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Causation

In Philosophical Papers Ii. Oxford University Press. pp. 159-213 (1973)

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  1. Feminist Philosophy of Science1.Lynn Hankinson Nelson - 2002 - In Peter Machamer Michael Silberstein (ed.), The Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of Science. Blackwell. pp. 312.
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  • VI-Causality and Intrinsicality.Ann Whittle - 2008 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 108 (1part2):101-120.
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  • The Difference Between Cause and Condition.Alex Broadbent - 2008 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 108 (1pt3):355-364.
    Commonly we distinguish the strike of a match, as a cause of the match lighting, from the presence of oxygen, as a mere condition. In this paper I propose an account of this phenomenon, which I call causal selection. I suggest some reasons for taking causal selection seriously, and indicate some shortcomings of the popular contrastive approach. Chief among these is the lack of an account of contrast choice. I propose that contrast choice is often just the counterfactual scenario in (...)
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  • Can ANOVA Measure Causal Strength?Robert Northcott - 2008 - Quarterly Review of Biology 83 (1):47-55.
    The statistical technique of analysis of variance is often used by biologists as a measure of causal factors’ relative strength or importance. I argue that it is a tool ill suited to this purpose, on several grounds. I suggest a superior alternative, and outline some implications. I finish with a diagnosis of the source of error – an unwitting inheritance of bad philosophy that now requires the remedy of better philosophy.
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  • Defending Sole Singular Causal Claims.Robert Ennis & Maurice A. Finocchiaro - unknown
    Even given agreement on the totality of conditions that brought about an effect, there often is disagreement about the cause of the effect, for example, the disagreement about the cause of the Gulf oil spill. Different conditions’ being deemed responsible accounts for such disagreements. The defense of the act of deeming a condition responsible often depends on showing that the condition was the appropriate target of interference in order to have avoided the effect.
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  • On the Relationship Between Individual and Population Health.Onyebuchi A. Arah - 2009 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 12 (3):235-244.
    The relationship between individual and population health is partially built on the broad dichotomization of medicine into clinical medicine and public health. Potential drawbacks of current views include seeing both individual and population health as absolute and independent concepts. I will argue that the relationship between individual and population health is largely relative and dynamic. Their interrelated dynamism derives from a causally defined life course perspective on health determination starting from an individual’s conception through growth, development and participation in the (...)
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  • Causal-Explanatory Pluralism: How Intentions, Functions, and Mechanisms Influence Causal Ascriptions.Tania Lombrozo - 2010 - Cognitive Psychology 61 (4):303-332.
    Both philosophers and psychologists have argued for the existence of distinct kinds of explanations, including teleological explanations that cite functions or goals, and mechanistic explanations that cite causal mechanisms. Theories of causation, in contrast, have generally been unitary, with dominant theories focusing either on counterfactual dependence or on physical connections. This paper argues that both approaches to causation are psychologically real, with different modes of explanation promoting judgments more or less consistent with each approach. Two sets of experiments isolate the (...)
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  • Comparing Semantic Theories of Comparison.Arnim Stechovonw - 1984 - Journal of Semantics 3 (1-2):1-77.
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  • How Probabilistic Causation Can Account for the Use of Mechanistic Evidence.Erik Weber - 2009 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 23 (3):277-295.
    In a recent article in this journal, Federica Russo and Jon Williamson argue that an analysis of causality in terms of probabilistic relationships does not do justice to the use of mechanistic evidence to support causal claims. I will present Ronald Giere's theory of probabilistic causation, and show that it can account for the use of mechanistic evidence (both in the health sciences—on which Russo and Williamson focus—and elsewhere). I also review some other probabilistic theories of causation (of Suppes, Eells, (...)
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  • Foundations of a Probabilistic Theory of Causal Strength.Jan Sprenger - 2018 - Philosophical Review 127 (3):371-398.
    This paper develops axiomatic foundations for a probabilistic-interventionist theory of causal strength. Transferring methods from Bayesian confirmation theory, I proceed in three steps: I develop a framework for defining and comparing measures of causal strength; I argue that no single measure can satisfy all natural constraints; I prove two representation theorems for popular measures of causal strength: Pearl's causal effect measure and Eells' difference measure. In other words, I demonstrate these two measures can be derived from a set of plausible (...)
