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  1. 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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  • On quantum entanglement, counterfactuals, causality and dispositions.Tomasz Bigaj - 2020 - Synthese 197 (10):4161-4185.
    The existence of non-local correlations between outcomes of measurements in quantum entangled systems strongly suggests that we are dealing with some form of causation here. An assessment of this conjecture in the context of the collapse interpretation of quantum mechanics is the primary goal of this paper. Following the counterfactual approach to causation, I argue that the details of the underlying causal mechanism which could explain the non-local correlations in entangled states strongly depend on the adopted semantics for counterfactuals. Several (...)
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  • Humean Laws and Explanation.Dan Marshall - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (12):3145-3165.
    A common objection to Humeanism about natural laws is that, given Humeanism, laws cannot help explain their instances, since, given the best Humean account of laws, facts about laws are explained by facts about their instances rather than vice versa. After rejecting a recent influential reply to this objection that appeals to the distinction between scientific and metaphysical explanation, I will argue that the objection fails by failing to distinguish between two types of facts, only one of which Humeans should (...)
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  • Hasteners and Delayers: Why Rains Don’T Cause Fires.Caroline Torpe Touborg - 2017 - Philosophical Studies (7):1-20.
    We typically judge that hasteners are causes of what they hasten, while delayers are not causes of what they delay. These judgements, I suggest, are sensitive to an underlying metaphysical distinction. To see this, we need to pay attention to a relation that I call positive security-dependence, where an event E security-depends positively on an earlier event C just in case E could more easily have failed to occur if C had not occurred. I suggest that we judge that an (...)
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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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  • Grounding in the Image of Causation.Jonathan Schaffer - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (1):49-100.
    Grounding is often glossed as metaphysical causation, yet no current theory of grounding looks remotely like a plausible treatment of causation. I propose to take the analogy between grounding and causation seriously, by providing an account of grounding in the image of causation, on the template of structural equation models for causation.
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  • The Interventionist Account of Causation and Non-Causal Association Laws.Max Kistler - 2013 - Erkenntnis 78 (1):1-20.
    The key idea of the interventionist account of causation is that a variable A causes a variable B if and only if B would change if A were manipulated in the appropriate way. This paper raises two problems for Woodward's (2003) version of interventionism. The first is that the conditions it imposes are not sufficient for causation, because these conditions are also satisfied by non-causal relations of nomological dependence expressed in association laws. Such laws ground a relation of mutual manipulability (...)
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  • Causation and Manipulability.James Woodward - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Manipulablity theories of causation, according to which causes are to be regarded as handles or devices for manipulating effects, have considerable intuitive appeal and are popular among social scientists and statisticians. This article surveys several prominent versions of such theories advocated by philosophers, and the many difficulties they face. Philosophical statements of the manipulationist approach are generally reductionist in aspiration and assign a central role to human action. These contrast with recent discussions employing a broadly manipulationist framework for understanding causation, (...)
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  • Two Concepts of Causation.Ned Hall - 2004 - In John Collins, Ned Hall & Laurie Paul (eds.), Causation and Counterfactuals. MIT Press. pp. 225-276.
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  • Causal After All : A Model of Mental Causation for Dualists.Bram Vaassen - 2019 - Dissertation, Umeå University
    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. an (...)
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  • Hasteners and Delayers: Why Rains Don’T Cause Fires.Caroline Touborg - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (7):1557-1576.
    We typically judge that hasteners are causes of what they hasten, while delayers are not causes of what they delay. These judgements, I suggest, are sensitive to an underlying metaphysical distinction. To see this, we need to pay attention to a relation that I call positive security-dependence, where an event E security-depends positively on an earlier event C just in case E could more easily have failed to occur if C had not occurred. I suggest that we judge that an (...)
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  • Causal Modeling, Reversibility, and Logics of Counterfactuals.Wai Yin Lam - 2012 - Dissertation, Lingnan University
    This thesis studies Judea Pearl’s logic of counterfactuals derived from the causal modeling framework, in comparison to the influential Stanlnaker-Lewis counterfactual logics. My study focuses on a characteristic principle in Pearl’s logic, named reversibility. The principle, as Pearl pointed out, goes beyond Lewis’s logic. Indeed, it also goes beyond the stronger logic of Stanlnaker, which is more analogous to Pearl’s logic. The first result of this thesis is an extension of Stanlnaker’s logic incorporating reversibility. It will be observed that the (...)
