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  1. Causal After All : A Model of Mental Causation for Dualists.Bram Vaassen - 2019 - Dissertation,
    In this dissertation, I develop and defend a model of causation that allows for dualist mental causation in worlds where the physical domain is physically complete. -/- In Part I, I present the dualist ontology that will be assumed throughout the thesis and identify two challenges for models of mental causation within such an ontology: the exclusion worry and the common cause worry. I also argue that a proper response to these challenges requires a thoroughly lightweight account of causation, i.e. (...)
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  • Epistemic Causality and Evidence-Based Medicine.Federica Russo & Jon Williamson - 2011 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 33 (4).
    Causal claims in biomedical contexts are ubiquitous albeit they are not always made explicit. This paper addresses the question of what causal claims mean in the context of disease. It is argued that in medical contexts causality ought to be interpreted according to the epistemic theory. The epistemic theory offers an alternative to traditional accounts that cash out causation either in terms of “difference-making” relations or in terms of mechanisms. According to the epistemic approach, causal claims tell us about which (...)
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  • Backtracking Influence.Douglas Kutach - 2011 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 25 (1):55-71.
    Backtracking influence is influence that zigzags in time. For example, backtracking influence exists when an event E_1 makes an event E_2 more likely by way of a nomic connection that goes from E_1 back in time to an event C and then forward in time to E_2. I contend that in our local region of spacetime, at least, backtracking influence is redundant in the sense that any existing backtracking influence exerted by E_1 on E_2 is equivalent to E_1's temporally direct (...)
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  • Why Causal Evidencing of Risk Fails. An Example From Oil Contamination.Elena Rocca & Rani Lill Anjum - 2019 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 22 (2):197-213.
    ABSTRACTMeasurements of environmental toxicity from long-term exposure to oil contamination have delivered inaccurate and contradictory results regarding the potential harms for humans and ecosyste...
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  • Killing or Letting Die? Proposal of a New Answer to a Perennial Question.Reinhard Merkel - 2016 - Journal of Medical Ethics 42 (6):353-360.
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  • Discovering Brain Mechanisms Using Network Analysis and Causal Modeling.Matteo Colombo & Naftali Weinberger - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (2):265-286.
    Mechanist philosophers have examined several strategies scientists use for discovering causal mechanisms in neuroscience. Findings about the anatomical organization of the brain play a central role in several such strategies. Little attention has been paid, however, to the use of network analysis and causal modeling techniques for mechanism discovery. In particular, mechanist philosophers have not explored whether and how these strategies incorporate information about the anatomical organization of the brain. This paper clarifies these issues in the light of the distinction (...)
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  • Cambiando el pasado: ventajas de la retrocausación.Hernán Miguel & Rolando Núñez Pradenas - 2016 - Revista de Humanidades de Valparaíso 7:7.
    Desde sus orígenes, la mecánica cuántica nos ha enfrentado a una serie de “misterios” que se desprenden de ella si es que consideramos esta teoría científica desde una perspectiva realista. En los primeros años del desarrollo de la teoría, científicos de la talla de Albert Einstein notaron las consecuencias de aceptar una teoría como esta, la que permitiría fenómenos como la no-localidad. Esto llevó a una parte de la comunidad científica a considerar que la mecánica cuántica era una teoría incompleta, (...)
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  • Carnap on Concept Determination: Methodology for Philosophy of Science. [REVIEW]James Justus - 2012 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 2 (2):161-179.
    Abstract Recent criticisms of intuition from experimental philosophy and elsewhere have helped undermine the authority of traditional conceptual analysis. As the product of more empirically informed philosophical methodology, this result is compelling and philosophically salutary. But the negative critiques rarely suggest a positive alternative. In particular, a normative account of concept determination—how concepts should be characterized—is strikingly absent from such work. Carnap's underappreciated theory of explication provides such a theory. Analyses of complex concepts in empirical sciences illustrates and supports this (...)
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  • I—John Dupré: Living Causes.John Dupré - 2013 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 87 (1):19-37.