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  • How Can Causal Explanations Explain?Jon Williamson - 2013 - Erkenntnis 78 (2):257-275.
    The mechanistic and causal accounts of explanation are often conflated to yield a ‘causal-mechanical’ account. This paper prizes them apart and asks: if the mechanistic account is correct, how can causal explanations be explanatory? The answer to this question varies according to how causality itself is understood. It is argued that difference-making, mechanistic, dualist and inferentialist accounts of causality all struggle to yield explanatory causal explanations, but that an epistemic account of causality is more promising in this regard.
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  • Causal Responsibility and Counterfactuals.David A. Lagnado, Tobias Gerstenberg & Ro'I. Zultan - 2013 - Cognitive Science 37 (6):1036-1073.
    How do people attribute responsibility in situations where the contributions of multiple agents combine to produce a joint outcome? The prevalence of over-determination in such cases makes this a difficult problem for counterfactual theories of causal responsibility. In this article, we explore a general framework for assigning responsibility in multiple agent contexts. We draw on the structural model account of actual causation (e.g., Halpern & Pearl, 2005) and its extension to responsibility judgments (Chockler & Halpern, 2004). We review the main (...)
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  • An Anatomy of Moral Responsibility.M. Braham & M. van Hees - 2012 - Mind 121 (483):601-634.
    This paper examines the structure of moral responsibility for outcomes. A central feature of the analysis is a condition that we term the ‘avoidance potential’, which gives precision to the idea that moral responsibility implies a reasonable demand that an agent should have acted otherwise. We show how our theory can allocate moral responsibility to individuals in complex collective action problems, an issue that sometimes goes by the name of ‘the problem of many hands’. We also show how it allocates (...)
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  • The Kind Membership Theory of Reference Fixing for Proper Names.Eduardo García Ramírez - 2014 - Tópicos: Revista de Filosofía 47:113-138.
    Gareth Evans nos ofrece lo que parece ser un punto medio entre el descripcionismo y la teoría de la referencia directa sobre el mecanismo mediante el cual fijamos la referencia de los nombres propios. Ésta es la denominada “teoría de la fuente causal de la referencia”. En un artículo reciente Imogen Dickie presenta objeciones importantes a la teoría de Evans y concluye presentando una teoría alternativa, la denominada “teoría de la gobernabilidad”. En este trabajo quiero ofrecer una propuesta alternativa que (...)
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  • Causal V. Positivist Theories of Scientific Explanation: A Defense of the Causal Theory.Douglas Hans Rice - 1996 - Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Amherst
    Three fundamental claims are defended in this dissertation. First, the influence of Hume's epistemological program and his skepticism with respect to causal knowledge have hindered the development of an adequate theory of scientific explanation. Second, Hume's conception of causal knowledge is outdated, and knowledge of causation should be relieved of the special epistemological burden placed on it by Hume's followers. Finally, once relieved of this Humean epistemological burden, the causal theory of scientific explanation is superior to alternatives lying in the (...)
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  • Metaphysical Theories of Modality: Properties, Relations and Possibilities.David A. Denby - 1997 - Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Amherst
    Many theories assimilate the idioms of modality to those of quantification; they hold that so-and-so is possible iff there is a "world" at which it is true that so-and-so. "Modal realism" identifies worlds with certain concrete particulars, and truth at a world with what is true of it. Rival "ersatz" theories identify worlds with certain abstract entities and identify what is true at them with what they represent. ;David Lewis argues that pre-theoretic modal intuitions are best explained by modal realism. (...)
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  • Normality and Actual Causal Strength.Thomas F. Icard, Jonathan F. Kominsky & Joshua Knobe - 2017 - Cognition 161:80-93.
    Existing research suggests that people's judgments of actual causation can be influenced by the degree to which they regard certain events as normal. We develop an explanation for this phenomenon that draws on standard tools from the literature on graphical causal models and, in particular, on the idea of probabilistic sampling. Using these tools, we propose a new measure of actual causal strength. This measure accurately captures three effects of normality on causal judgment that have been observed in existing studies. (...)
