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Causation

Journal of Philosophy 70 (17):556-567 (1973)

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  1. Defining Disposition Concepts: A Brief History of the Problem.Wolfgang Malzkorn - 2001 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 32 (2):335-353.
    The aim of this paper is twofold. Firstly, I give a brief account of the history of the debate on the problem of defining disposition concepts from its beginning in the late 1920s until today. This account is divided into four parts, corresponding with sections 2 to 5 of the paper, each of which deals with a major period of the debate. Section 2 reports up to the mid-1950s. Section 3 deals with important contributions to the discussion between 1955 and (...)
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  • Defining Disposition Concepts: A Brief History of the Problem.Wolfgang Malzkorn - 2001 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 32 (2):335-353.
    The aim of this paper is twofold. Firstly, I give a brief account of the history of the debate on the problem of defining disposition concepts from its beginning in the late 1920s until today. This account is divided into four parts, corresponding with 2, 3, 4 and 5 of the paper, each of which deals with a major period of the debate. Section 2 reports up to the mid-1950s. Section 3 deals with important contributions to the discussion between 1955 (...)
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  • Continuous Creation and Secondary Causation: The Threat of Occasionalism.Timothy D. Miller - 2011 - Religious Studies 47 (1):3-22.
    One standard criticism of the doctrine of continuous creation is that it entails the occasionalist position that God alone is a true cause and that the events we commonly identify as causes are merely the occasions upon which God brings about effects. I begin by clearly stating Malebranche's argument from continuous creation to occasionalism. Next, I examine two strategies for resisting Malebranche's argument – strong and weak concurrentism – and argue that weak concurrentism is the more promising strategy. Finally, I (...)
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  • If Counterfactuals Were Excluded From Historical Reasoning..Yemima Ben-Menahem - 2016 - Journal of the Philosophy of History 10 (3):370-381.
    _ Source: _Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 370 - 381 The argument of this paper is that counterfactuals are indispensable in reasoning in general and historical reasoning in particular. It illustrates the role of counterfactuals in the study of history and explores the connection between counterfactuals and the notions of historical necessity and contingency. Entertaining alternatives to the actual course of events is conducive to the assessment of the relative weight and impact of the various factors that combine to bring (...)
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  • German Seit 'Since' and the Ambiguity of the German Perfect.Arnim von Stechow - unknown
    The meanings of temporal adverbials seem easy to describe, but the compositional interaction with tense and aspect is notoriously difficult to analyse because we (more accurately: I) do not understand yet the principles governing the tense/aspect architecture of natural languages well enough. One of the most difficult areas of temporal structure is the perfect, and the literature quoted in this article shows that there is little agreement on its meaning(s). I believe that we will make progress only by a careful (...)
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  • Resemblance-Based Resources for Reductive Singularism (Or: How to Be a Humean Singularist About Causation).Jessica M. Wilson - 2009 - The Monist 92 (1):153-190.
    Hume argued that experience could not justify commonly held beliefs in singular causal effcacy, according to which individual or singular causes produce their effects or make their effects happen. Hume's discussion has been influential, as motivating the view that Causal reductionism (denying that causal efficacy is an irreducible feature of natural reality) requires Causal generalism (according to which causal relations are metaphysically constituted by patterns of events). Here I argue that causal reductionists---indeed, Hume himself---have previously unappreciated resources for making sense (...)
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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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  • Believing For a Reason.John Turri - 2011 - Erkenntnis 74 (3):383-397.
    This paper explains what it is to believe something for a reason. My thesis is that you believe something for a reason just in case the reason non-deviantly causes your belief. In the course of arguing for my thesis, I present a new argument that reasons are causes, and offer an informative account of causal non-deviance.
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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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  • Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung 9.Emar Maier, Corien Bary & Janneke Huitink (eds.) - 2005 - Nijmegen Centre for Semantics.
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  • Causality Reunified.Michael Strevens - 2013 - Erkenntnis 78 (2):299-320.