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  • Harm, Benefit, and Non-Identity.Per Algander - 2013 - Dissertation, Uppsala University
    This thesis in an invistigation into the concept of "harm" and its moral relevance. A common view is that an analysis of harm should include a counterfactual condition: an act harms a person iff it makes that person worse off. A common objection to the moral relevance of harm, thus understood, is the non-identity problem. -/- This thesis criticises the counterfactual condition, argues for an alternative analysis and that harm plays two important normative roles. -/- The main ground for rejecting (...)
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  • Half-Hearted Humeanism.Aaron Segal - 2015 - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 9:262-305.
    Many contemporary philosophers endorse the Humean-Lewisian Denial of Absolutely Necessary Connections (‘DANC’). Among those philosophers, many deny all or part of the Humean-Lewisian package of views about causation and laws. I argue that they maintain an inconsistent set of views. DANC entails that (1) causal properties and relations are, with a few possible exceptions, always extrinsic to their bearers, (2) nomic properties and relations are, with a few possible exceptions, always extrinsic to their bearers, and (3) causal and nomic properties (...)
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  • The Physical Foundations of Causation.Douglas Kutach - 2007 - In Huw Price & Richard Corry (eds.), Causation, Physics, and the Constitution of Reality: Russell's Republic Revisited. Oxford University Press.
    I defend what may loosely be called an eliminativist account of causation by showing how several of the main features of causation, namely asymmetry, transitivity, and necessitation, arise from the combination of fundamental dynamical laws and a special constraint on the macroscopic structure of matter in the past. At the microscopic level, the causal features of necessitation and transitivity are grounded, but not the asymmetry. At the coarse-grained level of the macroscopic physics, the causal asymmetry is grounded, but not the (...)
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  • Counterpossibles.Barak Krakauer - 2012 - Dissertation, University of Massachusetts
    Counterpossibles are counterfactuals with necessarily false antecedents. The problem of counterpossibles is easiest to state within the "nearest possible world" framework for counterfactuals: on this approach, a counterfactual is true when the consequent is true in the "nearest" possible world where the antecedent is true. Since counterpossibles have necessarily false antecedents, there is no possible world where the antecedent is true. On the approach favored by Lewis, Stalnaker, Williamson, and others, counterpossibles are all trivially true. I introduce several arguments against (...)
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  • Causation: Empirical Trends and Future Directions.David Rose & David Danks - 2012 - Philosophy Compass 7 (9):643-653.
    Empirical research has recently emerged as a key method for understanding the nature of causation, and our concept of causation. One thread of research aims to test intuitions about the nature of causation in a variety of classic cases. These experiments have principally been used to try to resolve certain debates within analytic philosophy, most notably that between proponents of transference and dependence views of causation. The other major thread of empirical research on our concept of causation has investigated the (...)
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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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  • Causation and Models of Disease in Epidemiology.Alex Broadbent - 2009 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 40 (4):302-311.
    Nineteenth-century medical advances were entwined with a conceptual innovation: the idea that many cases of disease which were previously thought to have diverse causes could be explained by the action of a single kind of cause, for example a certain bacterial or parasitic infestation. The focus of modern epidemiology, however, is on chronic non-communicable diseases, which frequently do not seem to be attributable to any single causal factor. This paper is an effort to resolve the resulting tension. The paper criticises (...)
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  • Extended Cognition and Propositional Memory.J. Adam Carter & Jesper Kallestrup - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 92 (3):691-714.
    The philosophical case for extended cognition is often made with reference to ‘extended-memory cases’ ; though, unfortunately, proponents of the hypothesis of extended cognition as well as their adversaries have failed to appreciate the kinds of epistemological problems extended-memory cases pose for mainstream thinking in the epistemology of memory. It is time to give these problems a closer look. Our plan is as follows: in §1, we argue that an epistemological theory remains compatible with HEC only if its epistemic assessments (...)
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  • Determinism.Terrance Tomkow & Kadri Vihvelin - manuscript
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  • Humeans Aren't Out of Their Minds.Brian Weatherson - 2007 - Noûs 41 (3):529–535.