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  • A Proposed Probabilistic Extension of the Halpern and Pearl Definition of ‘Actual Cause’.Luke Fenton-Glynn - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (4):1061-1124.
    ABSTRACT Joseph Halpern and Judea Pearl draw upon structural equation models to develop an attractive analysis of ‘actual cause’. Their analysis is designed for the case of deterministic causation. I show that their account can be naturally extended to provide an elegant treatment of probabilistic causation. 1Introduction 2Preemption 3Structural Equation Models 4The Halpern and Pearl Definition of ‘Actual Cause’ 5Preemption Again 6The Probabilistic Case 7Probabilistic Causal Models 8A Proposed Probabilistic Extension of Halpern and Pearl’s Definition 9Twardy and Korb’s Account 10Probabilistic (...)
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  • A Tale of Two Effects.Christopher Hitchcock - 2001 - Philosophical Review 110 (3):361-396.
    In recent years, there has been a philosophical cottage industry producing arguments that our concept of causation is not univocal: that there are in fact two concepts of causation, corresponding to distinct species of causal relation. Papers written in this tradition have borne titles like “Two Concepts of Cause” and “Two Concepts of Causation”. With due apologies to Charles Dickens, I hereby make my own contribution to this genre.
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  • Identifying Causes in Psychiatry.Lena Kästner - unknown
    Explanations in psychiatry often integrate various factors relevant to psychopathology. Identifying genuine causes among them is theoretically and clinically important, but epistemically challenging. Woodward’s interventionism appears to provide a promising tool to achieve this. However, Woodward’s interventionism is too demanding to be applied to psychiatry. I thus introduce difference-making interventionism, which detects relevance in general rather than causation, to make interventionist reasoning viable in clinical practice. DMI mirrors the empirical reality of psychiatry even more closely than interventionism, but it needs (...)
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  • On Time, Causation and Explanation in the Causally Symmetric Bohmian Model of Quantum Mechanics.Joseph Berkovitz - 2017 - In Christophe Bouton & Philippe Huneman (eds.), Time of Nature and the Nature of Time. Springer International Publishing. pp. 139-172.
    Quantum mechanics portrays the universe as involving non-local influences that are difficult to reconcile with relativity theory. By postulating backward causation, retro-causal interpretations of quantum mechanics could circumvent these influences and accordingly reconcile quantum mechanics with relativity. The postulation of backward causation poses various challenges for the retro-causal interpretations of quantum mechanics and for the existing conceptual frameworks for analyzing counterfactual dependence, causation and causal explanation. In this chapter, we analyze the nature of time, causation and explanation in a local, (...)
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  • Double Prevention and Powers.Stephen Mumford & Rani Lill Anjum - 2009 - Journal of Critical Realism 8 (3):277-293.
    Does A cause B simply if A prevents what would have prevented B? Such a case is known as double prevention: where we have the prevention of a prevention. One theory of causation is that A causes B when B counterfactually depends on A and, as there is such a dependence, proponents of the view must rule that double prevention is causation.<br><br>However, if double prevention is causation, it means that causation can be an extrinsic matter, that the cause and effect (...)
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  • Minimal Models Vs. Logic Programming: The Case of Counterfactual Conditionals.Katrin Schulz - 2014 - Journal of Applied Non-Classical Logics 24 (1-2):153-168.
    This article aims to propagate Logic Programming as a formal tool to deal with non-monotonic reasoning. In philosophy and linguistics non-monotonic reasoning is modelled using Minimal Models as standard, i.e., by imposing an order (or selection function) on the class of all models and then by defining entailment as only caring about the minimal models of the premises with respect to the order. In this article we investigate the question whether instead of minimal models we should use logic programming to (...)
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  • Reversing the Counterfactual Analysis of Causation.Alex Broadbent - 2007 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 15 (2):169 – 189.