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  • Living Causes.John Dupré - 2013 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 87 (1):19-37.
    This paper considers the applicability of standard accounts of causation to living systems. In particular it examines critically the increasing tendency to equate causal explanation with the identification of a mechanism. A range of differences between living systems and paradigm mechanisms are identified and discussed. While in principle it might be possible to accommodate an account of mechanism to these features, the attempt to do so risks reducing the idea of a mechanism to vacuity. It is proposed that the solution (...)
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  • Pre-Emption Cases May Support, Not Undermine, the Counterfactual Theory of Causation.Robert Northcott - forthcoming - Synthese:1-19.
    Pre-emption cases have been taken by almost everyone to imply the unviability of the simple counterfactual theory of causation. Yet there is ample motivation from scientific practice to endorse a simple version of the theory if we can. There is a way in which a simple counterfactual theory, at least if understood contrastively, can be supported even while acknowledging that intuition goes firmly against it in pre-emption cases – or rather, only in some of those cases. For I present several (...)
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  • Conservation Laws and the Philosophy of Mind: Opening the Black Box, Finding a Mirror.J. Brian Pitts - forthcoming - Philosophia:1-35.
    Since Leibniz's time, Cartesian mental causation has been criticized for violating the conservation of energy and momentum. Many dualist responses clearly fail. But conservation laws have important neglected features generally undermining the objection. Conservation is _local_, holding first not for the universe, but for everywhere separately. The energy in any volume changes only due to what flows through the boundaries. Constant total energy holds if the global summing-up of local conservation laws converges; it probably doesn't in reality. Energy conservation holds (...)
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  • Grounding-Mechanical Explanation.Kelly Trogdon - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (6):1289-1309.
    Characterization of a form of explanation involving grounding on the model of mechanistic causal explanation.
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  • Where to Look for Emergent Properties.Agustín Vicente - 2013 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 27 (2):156.
    Recent years have seen renewed interest in the emergence issue. The contemporary debate, in contrast with that of past times, has to do not so much with the mind–body problem as with the relationship between the physical and other domains; mostly with the biological domain. One of the main sources of this renewed interest is the study of complex and, in general, far-from-equilibrium self-preserving systems, which seem to fulfil one of the necessary conditions for an entity to be emergent; namely, (...)
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  • A Priori Causal Laws.Darren Bradley - 2017 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 60 (4):358-370.
    Sober and Elgin defend the claim that there are a priori causal laws in biology. Lange and Rosenberg take issue with this on Humean grounds, among others. I will argue that Sober and Elgin don’t go far enough – there are a priori causal laws in many sciences. Furthermore, I will argue that this thesis is compatible with a Humean metaphysics and an empiricist epistemology.
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  • Causalidade.Eduardo Castro - 2014 - Compêndio Em Linha de Problemas de Filosofia Ananlítica.
    State of art paper on the topic causation, around the problem of the nature of causation. Central theories of contemporary philosophical literature are discussed and analysed, namely, regularity theories of Hume and Mackie, counterfactual theories of Lewis, probabilistic theories of Reichenbach, Lewis and Menzies and causal processes theories of Salmon and Dowe.
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  • 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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  • Causal Proportions and Moral Responsibility.Sara Bernstein - 2017 - In David Shoemaker (ed.), Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility, Volume 4. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 165-182.
    This paper poses an original puzzle about the relationship between causation and moral responsibility called The Moral Difference Puzzle. Using the puzzle, the paper argues for three related ideas: (1) the existence of a new sort of moral luck; (2) an intractable conflict between the causal concepts used in moral assessment; and (3) inability of leading theories of causation to capture the sorts of causal differences that matter for moral evaluation of agents’ causal contributions to outcomes.
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  • Causal Exclusion and the Limits of Proportionality.Neil McDonnell - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (6):1459-1474.
