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22 found
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  1. Essential Structure for Causal Models.Jennifer McDonald - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
    This paper introduces and defends a new principle for when a structural equation model is apt for analyzing actual causation. Any such analysis in terms of these models has two components: a recipe for reading claims of actual causation off an apt model, and an articulation of what makes a model apt. The primary focus in the literature has been on the first component. But the problem of structural isomorphs has made the second especially pressing (Hall 2007; Hitchcock 2007a). Those (...)
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  2. 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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  3. Emergent Mental Properties are Not Just Double-Preventers.Andrei A. Buckareff & Jessica Hawkins - 2023 - Synthese 202 (2):1-22.
    We examine Sophie Gibb’s emergent property-dualist theory of mental causation as double-prevention. Her account builds on a commitment to a version of causal realism based on a powers metaphysic. We consider three objections to her account. We show, by drawing out the implications of the ontological commitments of Gibb’s theory of mental causation, that the first two objections fail. But, we argue, owing to worries about cases where there is no double-preventive role to be played by mental properties, her account, (...)
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  4. The categories of causation.John Schwenkler - 2023 - Synthese 203 (1):1-35.
    This paper is an essay in what Austin (_Proc Aristotel Soc_ 57: 1–30, 1956–1957) called "linguistic phenomenology". Its focus is on showing how the grammatical features of ordinary causal verbs, as revealed in the kinds of linguistic constructions they can figure in, can shed light on the nature of the processes that these verbs are used to describe. Specifically, drawing on the comprehensive classification of English verbs founds in Levin (_English verb classes and alternations: a preliminary investigation_, University of Chicago (...)
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  5. Two-Way Powers as Derivative Powers.Andrei A. Buckareff - 2022 - In Michael Brent (ed.), Mental Action and the Conscious Mind. New York: Routledge. pp. 228-254.
    Some philosophers working on the metaphysics of agency argue that if agency is understood in terms of settling the truth of some matters, then the power required for the exercise of intentional agency is an irreducible two-way power to either make it true that p or not-p. In this paper, the focus is on two-way powers in decision-making. Two problems are raised for theories of decision-making that are ontologically committed to irreducible two-way powers. First, recent accounts lack an adequate framework (...)
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  6. Actual Causation: Apt Causal Models and Causal Relativism.Jennifer McDonald - 2022 - Dissertation, The Graduate Center, Cuny
    This dissertation begins by addressing the question of when a causal model is apt for deciding questions of actual causation with respect to some target situation. I first provide relevant background about causal models, explain what makes them promising as a tool for analyzing actual causation, and motivate the need for a theory of aptness as part of such an analysis (Chapter 1). I then define what it is for a model on a given interpretation to be accurate of, that (...)
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  7. Trope Mental Causation: Still Not Qua Mental.Wenjun Zhang - 2022 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 8.
    A popular solution to the causal exclusion problem in the non-reductive physicalist camp is the trope identity solution. But this solution is haunted by the “quausation problem” which charges that the trope only confers causal powers qua physical, not qua mental. Although proponents of the trope solution have responded to the problem by denying the existence of properties of tropes, I do not find their reply satisfactory. Rather, I believe they have missed the core presupposition behind the quausation problem. I (...)
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  8. Strevens's Counterexample to Lewis's "Causation as Influence", and Degrees of Causation.Joshua Goh - 2020 - Dialectica 74 (1):125-138.
    Sungho Choi has criticised Michael Strevens's counterexample to DavidLewis's final theory of "token" causation, causation as "influence." Iargue that, even if Choi's points are correct, Strevens's counterexampleremains useful in revealing a shortcoming of Lewis's theory. Thisshortcoming is that Lewis's theory does not properly account for*degrees* of causation. That is, even if Choi's points are correct,Lewis's theory does not capture an intuition we have about the*comparative* causal statuses of those events involved in Strevens'scounterexample (we might, for example, intuit that Sylvie's ball-firingis (...)
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  9. What Might a Theory of Causation Do for Sport?Evan Thomas Knott - 2019 - Philosophies 4 (2):34-0.
    The purpose of this research is to articulate how a theory of causation might be serviceable to a theory of sport. This article makes conceptual links between Bernard Suits’ theory of game-playing, causation, and theories of causation. It justifies theories of causation while drawing on connections between sport and counterfactuals. It articulates the value of theories of causation while emphasizing possible limitations. A singularist theory of causation is found to be more broadly serviceable with particular regard to its analysis of (...)