    The counterfactual analysis of causation has focused on one particular counterfactual conditional, taking as its starting-point the suggestion that C causes E iff (C E). In this paper, some consequences are explored of reversing this counterfactual, and developing an account starting with the idea that C causes E iff (E C). This suggestion is discussed in relation to the problem of pre-emption. It is found that the 'reversed' counterfactual analysis can handle even the most difficult cases of pre-emption with only (...)
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  • Behavior Genetic Frameworks of Causal Reasoning for Personality Psychology.Daniel Briley, Jonathan Livengood & Jaime Derringer - 2018 - European Journal of Personality 32 (3).
    Identifying causal relations from correlational data is a fundamental challenge in personality psychology. In most cases, random assignment is not feasible, leaving observational studies as the primary methodological tool. Here, we document several techniques from behavior genetics that attempt to demonstrate causality. Although no one method is conclusive at ruling out all possible confounds, combining techniques can triangulate on causal relations. Behavior genetic tools leverage information gained by sampling pairs of individuals with assumed genetic and environmental relatedness or by measuring (...)
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  • Causation and the Manifestation of Powers.Alexander Bird - 2010 - In Anna Marmodoro (ed.), The Metaphysics of Powers: Their Grounding and Their Manifestations. Routledge.
    It is widely agreed that many causal relations can be regarded as dependent upon causal relations that are in some way more basic. For example, knocking down the first domino in a row of one hundred dominoes will be the cause of the hundredth domino falling. But this causal relation exists in virtue of the knocking of the first domino causing the falling of the second domino, and so forth. In such a case, A causes B in virtue of there (...)
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  • Non-Relativistic Quantum Mechanics.Michael Dickson - unknown
    This essay is a discussion of the philosophical and foundational issues that arise in non-relativistic quantum theory. After introducing the formalism of the theory, I consider: characterizations of the quantum formalism, empirical content, uncertainty, the measurement problem, and non-locality. In each case, the main point is to give the reader some introductory understanding of some of the major issues and recent ideas.
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  • Vagueness and Causality.Akihiro Yoshimitsu - 2010 - Kagaku Tetsugaku 43 (2):95-109.
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  • La importancia del padre Fabro en la búsqueda de un tomismo esencial.Arzobispo de La Plata & Buenos Aires-Argentina - forthcoming - Sapientia.
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  • Events and Event Talk: An Introduction.Fabio Pianesi & Achille C. Varzi - 2000 - In James Higginbotham, Fabio Pianesi & Achille C. Varzi (eds.), Speaking of Events. Oxford University Press. pp. 3–47.
    A critical review of the main themes arising out of recent literature on the semantics of ordinary event talk. The material is organized in four sections: (i) the nature of events, with emphasis on the opposition between events as particulars and events as universals; (ii) identity and indeterminacy, with emphasis on the unifier/multiplier controversy; (iii) events and logical form, with emphasis on Davidson’s treatment of the form of action sentences; (iv) linguistic applications, with emphasis on issues concerning aspectual phenomena, the (...)
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  • Lewisian-Style Counterfactual Analysis of Causation: A New Solution to the Overdetermination Problem.Dana Goswick - 2010 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 17 (4):461-476.
    Causal overdetermination – i.e. instances in which x, y, and z all occur and intuitively the occurrence of x alone is sufficient for the occurrence of z and the occurrence of y alone is sufficient for the occurrence of z – has long been considered a problem for counterfactual analyses of causation. Intuitively, we want to say both x and y caused z, but standard Lewisian counterfactual analysis yields the result that neither x nor y caused z. David Lewis, himself, (...)
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  • K otázce možnosti zpětné kauzality.Tomáš Machula - 2008 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 15 (2):168-177.
    The article deals with the conception of backward causation, i.e. with the question whether an effect can precede its cause. It analyses some arguments for possibility of backward causation. It is especially Dummett’s theory of quasi-causation that is a moderate form of backward causation concept. The article refuses the arguments for possibility of backward causation as unconvincing of false.
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  • Problems with Late Preemption.L. A. Paul - 1998 - Analysis 58 (1):48–53.