    Humeanism is “the thesis that the whole truth about a world like ours supervenes on the spatiotemporal distribution of local qualities.” (Lewis, 1994, 473) Since the whole truth about our world contains truths about causation, causation must be located in the mosaic of local qualities that the Humean says constitute the whole truth about the world. The most natural ways to do this involve causation being in some sense extrinsic. To take the simplest possible Humean analysis, we might say that (...)
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  • Epistemic Modality De Re.Seth Yalcin - 2015 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 2:475-527.
    Focusing on cases which involve binding into epistemic modals with definite descriptions and quantifiers, I raise some new problems for standard approaches to all of these expressions. The difficulties are resolved in a semantic framework that is dynamic in character. I close with a new class of problems about de re readings within the scope of modals.
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  • Causation: An Alternative.Wolfgang Spohn - 2006 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (1):93-119.
    The paper builds on the basically Humean idea that A is a cause of B iff A and B both occur, A precedes B, and A raises the metaphysical or epistemic status of B given the obtaining circumstances. It argues that in pursuit of a theory of deterministic causation this ‘status raising’ is best explicated not in regularity or counterfactual terms, but in terms of ranking functions. On this basis, it constructs a rigorous theory of deterministic causation that successfully deals (...)
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  • Causal Reasoning with Forces.Phillip Wolff & Aron K. Barbey - 2015 - Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 9.
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  • Functionalism, Mental Causation, and the Problem of Metaphysically Necessary Effects.Robert D. Rupert - 2006 - Noûs 40 (2):256-83.
    The recent literature on mental causation has not been kind to nonreductive, materialist functionalism (‘functionalism’, hereafter, except where that term is otherwise qualified). The exclusion problem2 has done much of the damage, but the epiphenomenalist threat has taken other forms. Functionalism also faces what I will call the ‘problem of metaphysically necessary effects’ (Block, 1990, pp. 157-60, Antony and Levine, 1997, pp. 91-92, Pereboom, 2002, p. 515, Millikan, 1999, p. 47, Jackson, 1998, pp. 660-61). Functionalist mental properties are individuated partly (...)
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  • The Good Cause Account of the Meaning of Life.Aaron Smuts - 2013 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 51 (4):536-562.
    I defend the theory that one's life is meaningful to the extent that one promotes the good. Call this the good cause account (GCA) of the meaning of life. It holds that the good effects that count towards the meaning of one's life need not be intentional. Nor must one be aware of the effects. Nor does it matter whether the same good would have resulted if one had not existed. What matters is that one is causally responsible for the (...)
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  • Chance-Changing Causal Processes.Helen Beebee - 2004 - In Phil Dowe & Paul Noordhof (eds.), Cause and Chance. London: Routledge. pp. 39-57.
    Scepticism concerning the idea of causation being linked to contingent chance-raising is articulated in Beebee’s challenging chapter. She suggests that none of these approaches will avoid the consequence that spraying defoliant on a weed is a cause of the weed’s subsequent health. We will always be able to abstract away enough of the healthy plant processes so all that’s left is the causal chain involving defoliation and health. In those circumstances, there will be contingent chance-raising. Beebee’s conclusion is that we (...)
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  • Determinism and Causation Examples.Marc Burock - unknown
    In studying causation, many examples are presented assuming that determinism holds in the world of the example such as the notoriously difficult to resolve preemptive and preventative situations. We show that for deterministic examples that this conditional preemptive situation is either (i)vacuously true, (ii)contradictory, or (iii) implies indeterminism. Along the way we formulate a specific block space-time definition of determinism, and suggest that commonsense causation theories need focus on unphysical quantities and indeterminism.
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  • A Probabilistic Analysis of Causation.Luke Glynn - 2011 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (2):343-392.
    The starting point in the development of probabilistic analyses of token causation has usually been the naïve intuition that, in some relevant sense, a cause raises the probability of its effect. But there are well-known examples both of non-probability-raising causation and of probability-raising non-causation. Sophisticated extant probabilistic analyses treat many such cases correctly, but only at the cost of excluding the possibilities of direct non-probability-raising causation, failures of causal transitivity, action-at-a-distance, prevention, and causation by absence and omission. I show that (...)
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  • Causal Powers.Eric Hiddleston - 2005 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 56 (1):27-59.
    Nancy Cartwright offers an account of causal powers, and argues that it explains some important general features of scientific method. Patricia Cheng argues that this theory is superior as a psychological theory of learning to standard models of conditioning. I extend and develop the theory, and argue that it provides the best explanation of a number of problem cases for philosophical theories of causation, including preemption, overdetermination and puzzles about transitivity. Hitchcock and Halpern & Pearl on ‘actual causes’ Problems and (...)