    Causal exclusion arguments are taken to threaten the autonomy of the special sciences, and the causal efficacy of mental properties. A recent line of response to these arguments has appealed to “independently plausible” and “well grounded” theories of causation to rebut key premises. In this paper I consider two papers which proceed in this vein and show that they share a common feature: they both require causes to be proportional to their effects. I argue that this feature is a bug, (...)
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  • Can The Mental Be Causally Efficacious?Panu Raatikainen - 2013 - In K. Talmont-Kaminski M. Milkowski (ed.), Regarding the Mind, Naturally: Naturalist Approaches to the Sciences of the Mental. Cambridge Scholars Press.
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  • 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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  • Beliefs as Inner Causes: The (Lack of) Evidence.Devin Sanchez Curry - 2018 - Philosophical Psychology 31 (6):850-877.
    Many psychologists studying lay belief attribution and behavior explanation cite Donald Davidson in support of their assumption that people construe beliefs as inner causes. But Davidson’s influential argument is unsound; there are no objective grounds for the intuition that the folk construe beliefs as inner causes that produce behavior. Indeed, recent experimental work by Ian Apperly, Bertram Malle, Henry Wellman, and Tania Lombrozo provides an empirical framework that accords well with Gilbert Ryle’s alternative thesis that the folk construe beliefs as (...)
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  • Causal Argument.Ulrike Hahn, Frank Zenker & Roland Bluhm - 2017 - In Michael R. Waldmann (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Causal Reasoning. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. pp. 475-494.
    In this chapter, we outline the range of argument forms involving causation that can be found in everyday discourse. We also survey empirical work concerned with the generation and evaluation of such arguments. This survey makes clear that there is presently no unified body of research concerned with causal argument. We highlight the benefits of a unified treatment both for those interested in causal cognition and those interested in argumentation, and identify the key challenges that must be met for a (...)
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  • Causal Patterns and Adequate Explanations.Angela Potochnik - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (5):1163-1182.
    Causal accounts of scientific explanation are currently broadly accepted (though not universally so). My first task in this paper is to show that, even for a causal approach to explanation, significant features of explanatory practice are not determined by settling how causal facts bear on the phenomenon to be explained. I then develop a broadly causal approach to explanation that accounts for the additional features that I argue an explanation should have. This approach to explanation makes sense of several aspects (...)
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  • Processes, Pre-Emption and Further Problems.Andreas Hüttemann - forthcoming - Synthese:1-23.
    In this paper I will argue that what makes our ordinary judgements about token causation (‘actual causation’) true can be explicated in terms of interferences into quasi-inertial processes. These interferences and quasi-inertial processes can in turn be fully explicated in scientific terms. In this sense the account presented here is reductive. I will furthermore argue that this version of a process-theory of causation can deal with the traditional problems that process theories have to face, such as the problem of misconnection (...)
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  • Causality, Computing, and Complexity.Russ Abbott - manuscript
    I discuss two categories of causal relationships: primitive causal interactions of the sort characterized by Phil Dowe and the more general manipulable causal relationships as defined by James Woodward. All primitive causal interactions are manipulable causal relationships, but there are manipulable causal relationships that are not primitive causal interactions. I’ll call the latter constructed causal relationships, and I’ll argue that constructed causal relationships serve as a foundation for both computing and complex systems. -/- Perhaps even more interesting are autonomous causal (...)
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  • Why Did Life Emerge?Arto Annila & Annila E. Annila A. - 2008 - International Journal of Astrobiology 7 (3-4):293–300.
    Many mechanisms, functions and structures of life have been unraveled. However, the fundamental driving force that propelled chemical evolution and led to life has remained obscure. The second law of thermodynamics, written as an equation of motion, reveals that elemental abiotic matter evolves from the equilibrium via chemical reactions that couple to external energy towards complex biotic non-equilibrium systems. Each time a new mechanism of energy transduction emerges, e.g., by random variation in syntheses, evolution prompts by punctuation and settles to (...)
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  • Causalidad, pseudocausalidad Y medición en física.Wilfredo Quezada P. & Luis Pavez F. - 2011 - Revista de filosofía (Chile) 67:251-268.