    In response to counterexamples involving late preemption, David Lewis (1986) revised his original (1973) counterfactual analysis of causation to include the notion of quasi-dependence. Jonardon Ganeri, Paul Noordhof and Murali Ramachandran (1998) argue that their ‘PCA*-analysis’ of causation solves the problem of late preemption and is superior to Lewis’s analysis. I show that neither quasi-dependence nor the PCA*-analysis solves the problem of late preemption.
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  • A Regularity Theoretic Approach to Actual Causation.Michael Baumgartner - 2013 - Erkenntnis 78 (1):85-109.
    The majority of the currently flourishing theories of actual causation are located in a broadly counterfactual framework that draws on structural equations. In order to account for cases of symmetric overdeterminiation and preemption, these theories resort to rather intricate analytical tools, most of all, to what Hitchcock has labeled explicitly nonforetracking counterfactuals. This paper introduces a regularity theoretic approach to actual causation that only employs material conditionals, standard Boolean minimization procedures, and a stability condition that regulates the behavior of causal (...)
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  • Keeping Track of the Time: Emending the Counterfactual Analysis of Causation.L. A. Paul - 1998 - Analysis 58 (3):191–198.
    Counterfactual analyses of causation can provide elegant analyses of many cases of causation. However, they fail to give intuitively correct analyses of cases involving a commonplace variety of late preemptive causation. I argue that a small emendation can solve the problem.
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  • Colors, Functions, Realizers, and Roles.Jonathan Cohen - 2005 - Philosophical Topics 33 (1):117-140.
    You may speak of a chain, or if you please, a net. An analogy is of little aid. Each cause brings about future events. Without each the future would not be the same. Each is proximate in the sense it is essential. But that is not what we mean by the word. Nor on the other hand do we mean sole cause. There is no such thing.
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  • Counterfactuals and Counterparts: Defending a Neo-Humean Theory of Causation.Neil McDonnell - 2015 - Dissertation, Macquarie University and University of Glasgow
    Whether there exist causal relations between guns firing and people dying, between pedals pressed and cars accelerating, or between carbon dioxide emissions and global warming, is typically taken to be a mind-independent, objective, matter of fact. However, recent contributions to the literature on causation, in particular theories of contrastive causation and causal modelling, have undermined this central causal platitude by relativising causal facts to models or to interests. This thesis flies against the prevailing wind by arguing that we must pay (...)
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  • Representing Causation.Phillip Wolff - 2007 - Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 136 (1):82-111.
    The dynamics model, which is based on Talmy’s (1988) theory of force dynamics, characterizes causation as a pattern of forces and a position vector. In contrast to counterfactual and probabilistic models, the dynamics model naturally distinguishes between different cause-related concepts and explains the induction of causal relationships from single observations. Support for the model is provided in experiments in which participants categorized 3D animations of realistically rendered objects with trajectories that were wholly determined by the force vectors entered into a (...)
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  • Token Causation by Probabilistic Active Paths.Charles R. Twardy, Kevin B. Korb, Graham Oppy & Toby Handfield - manuscript
    We present a probabilistic extension to active path analyses of token causation. The extension uses the generalized notion of intervention presented in : we allow an intervention to set any probability distribution over the intervention variables, not just a single value. The resulting account can handle a wide range of examples. We do not claim the account is complete --- only that it fills an obvious gap in previous active-path approaches. It still succumbs to recent counterexamples by Hiddleston, because it (...)
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  • Causal Control: A Rationale for Causal Selection.Lauren N. Ross - manuscript
    Causal selection has to do with the distinction we make between background conditions and “the” true cause or causes of some outcome of interest. A longstanding consensus in philosophy views causal selection as lacking any objective rationale and as guided, instead, by arbitrary, pragmatic, and non-scientific considerations. I argue against this position in the context of causal selection for disease traits. In this domain, causes are selected on the basis of the type of causal control they exhibit over a disease (...)
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  • 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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  • With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility - On Causation and Responsibility in Spider-Man, and Possibly Moore.Rani Lill Anjum & Stephen Mumford - 2011 - Critical Essays on "Causation and Responsibility".
