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  1. Kind‐Dependent Grounding.Alex Moran - 2018 - Analytic Philosophy 59 (3):359-390.
    Are grounding claims fully general in character? If an object a is F in virtue of being G, does it follow that anything that’s G is F for that reason? According to the thesis of Weak Formality, the answer here is ‘yes’. In this paper, however, I argue that there is philosophical utility in rejecting this thesis. More exactly, I argue that two currently unresolved problems in contemporary metaphysics can be dealt with if we hold that there can be cases (...)
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  • Causal Reasoning.Christoph Hoerl - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 152 (2):167-179.
    The main focus of this paper is the question as to what it is for an individual to think of her environment in terms of a concept of causation, or causal concepts, in contrast to some more primitive ways in which an individual might pick out or register what are in fact causal phenomena. I show how versions of this question arise in the context of two strands of work on causation, represented by Elizabeth Anscombe and Christopher Hitchcock, respectively. I (...)
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  • Singularist Semirealism.Bence Nanay - 2013 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (2):371-394.
    This paper proposes to carve out a new position in the scientific realism/antirealism debate and argue that it captures some of the most important realist and some of the most important antirealist considerations. The view, briefly stated, is that there is always a fact of the matter about whether the singular statements science gives us are literally true, but there is no fact of the matter about whether the non-singular statements science gives us are literally true. I call this view (...)
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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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  • 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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  • Response to Leuenberger, Shumener and Thompson.Karen Bennett - 2019 - Analysis 79 (2):327-340.
    I am very grateful to Stephan Leuenberger, Erica Shumener and Naomi Thompson for their excellent and thoughtful commentaries on Making Things Up. I have learned a lot from thinking through their replies. As it happens, they focus on pretty disparate aspects of the book: necessitation, relative fundamentality, and what builds the building facts, respectively. I will thus engage with their remarks separately.
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  • Causal Inquiry in the Social Sciences: The Promise of Process Tracing.Rosa Runhardt - 2015 - Dissertation, London School of Economics
    In this thesis I investigate causal inquiry in the social sciences, drawing on examples from various disciplines and in particular from conflict studies. In a backlash against the pervasiveness of statistical methods, in the last decade certain social scientists have focused on finding the causal mechanisms behind observed correlations. To provide evidence for such mechanisms, researchers increasingly rely on ‘process tracing’, a method which attempts to give evidence for causal relations by specifying the chain of events connecting a putative cause (...)
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  • Natural-Born Determinists: A New Defense of Causation as Probability-Raising.Robert Northcott - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 150 (1):1-20.
    A definition of causation as probability-raising is threatened by two kinds of counterexample: first, when a cause lowers the probability of its effect; and second, when the probability of an effect is raised by a non-cause. In this paper, I present an account that deals successfully with problem cases of both these kinds. In doing so, I also explore some novel implications of incorporating into the metaphysical investigation considerations of causal psychology.
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  • Probabilistic Causality and Causal Generalizations.Daniel M. Hausman - 2010 - In Ellery Eells & James H. Fetzer (eds.), The Place of Probability in Science. Springer. pp. 47--63.
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  • Path-Specific Effects.Naftali Weinberger - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (1):53-76.
    A cause may influence its effect via multiple paths. Paradigmatically (Hesslow [1974]), taking birth control pills both decreases one’s risk of thrombosis by preventing pregnancy and increases it by producing a blood chemical. Building on Pearl ([2001]), I explicate the notion of a path-specific effect. Roughly, a path-specific effect of C on E via path P is the degree to which a change in C would change E were they to be transmitted only via P. Facts about such effects may (...)
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  • Actual Causation and Simple Voting Scenarios.Jonathan Livengood - 2013 - Noûs 47 (2):316-345.
    Several prominent, contemporary theories of actual causation maintain that in order for something to count as an actual cause (in the circumstances) of some known effect, the potential cause must be a difference-maker with respect to the effect in some restricted range of circumstances. Although the theories disagree about how to restrict the range of circumstances that must be considered in deciding whether something counts as an actual cause of a known effect, the theories agree that at least some counterfactual (...)
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  • Causal Criteria and the Problem of Complex Causation.Andrew Ward - 2009 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 12 (3):333-343.
    Nancy Cartwright begins her recent book, Hunting Causes and Using Them, by noting that while a few years ago real causal claims were in dispute, nowadays “causality is back, and with a vengeance.” In the case of the social sciences, Keith Morrison writes that “Social science asks ‘why?’. Detecting causality or its corollary—prediction—is the jewel in the crown of social science research.” With respect to the health sciences, Judea Pearl writes that the “research questions that motivate most studies in the (...)
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  • The Social Epidemiologic Concept of Fundamental Cause.Andrew Ward - 2007 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 28 (6):465-485.
    The goal of research in social epidemiology is not simply conceptual clarification or theoretical understanding, but more importantly it is to contribute to, and enhance the health of populations (and so, too, the people who constitute those populations). Undoubtedly, understanding how various individual risk factors such as smoking and obesity affect the health of people does contribute to this goal. However, what is distinctive of much on-going work in social epidemiology is the view that analyses making use of individual-level variables (...)
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  • Causes and Categories.Nathanael Stein - 2016 - Noûs 50 (3):465-489.