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  • 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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  • A Defense of Nonreductive Mental Causation.Andrew Russo - 2013 - Dissertation, The University of Oklahoma
    Mental causation is a problem and not just a problem for the nonphysicalist. One of the many lessons learned from Jaegwon Kim’s writings in the philosophy of mind is that mental causation is a problem for the nonreductive physicalist as well. A central component of the common sense picture we have of ourselves as persons is that our beliefs and desires causally explain our actions. But the completeness of the “brain sciences” threatens this picture. If all of our actions are (...)
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  • The Vague Time of a Killing.Kenneth Silver - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (6):1383-1400.
    The problem of the time of a killing concerns exactly when and where to locate our actions. It is a problem for many of our actions beyond killing, and there are versions of the problem that can be raised no matter where your theory locates actions in particular. To answer the problem, I claim that we should be guided to the referent of ‘the killing’ by examining the definition of ‘to kill.’ Once we have the correct definition, we can see (...)
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  • Causes and Explanations: A Structural-Model Approach. Part I: Causes.Joseph Y. Halpern & Judea Pearl - 2005 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 56 (4):843-887.
    Department of Computer Science, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA judea{at}cs.ucla.edu' + u + '@' + d + ''//--> We propose a new definition of actual causes, using structural equations to model counterfactuals. We show that the definition yields a plausible and elegant account of causation that handles well examples which have caused problems for other definitions and resolves major difficulties in the traditional account. Introduction Causal models: a review 2.1 Causal models 2.2 Syntax and semantics (...)
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  • Tropes for Causation.M. J. Garcia-Encinas - 2009 - Metaphysica 10 (2):157-174.
    Tropes, as distinguished from other possible kinds of entities such as universals, states of affairs, events and bare particulars, are best-suited to play the role of causal relata.
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  • Of Humean Bondage.Christopher Hitchcock - 2003 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 54 (1):1-25.
    There are many ways of attaching two objects together: for example, they can be connected, linked, tied or bound together; and the connection, link, tie or bind can be made of chain, rope, or cement. Every one of these binding methods has been used as a metaphor for causation. What is the real significance of these metaphors? They express a commitment to a certain way of thinking about causation, summarized in the following thesis: ‘In any concrete situation, there is an (...)
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  • Causal Foundationalism, Physical Causation, and Difference-Making.Luke Glynn - 2013 - Synthese 190 (6):1017-1037.
    An influential tradition in the philosophy of causation has it that all token causal facts are, or are reducible to, facts about difference-making. Challenges to this tradition have typically focused on pre-emption cases, in which a cause apparently fails to make a difference to its effect. However, a novel challenge to the difference-making approach has recently been issued by Alyssa Ney. Ney defends causal foundationalism, which she characterizes as the thesis that facts about difference-making depend upon facts about physical causation. (...)
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  • Events and Their Counterparts.Neil McDonnell - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (5):1291-1308.
    This paper argues that a counterpart-theoretic treatment of events, combined with a counterfactual theory of causation, can help resolve three puzzles from the causation literature. First, CCT traces the apparent contextual shifts in our causal attributions to shifts in the counterpart relation which obtains in those contexts. Second, being sensitive to shifts in the counterpart relation can help diagnose what goes wrong in certain prominent examples where the transitivity of causation appears to fail. Third, CCT can help us resurrect the (...)
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  • Causation and Counterfactual Dependence.Sungho Choi - 2007 - Erkenntnis 67 (1):1-16.
    Recently Stephen Barker has raised stimulating objections to the thesis that, roughly speaking, if two events stand in a relation of counterfactual dependence, they stand in a causal relation. As Ned Hall says, however, this thesis constitutes the strongest part of the counterfactual analysis of causation. Therefore, if successful, Barker’s objections will undermine the cornerstone of the counterfactual analysis of causation, and hence give us compelling reasons to reject the counterfactual analysis of causation. I will argue, however, that they do (...)
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  • Infallible Divine Foreknowledge Cannot Uniquely Threaten Human Freedom, but its Mechanics Might.T. Ryan Byerly - 2012 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 4 (4):73-94.