    En esta ponencia nos proponemos mostrar que ciertas tesis o consensos recibidos sobre pseudoprocesos causales , procesos cuya característica prominente parece ser superar la velocidad de la luz, deben ser cuestionados o seriamente modificados. Dos de dichos consensos son, primero, que los PSP deberían ser tratados simplemente como "basura espacio-temporal" y, segundo, que ellos no cumplen, aparte de permitir aislar procesos causales genuinos, ninguna función epistémica o metodológica en la descripción de cualquier estado físico, en particular, al interior de la (...)
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  • Mechanistic Causation and Constraints: Perspectival Parts and Powers, Non-Perspectival Modal Patterns.Jason Winning - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Any successful account of the metaphysics of mechanistic causation must satisfy at least five key desiderata. In this paper, I lay out these five desiderata and explain why existing accounts of the metaphysics of mechanistic causation fail to satisfy them. I then present an alternative account which does satisfy the five desiderata. According to this alternative account, we must resort to a type of ontological entity that is new to metaphysics, but not to science: constraints. In this paper, I explain (...)
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  • Causality and Explanation.Phil Dowe - 2000 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 51 (1):165-174.
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  • Against the Contrastive Account of Singular Causation.Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen - 2012 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 63 (1):115-143.
    For at least three decades, philosophers have argued that general causation and causal explanation are contrastive in nature. When we seek a causal explanation of some particular event, we are usually interested in knowing why that event happened rather than some other specified event. And general causal claims, which state that certain event types cause certain other event types, seem to make sense only if appropriate contrasts to the types of events acting as cause and effect are specified. In recent (...)
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  • Sensitive and Insensitive Causation.James Woodward - 2006 - Philosophical Review 115 (1):1-50.
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  • Conservation Laws and Interactionist Dualism.Ben White - 2017 - Philosophical Quarterly 67 (267):387–405.
    The Exclusion Argument for physicalism maintains that since (1) every physical effect has a sufficient physical cause, and (2) cases of causal overdetermination are rare, it follows that if (3) mental events cause physical events as frequently as they seem to, then (4) mental events must be physical in nature. In defence of (1), it is sometimes said that (1) is supported if not entailed by conservation laws. Against this, I argue that conservation laws do not lend sufficient support to (...)
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  • Explanation and Understanding.Angela Potochnik - 2011 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 1 (1):29-38.
    Michael Strevens offers an account of causal explanation according to which explanatory practice is shaped by counterbalanced commitments to representing causal influence and abstracting away from overly specific details. In this paper, I challenge a key feature of that account. I argue that what Strevens calls explanatory frameworks figure prominently in explanatory practice because they actually improve explanations. This suggestion is simple but has far-reaching implications. It affects the status of explanations that cite multiply realizable properties; changes the explanatory role (...)
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  • Cause and Norm.Christopher Hitchcock & Joshua Knobe - 2009 - Journal of Philosophy 106 (11):587-612.
    Much of the philosophical literature on causation has focused on the concept of actual causation, sometimes called token causation. In particular, it is this notion of actual causation that many philosophical theories of causation have attempted to capture.2 In this paper, we address the question: what purpose does this concept serve? As we shall see in the next section, one does not need this concept for purposes of prediction or rational deliberation. What then could the purpose be? We will argue (...)
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  • La capacidad unificadora de las teorías científicas. Una propuesta alternativa desde el estructuralismo metateórico al enfoque kitchereano de patrones explicativos.Daniel Blanco, Santiago Ginnobili & Pablo Lorenzano - 2019 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 34 (1):111-131.
    Resumen: La capacidad unificadora de una teoría científica es un rasgo usualmente contemplado a la hora de evaluar su adecuación. Kitcher ha elucidado satisfactoriamente tal noción mediante su enfoque de los patrones explicativos. Sin embargo, su perspectiva adolece de ciertas carencias. Concretamente, sostendremos que el requisito de rigurosidad de los patrones para evaluar la capacidad unificadora debe ser repensado, pues atenta contra la heterogeneidad característica de las diferentes aplicaciones de teorías unificadoras. A su vez, mostraremos cómo estas dificultades bien pueden (...)