    Philosophers discussing causation take on, as one of their responsibilities, the task of specifying an ontology of causation. Both standard and non-standard accounts of that ontology make two assumptions: that the ontological category of causal relata admits a unique specification, and that cause and effect are of the same ontological type. These assumptions are rarely made explicit, but there is in fact little reason to think them true. It is argued here that, if the question has any interest, there are (...)
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  • Causal Comparability, Causal Generalizations, and Epistemic Homogeneity.Rosa W. Runhardt - 2017 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 47 (3):183-208.
    The issue of causal comparability in the social sciences underlies matters of both generalization and extrapolation. After critiquing two existing interpretations of comparability, due to Hitchcock and Hausman, I propose a distinction between ontological and epistemic comparability. While the former refers to whether two cases are actually comparable, the latter respects that in cases of incomplete information, we need to rely on whatever evidence we have of comparability. I argue, using a political science case study, that in those cases of (...)
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  • The Mechanist and the Snail.Christopher Read Hitchcock - 1996 - Philosophical Studies 84 (1):91 - 105.
    Introduction: One of the most influential theories of scientific explanation to have emerged in the past two decades is Salmon's causal/mechanical theory (Salmon 1984). According to this account, scientific explanations describe a network of causal processes and interactions. In this paper, I will use an example from evolutionary biology to argue that the causal nexus, as characterized by Salmon, is not rich enough to account for many causal explanations in the sciences.
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  • Regularity Accounts of Causation and the Problem of Pre-Emption: Dark Prospects Indeed. [REVIEW]Cei Maslen - 2012 - Erkenntnis 77 (3):419-434.
    In this paper I examine a recent argument that regularity approaches to causation can easily solve the problem of pre-emption. If this argument were successful it would neatly solve the problem of pre-emption—a problem that many still consider to be a central unsolved problem for accounts of causation. The argument is surprising in that the conclusion goes against the common consensus that regularity accounts of causation cannot solve the problem of pre-emption, at least without major amendments. This consensus was one (...)
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  • Causation in the Sciences: An Inferentialist Account.Julian Reiss - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 43 (4):769-777.
    I present an alternative account of causation in the biomedical and social sciences according to which the meaning of causal claims is given by their inferential relations to other claims. Specifically, I will argue that causal claims are inferentially related to certain evidential claims as well as claims about explanation, prediction, intervention and responsibility. I explain in some detail what it means for a claim to be inferentially related to another and finally derive some implication of the proposed account for (...)
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  • The Role of Contrast in Causal and Explanatory Claims.Christopher Read Hitchcock - 1996 - Synthese 107 (3):395 - 419.
    Following Dretske (1977), there has been a considerable body of literature on the role of contrastive stress in causal claims. Following van Fraassen (1980), there has been a considerable body of literature on the role of contrastive stress in explanations and explanation-requesting why-questions. Amazingly, the two bodies of literature have remained almost entirely disjoint. With an understanding of the contrastive nature of ordinary causal claims, and of the linguistic roles of contrastive stress, it is possible to provide a unified account (...)
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  • Hitchcock’s Treatment of Singular and General Causation.Christian Jakob - 2006 - Minds and Machines 16 (3):277-287.
    Hitchcock (2001a) argues that the distinction between singular and general causation conflates the two distinctions ‘actual causation vs. causal tendencies’ and ‘wide vs. narrow causation’. Based on a recent regularity account of causation I will show that Hitchcock’s introduction of the two distinctions is an unnecessary multiplication of causal concepts.
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  • Contextualising Causation Part I.Julian Reiss - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (11):1066-1075.
    This is the first instalment of a two-part paper on the counterfactual theory of causation. It is well known that this theory is ridden with counterexamples. Specifically, the following four features of the theory suffer from problems: it understands causation as a relation between events; counterfactual dependence is understood using a metric of similarity among possible worlds; it defines a non-discriminatory concept of causation; and it understands causation as transitive. A number of philosophers have recently proposed that causation is contrastive (...)
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  • Interventionism, Control Variables and Causation in the Qualitative World.John Campbell - 2008 - Philosophical Issues 18 (1):426-445.
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  • Trumping and Contrastive Causation.Christopher Hitchcock - 2011 - Synthese 181 (2):227 - 240.
    Jonathan Schaffer introduced a new type of causal structure called 'trumping'. According to Schaffer, trumping is a species of causal preemption. Both Schaffer and I have argued that causation has a contrastive structure. In this paper, I analyze the structure of trumping cases from the perspective of contrastive causation, and argue that the case is much more complex than it first appears. Nonetheless, there is little reason to regard trumping as a species of causal preemption.
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  • Varieties of Multiple Antecedent Cause.Jeff Engelhardt - 2012 - Acta Analytica 27 (3):231-246.
    A great deal has been written over the past decade defending ‘higher-level’ causes by arguing that overdetermination is more complex than many philosophers initially thought. Although two shooters overdetermine the death of a firing squad victim, a baseball and its parts do not overdetermine the breaking of a window. But while these analyses of overdetermination have no doubt been fruitful, the focus on overdetermination—while ignoring other varieties of causal relation—has limited the discussion. Many of the cases of interest resemble joint (...)
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