmful or potentially harmful behavior, is that unusual or counternormative events are accorded privileged status in ordinary causal explanations. This is a fundamental assumption in psychological theories of counterfactual reasoning, and has been transported to philosophy by (...)
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  40. added 2014-03-27
    Perception, Causal Understanding, and Locality.Christoph Hoerl - 2011 - In Johannes Roessler, Hemdat Lerman & Naomi Eilan (eds.), Perception, Causation, and Objectivity. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 207-228.
    Contemporary philosophical debates about causation are dominated by two approaches, which are often referred to as difference-making and causal process approaches to causation, respectively. I provide a characterization of the dialectic between these two approaches, on which that dialectic turns crucially on the question as to whether our common sense concept of causation involves a commitment to locality – i.e., to the claim that causal relations are always subject to spatial constraints. I then argue that we can extract from existing (...)
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  41. added 2014-03-05
    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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  42. added 2014-02-05
    A Field Guide to Mechanisms: Part II.Holly Andersen - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (4):284-293.
    In this field guide, I distinguish five separate senses with which the term ‘mechanism’ is used in contemporary philosophy of science. Many of these senses have overlapping areas of application but involve distinct philosophical claims and characterize the target mechanisms in relevantly different ways. This field guide will clarify the key features of each sense and introduce some main debates, distinguishing those that transpire within a given sense from those that are best understood as concerning two distinct senses. The ‘new (...)
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  43. 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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  44. added 2012-07-19
    When to Expect Violations of Causal Faithfulness and Why It Matters.Holly Andersen - 2013 - Philosophy of Science (5):672-683.
    I present three reasons why philosophers of science should be more concerned about violations of causal faithfulness (CF). In complex evolved systems, mechanisms for maintaining various equilibrium states are highly likely to violate CF. Even when such systems do not precisely violate CF, they may nevertheless generate precisely the same problems for inferring causal structure from probabilistic relationships in data as do genuine CF-violations. Thus, potential CF-violations are particularly germane to experimental science when we rely on probabilistic information to uncover (...)
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  45. 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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