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  10. Path-Specific Effects.Naftali Weinberger - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (1):53-76.
    A cause may influence its effect via multiple paths. Paradigmatically (Hesslow [1974]), taking birth control pills both decreases one’s risk of thrombosis by preventing pregnancy and increases it by producing a blood chemical. Building on Pearl ([2001]), I explicate the notion of a path-specific effect. Roughly, a path-specific effect of C on E via path P is the degree to which a change in C would change E were they to be transmitted only via P. Facts about such effects may (...)
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  11. Ontic Explanation Is either Ontic or Explanatory, but Not Both.Cory Wright & Dingmar van Eck - 2018 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 5:997–1029.
    What features will something have if it counts as an explanation? And will something count as an explanation if it has those features? In the second half of the 20th century, philosophers of science set for themselves the task of answering such questions, just as a priori conceptual analysis was generally falling out of favor. And as it did, most philosophers of science just moved on to more manageable questions about the varieties of explanation and discipline-specific scientific explanation. Often, such (...)
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  12. A theory of structural determination.J. Dmitri 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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  13. Experimental Philosophy and Causal Attribution.Jonathan Livengood & David Rose - 2016 - In Justin Sytsma & Wesley Buckwalter (eds.), A Companion to Experimental Philosophy. Chichester, UK: Blackwell. pp. 434–449.
    Humans often attribute the things that happen to one or another actual cause. In this chapter, we survey some recent philosophical and psychological research on causal attribution. We pay special attention to the relation between graphical causal modeling and theories of causal attribution. We think that the study of causal attribution is one place where formal and experimental techniques nicely complement one another.
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  14. The Emergence of Causation.Jeffrey Dmitri Gallow - 2014 - 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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  15. 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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  16. Proportionality, contrast and explanation.Brad Weslake - 2013 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (4):785-797.
    If counterfactual dependence is sufficient for causation and if omissions can be causes, then all events have many more causes than common sense tends to recognize. This problem is standardly addressed by appeal to pragmatics. However, Carolina Sartorio [2010] has recently raised what I shall argue is a more interesting problem concerning omissions for counterfactual theories of causation—more interesting because it demands a more subtle pragmatic solution. I discuss the relationship between the idea that causes are proportional to their effects, (...)
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  17. 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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  18. Causal reasoning.Christoph Hoerl - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 152 (2):167-179.
    The main focus of this paper is the question as to what it is for an individual to think of her environment in terms of a concept of causation, or causal concepts, in contrast to some more primitive ways in which an individual might pick out or register what are in fact causal phenomena. I show how versions of this question arise in the context of two strands of work on causation, represented by Elizabeth Anscombe and Christopher Hitchcock, respectively. I (...)
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  19. The Properties of Singular Causation.Bence Nanay - 2009 - The Monist 92 (1):112-132.
    Theories of singular causation have a genuine problem with properties. In virtue of what property do events (or facts) cause other events? One possible answer to this question, Davidson’s, is that causal relations hold between particulars and properties play no role in the way a particular causes another. According to another, recently fashionable answer, in contrast, events cause other events in virtue of having a trope (as opposed to a property-type). Both views face serious objections. My aim in this paper (...)
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  20. Necessity in singular causation.M. J. García-Encinas - 2002 - Philosophia 29 (1-4):149-172.
    I want to make sense of the view that singular causation involves a metaphysical necessary connection. By this I understand, where A and B are particulars, that ifA causes B then in every possible world in which A (or an A-indiscernible) or B (or a B-indiscernible) occurs, A (or an Aindiscernible) and B (or a B-indiscernible) occur. In the singularist approach that I will favour causal facts do not supervene on laws, causal relata are best understood as tropes, causation is (...)
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  21. Causal Production as Interaction.Rognvaldur Ingthorsson - 2002 - Metaphysica 3 (1):87-119.
    The paper contains a novel realist account of causal production and the necessary connection between cause and effect. I argue that the asymmetric relation between causally connected events must be regarded as a product of a symmetric interaction between two or more entities. All the entities involved contribute to the producing, and so count as parts of the cause, and they all suffer a change, and so count as parts of the effect. Cause and effect, on this account, are two (...)
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  22. Non-probabilistic Causation without Necessitation.Daniel Von Wachter - manuscript
    This article introduces the notion of the directedness of a process, which underlies event causation as well as the persistence of things. Using this notion it investigates what happens in typical cases of active event causation. Causes never necessitate their effects because even non- probabilistic causes can be counteracted.
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