    Hall has recently argued that there are two concepts of causality, picking out two different kinds of causal relation. McGrath, and Hitchcock and Knobe, have recently argued that the facts about causality depend on what counts as a “default” or “normal” state, or even on the moral facts. In the light of these claims you might be tempted to agree with Skyrms that causal relations constitute, metaphysically speaking, an “amiable jumble”, or with Cartwright that ‘causation’, though a single word, encompasses (...)
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  • Construction Area (No Hard Hat Required).Karen Bennett - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 154 (1):79-104.
    A variety of relations widely invoked by philosophers—composition, constitution, realization, micro-basing, emergence, and many others—are species of what I call ‘building relations’. I argue that they are conceptually intertwined, articulate what it takes for a relation to count as a building relation, and argue that—contra appearances—it is an open possibility that these relations are all determinates of a common determinable, or even that there is really only one building relation.
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  • Productivity, Relevance and Natural Selection.Stuart Glennan - 2009 - Biology and Philosophy 24 (3):325-339.
    Recent papers by a number of philosophers have been concerned with the question of whether natural selection is a causal process, and if it is, whether the causes of selection are properties of individuals or properties of populations. I shall argue that much confusion in this debate arises because of a failure to distinguish between causal productivity and causal relevance. Causal productivity is a relation that holds between events connected via continuous causal processes, while causal relevance is a relationship that (...)
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  • Symmetry Arguments Against Regular Probability: A Reply to Recent Objections.Matthew W. Parker - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 9 (1):8.
    A probability distribution is regular if no possible event is assigned probability zero. While some hold that probabilities should always be regular, three counter-arguments have been posed based on examples where, if regularity holds, then perfectly similar events must have different probabilities. Howson (2017) and Benci et al. (2016) have raised technical objections to these symmetry arguments, but we see here that their objections fail. Howson says that Williamson’s (2007) “isomorphic” events are not in fact isomorphic, but Howson is speaking (...)
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  • Kant on Duty in the Groundwork.Benjamin Ferguson - 2012 - Res Publica 18 (4):303-319.
    Barbara Herman offers an interpretation of Kant’s Groundwork on which an action has moral worth if the primary motive for the action is the motive of duty. She offers this approach in place of Richard Henson’s sufficiency-based interpretation, according to which an action has moral worth when the motive of duty is sufficient by itself to generate the action. Noa Latham criticizes Herman’s account and argues that we cannot make sense of the position that an agent can hold multiple motives (...)
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  • Super-Humeanism: A Starving Ontology.Dustin Lazarovici - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 64:79-86.
    The paper provides a critical discussion of the Super-Humean view of spacetime and the “minimalist ontology” in terms of Leibnizian relations and primitive matter points, recently developed by Esfeld et al. It investigates, in particular, the empirical adequacy of the proposed metaphysics, arguing that Super-Humeanism cannot provide a plausible account of space and time without committing to bona fide geometric structure in the fundamental relations. Against this backdrop, I propose a moderate version of Super-Humeanism and discuss its possible application to (...)
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  • Time Travel and Counterfactual Asymmetry.Alison Fernandes - forthcoming - Synthese:1-19.
    We standardly evaluate counterfactuals and abilities in temporally asymmetric terms—by keeping the past fixed and holding the future open. Only future events depend counterfactually on what happens now. Past events do not. Conversely, past events are relevant to what abilities one has now in a way that future events are not. Lewis, Sider and others continue to evaluate counterfactuals and abilities in temporally asymmetric terms, even in cases of backwards time travel. I’ll argue that we need more temporally neutral methods. (...)
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  • Tacit and Accessible Understanding of Language.Kent Johnson - 2007 - Synthese 156 (2):253 - 279.
    The empirical nature of our understanding of language is explored. I first show that there are several important and different distinctions between tacit and accessible awareness. I then present empirical evidence concerning our understanding of language. The data suggests that our awareness of sentence-meanings is sometimes merely tacit according to one of these distinctions, but is accessible according to another. I present and defend an interpretation of this mixed view. The present project is shown to impact on several diverse areas, (...)
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  • A Generalized Probabilistic Theory of Causal Relevance.Christopher Read Hitchcock - 1993 - Synthese 97 (3):335 - 364.