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  • For Want of a Nail: How Absences Cause Events.Phillip Wolff, Aron K. Barbey & Matthew Hausknecht - 2010 - Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 139 (2):191-221.
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  • The Measurement of Consciousness: A Framework for the Scientific Study of Consciousness.David Gamez - 2014 - Frontiers in Psychology 5.
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  • Graded Causation and Defaults.Joseph Y. Halpern & Christopher Hitchcock - 2015 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 66 (2):413-457.
    Recent work in psychology and experimental philosophy has shown that judgments of actual causation are often influenced by consideration of defaults, typicality, and normality. A number of philosophers and computer scientists have also suggested that an appeal to such factors can help deal with problems facing existing accounts of actual causation. This article develops a flexible formal framework for incorporating defaults, typicality, and normality into an account of actual causation. The resulting account takes actual causation to be both graded and (...)
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  • VI-Causality and Intrinsicality.Ann Whittle - 2008 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 108 (1part2):101-120.
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  • Just Do It? Investigating the Gap Between Prediction and Action in Toddlers’ Causal Inferences.Elizabeth Baraff Bonawitz, Darlene Ferranti, Rebecca Saxe, Alison Gopnik, Andrew N. Meltzoff, James Woodward & Laura E. Schulz - 2010 - Cognition 115 (1):104-117.
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  • The Ontology of Causal Process Theories.Anton Froeyman - 2012 - Philosophia 40 (3):523-538.
    There is a widespread belief that the so-called process theories of causation developed by Wesley Salmon and Phil Dowe have given us an original account of what causation really is. In this paper, I show that this is a misconception. The notion of “causal process” does not offer us a new ontological account of causation. I make this argument by explicating the implicit ontological commitments in Salmon and Dowe’s theories. From this, it is clear that Salmon’s Mark Transmission Theory collapses (...)
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  • A Phenomenological Reading of Anomalous Monism.Andrea Zhok - 2011 - Husserl Studies 27 (3):227-256.
    The essay discusses Donald Davidson’s concept of anomalous monism in the framework of Husserlian phenomenology. It develops in four stages. Section 1 is devoted to a critical presentation of the argument for anomalous monism. Section 2 succinctly examines those Husserlian notions that best provide the ground for a discussion parallel to Davidson’s. In Sect. 3, the aporetic status of “mental causation” is analyzed by providing a genetic-phenomenological account of efficient causation. Section 4 draws some general conclusions concerning the kind of (...)
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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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  • Interpreting Causality in the Health Sciences.Federica Russo & Jon Williamson - 2007 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 21 (2):157 – 170.
    We argue that the health sciences make causal claims on the basis of evidence both of physical mechanisms, and of probabilistic dependencies. Consequently, an analysis of causality solely in terms of physical mechanisms or solely in terms of probabilistic relationships, does not do justice to the causal claims of these sciences. Yet there seems to be a single relation of cause in these sciences - pluralism about causality will not do either. Instead, we maintain, the health sciences require a theory (...)
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  • Reconsidering Relativistic Causality.Jeremy Butterfield - 2007 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 21 (3):295 – 328.
    I discuss the idea of relativistic causality, i.e., the requirement that causal processes or signals can propagate only within the light-cone. After briefly locating this requirement in the philosophy of causation, my main aim is to draw philosophers' attention to the fact that it is subtle, indeed problematic, in relativistic quantum physics: there are scenarios in which it seems to fail. I set aside two such scenarios, which are familiar to philosophers of physics: the pilot-wave approach, and the Newton-Wigner representation. (...)
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  • Asymmetry of Causation and Possibility of Backward Causation.Kunihisa Morita - 2010 - Journal of the Japan Association for Philosophy of Science 38 (1):1-8.
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