    Omissions are sometimes linked to responsibility. A harm can counterfactually depend on an omission to prevent it. If someone had the ability to prevent a harm but didn’t, this could suffice to ground their responsibility for the harm. Michael S. Moore’s claim is illustrated by the tragic case of Peter Parker, shortly after he became Spider-Man. Sick of being pushed around as a weakling kid, Peter became drunk on the power he acquired from the freak bite of a radioactive spider. (...)
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  • Causal Webs in Epidemiology.Federica Russo - unknown
    The notion of ‘causal web’ emerged in the epidemiological literature in the early Sixties and had to wait until the Nineties for a thorough critical appraisal. Famously, Nancy Krieger argued that such a notion isn’t helpful unless we specify what kind of spiders create the webs. This means, according to Krieger, (i) that the role of the spiders is to provide an explanation of the yarns of the web and (ii) that the sought spiders have to be biological and social. (...)
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  • Counterfactual Dependence and Arrow.Thomas Kroedel & Franz Huber - 2013 - Noûs 47 (3):453-466.
    We argue that a semantics for counterfactual conditionals in terms of comparative overall similarity faces a formal limitation due to Arrow’s impossibility theorem from social choice theory. According to Lewis’s account, the truth-conditions for counterfactual conditionals are given in terms of the comparative overall similarity between possible worlds, which is in turn determined by various aspects of similarity between possible worlds. We argue that a function from aspects of similarity to overall similarity should satisfy certain plausible constraints while Arrow’s impossibility (...)
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  • Ontology, Mind and Free Will. A Workshop in Memory of E.J. Lowe.Matteo Grasso & Mattia Sorgon - 2014 - Rivista Italiana di Filosofia Analitica Junior 5 (2):128-136.
    The single day conference “Ontology, Mind and Free Will. A Workshop in Memory of E.J. Lowe (1950-2014)” took place at the Department of Humanities of the University of Macerata on March, 3 rd 2014. It included as speakers Sophie Gibb (Durham University), Mario De Caro (Roma Tre University) and Michele Paolini Paoletti (University of Macerata). This event was thought by the organizers in order to honor the British philosopher Ethan Jonathan Lowe, who suddenly passed away last January with infinite regret (...)
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  • Natural Selection as a Population-Level Causal Process.Roberta L. Millstein - 2006 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (4):627-653.
    Recent discussions in the philosophy of biology have brought into question some fundamental assumptions regarding evolutionary processes, natural selection in particular. Some authors argue that natural selection is nothing but a population-level, statistical consequence of lower-level events (Matthen and Ariew [2002]; Walsh et al. [2002]). On this view, natural selection itself does not involve forces. Other authors reject this purely statistical, population-level account for an individual-level, causal account of natural selection (Bouchard and Rosenberg [2004]). I argue that each of these (...)
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  • Modality and Temporality.C. Condoravdi - 2005 - Journal of Semantics 22 (2):119-128.
    The present collection addresses a number of issues in the semantic interpretation of modal and temporal expressions. Despite the variety the papers exhibit both in the selection of topics and the choice of formal frameworks, they are interconnected through several overarching themes that are at the centre of much ongoing research. The purpose of this brief introduction is to put the papers into context and draw the reader's attention to some of these connections. The topics we will discuss in the (...)
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  • A Pragmatic Account of Mechanistic Artifact Explanation.Jan De Winter - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 42 (4):602-609.
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  • A Defense of Substance Causation.Ann Whittle - 2016 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association (1):1-20.
    That there is no substance causation is often treated as the default position. My aim in this paper is primarily one of burden shifting: opponents of substance causation must do more to defend their position. After outlining the thesis I wish to defend, I present a simple argument for substance causation, arguing that opponents of substance causation owe us an explanation of why this argument is unsound. I end by answering objections to the view that substances can be causes.
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  • Temporally Opaque Arguments in Verbs of Creation.Arnim von Stechow - unknown
    Summary Verbs of creation (create, make, paint) are not transparent. The object created does not exist during the event time but only thereafter. We may call this type of opacity temporal opacity. I is to be distinguished from modal opacity, which is found in verbs like owe or seek. (Dowty, 1979) offers two analyses of creation verbs. One analysis predicts that no object of the sort created exists before the time of the creation. The other analysis says that the object (...)
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