    I advance a new theory of causal relevance, according to which causal claims convey information about conditional probability functions. This theory is motivated by the problem of disjunctive factors, which haunts existing probabilistic theories of causation. After some introductory remarks, I present in Section 3 a sketch of Eells's (1991) probabilistic theory of causation, which provides the framework for much of the discussion. Section 4 explains how the problem of disjunctive factors arises within this framework. After rejecting three proposed solutions, (...)
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  • Comments on Woodward, Making Things Happen.Michael Strevens - 2008 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 77 (1):171-192.
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  • Singular and General Causal Relations: A Mechanist Perspective.Stuart Glennan - 2011 - In Phyllis McKay Illari, Federica Russo & Jon Williamson (eds.), Causality in the Sciences. Oxford University Press.
    My aim in this paper is to make a case for the singularist view from the perspective of a mechanical theory of causation, and to explain what, from this perspective, causal generalizations mean, and what role they play within the mechanical theory.
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  • Mechanisms, Causes, and the Layered Model of the World.Stuart Glennan - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (2):362-381.
    Most philosophical accounts of causation take causal relations to obtain between individuals and events in virtue of nomological relations between properties of these individuals and events. Such views fail to take into account the consequences of the fact that in general the properties of individuals and events will depend upon mechanisms that realize those properties. In this paper I attempt to rectify this failure, and in so doing to provide an account of the causal relevance of higher-level properties. I do (...)
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  • Contextual Unanimity and the Units of Selection Problem.Stuart Glennan - 2002 - Philosophy of Science 69 (1):118-137.
    Sober and Lewontin's critique of genic selectionism is based upon the principle that a unit of selection should make a context‐independent contribution to fitness. Critics have effectively shown that this principle is flawed. In this paper I show that the context independence principle is an instance of a more general principle for characterizing causes,called the contextual unanimity principle. I argue that this latter principle, while widely accepted, is erroneous. What is needed is to replace the approach to causality characterized by (...)
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  • A Theory of Non-Universal Laws.Alexander Reutlinger - 2011 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 25 (2):97 - 117.
    Laws in the special sciences are usually regarded to be non-universal. A theory of laws in the special sciences faces two challenges. (I) According to Lange's dilemma, laws in the special sciences are either false or trivially true. (II) They have to meet the ?requirement of relevance?, which is a way to require the non-accidentality of special science laws. I argue that both challenges can be met if one distinguishes four dimensions of (non-) universality. The upshot is that I argue (...)
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  • Concrete Causation: About the Structures of Causal Knowledge.Roland Poellinger - 2012 - Dissertation, LMU Munich
    Concrete Causation centers about theories of causation, their interpretation, and their embedding in metaphysical-ontological questions, as well as the application of such theories in the context of science and decision theory. The dissertation is divided into four chapters, that firstly undertake the historical-systematic localization of central problems (chapter 1) to then give a rendition of the concepts and the formalisms underlying David Lewis' and Judea Pearl's theories (chapter 2). After philosophically motivated conceptual deliberations Pearl's mathematical-technical framework is drawn on for (...)
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  • The Tendency Theory of Causation.Daniel von Wachter - manuscript
    A theory of causation with ‘tendencies’ as causal con- nections is proposed. Not, however, as ‘necessary connec- tions’: causes are not sufficient, they do not necessitate their effects. The theory is not an analysis of the concept of causation, but a description of what is the case in typical cases of causation. Therefore it does not strictly contradict any analysis of the concept of causation, not even reduct- ive ones. It would even be supported by a counterfactual or a probabilistic (...)
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  • Constructing Concessive Conditionals: In Case of Japanese.Ai Matsui - 2009 - In Arndt Riester & Torgrim Solstad (eds.), Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung 13.
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  • One More Step and You 'Ll Get Pseudo-Imperatives Right'.Jacques Jayez & Mathilde Dargnat - 2009 - In Arndt Riester & Torgrim Solstad (eds.), Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung 13. pp. 247--260.