    It is not uncommon to think that the existence of exhaustive and infallible divine foreknowledge uniquely threatens the existence of human freedom. This paper shows that this cannot be so. For, to uniquely threaten human freedom, infallible divine foreknowledge would have to make an essential contribution to an explanation for why our actions are not up to us. And infallible divine foreknowledge cannot do this. There remains, however, an important question about the compatibility of freedom and foreknowledge. It is a (...)
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  • Transitivity and Proportionality in Causation.Neil McDonnell - 2018 - Synthese 195 (3):1211-1229.
    It is commonly assumed that causation is transitive and in this paper I aim to reconcile this widely-held assumption with apparent evidence to the contrary. I will discuss a familiar approach to certain well-known counterexamples, before introducing a more resistant sort of case of my own. I will then offer a novel solution, based on Yablo’s proportionality principle, that succeeds in even these more resistant cases. There is a catch, however. Either proportionality is a constraint on which causal claims are (...)
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  • Contrastive Causation.Jonathan Schaffer - 2005 - Philosophical Review 114 (3):327-358.
    Causation is widely assumed to be a binary relation: c causes e. I will argue that causation is a quaternary, contrastive relation: c rather than C* causes e rather than E*, where C* and E* are nonempty sets of contrast events. Or at least, I will argue that treating causation as contrastive helps resolve some paradoxes.
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  • Probability-Lowering Causes and the Connotations of Causation.Andrés Páez - 2013 - Ideas Y Valores 62 (151):43-55.
    A common objection to probabilistic theories of causation is that there are prima facie causes that lower the probability of their effects. Among the many replies to this objection, little attention has been given to Mellor's (1995) indirect strategy to deny that probability-lowering factors are bona fide causes. According to Mellor, such factors do not satisfy the evidential, explanatory, and instrumental connotations of causation. The paper argues that the evidential connotation only entails an epistemically relativized form of causal attribution, not (...)
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  • The Deviance in Deviant Causal Chains.Neil McDonnell - 2015 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 4 (2):162-170.
    Causal theories of action, perception and knowledge are each beset by problems of so-called ‘deviant’ causal chains. For each such theory, counterexamples are formed using odd or co-incidental causal chains to establish that the theory is committed to unpalatable claims about some intentional action, about a case of veridical perception or about the acquisition of genuine knowledge. In this paper I will argue that three well-known examples of a deviant causal chain have something in common: they each violate Yablos proportionality (...)
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  • The Transitivity and Asymmetry of Actual Causation.Sander Beckers & Joost Vennekens - 2017 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 4:1-27.
    The counterfactual tradition to defining actual causation has come a long way since Lewis started it off. However there are still important open problems that need to be solved. One of them is the (in)transitivity of causation. Endorsing transitivity was a major source of trouble for the approach taken by Lewis, which is why currently most approaches reject it. But transitivity has never lost its appeal, and there is a large literature devoted to understanding why this is so. Starting from (...)
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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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  • Causation, Pluralism and Responsibility.Francis Longworth - 2006 - Philosophica 77.
    Counterfactual theories of causation have had difficulty in delivering the intuitively correct verdicts for cases of causation involving preemption, without generating further counterexamples. Hall has offered a pluralistic theory of causation, according to which there are two concepts of causation: counterfactual dependence and production. Hall’s theory does deliver the correct verdicts for many of the problematic kinds of preemption. It also deals successfully with cases of causation by omission, which have proved stubborn counterexamples to physical process theories of causation. Hall’s (...)
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  • Making a Contribution and Making a Difference.Neil McDonnell - 2018 - American Philosophical Quarterly 55 (3):303-312.
    There are at least two different concepts that philosophers might target when analyzing causation: a pre-selective notion and a selective notion. This paper argues that these two distinct conceptions have been conflated to date, citing the puzzles of overdetermination, extensionality, and transitivity as evidence. The primary aim of the paper is to help reset the methodological scene concerning analyses of causation.
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  • Arguments for Incompatibilism.Kadri Vihvelin - 2003/2017 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Determinism is a claim about the laws of nature: very roughly, it is the claim that everything that happens is determined by antecedent conditions together with the natural laws. Incompatibilism is a philosophical thesis about the relevance of determinism to free will: that the truth of determinism rules out the existence of free will. The incompatibilist believes that if determinism turned out to be true, it would also be true that we don't have, and have never had, free will. The (...)
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