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  • There Are More Things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, Than Are Dreamt of in Your Philosophy: A Dialogue on Realism and Constructivism.Robert Nola - 1993 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 25 (5):689-727.
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  • The Psychology of Knights and Knaves.Lance J. Rips - 1989 - Cognition 31 (2):85-116.
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  • On the Ramsey Test Analysis of ‘Because’.Holger Andreas & Mario Günther - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-34.
    The well-known formal semantics of conditionals due to Stalnaker Studies in logical theory, Blackwell, Oxford, 1968), Lewis, and Gärdenfors The logic and 1140 epistemology of scientific change, North-Holland, Amsterdam, 1978, Knowledge in flux, MIT Press, Cambridge, 1988) all fail to distinguish between trivially and nontrivially true indicative conditionals. This problem has been addressed by Rott :345–370, 1986) in terms of a strengthened Ramsey Test. In this paper, we refine Rott’s strengthened Ramsey Test and the corresponding analysis of explanatory relations. We (...)
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  • Counterfactual Analyses of Causation: The Problem of Effects and Epiphenomena Revisited.Stephen Barker - 2003 - Noûs 37 (1):133–150.
    I argue that Lewis's counterfactual theory of causation, given his treatment of counterfactuals in terms of world-comparative similarity faces insuperable problems in the form of the problem of effects and the problem of epiphenomena.
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  • Explanatory Generalizations, Part I: A Counterfactual Account.James Woodward & Christopher Hitchcock - 2003 - Noûs 37 (1):1–24.
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  • Synthetic Biology and Genetic Causation.Gry Oftedal & Veli-Pekka Parkkinen - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (2):208-216.
    Synthetic biology research is often described in terms of programming cells through the introduction of synthetic genes. Genetic material is seemingly attributed with a high level of causal responsibility. We discuss genetic causation in synthetic biology and distinguish three gene concepts differing in their assumptions of genetic control. We argue that synthetic biology generally employs a difference-making approach to establishing genetic causes, and that this approach does not commit to a specific notion of genetic program or genetic control. Still, we (...)
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  • The Causal Exclusion Argument.Jesper Kallestrup - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 131 (2):459-85.
    Jaegwon Kim’s causal exclusion argument says that if all physical effects have sufficient physical causes, and no physical effects are caused twice over by distinct physical and mental causes, there cannot be any irreducible mental causes. In addition, Kim has argued that the nonreductive physicalist must give up completeness, and embrace the possibility of downward causation. This paper argues first that this extra argument relies on a principle of property individuation, which the nonreductive physicalist need not accept, and second that (...)
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  • On the Humphrey Objection to Modal Realism.Michael De - 2018 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 95 (2):159-179.
    An intuitive objection to modal realism is that merely possible worlds and their inhabitants seem to be irrelevant to an analysis of modality. Kripke originally phrased the objection in terms of being concerned about one’s modal properties without being concerned about the properties one’s other-worldly counterparts have. The author assesses this objection in a variety of forms, and then provides his own formulation that does not beg the question against the modal realist. Finally, the author considers two potential answers to (...)
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  • Against Lewis's New Theory of Causation: A Story with Three Morals.Michael Strevens - 2003 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 84 (4):398–412.
    A recent paper by David Lewis, "Causation as Influence", proposes a new theory of causation. I argue against the theory, maintaining that (a) the relation asserted by a claim of the form "C was a cause of E" is distinct from the relation of causal influence, (b) the former relation depends very much, contra Lewis, on the individuation conditions for the event E, and (c) Lewis's account is unsatisfactory as an analysis of either kind of relation. The counterexamples presented here (...)
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  • Seeking Depth in Science.Slobodan Perovic - 2012 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 42 (4):561-572.
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  • Profiting From Poverty.Ole Koksvik & Gerhard Øverland - 2018 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (3):341-367.
    ABSTRACTWe consider whether and under what conditions it is morally illicit to profit from poverty. We argue that when profit counterfactually depends on poverty, the agent making the profit is morally obliged to relinquish it. Finally, we argue that the people to whom the profit should be redirected are those on whom it counterfactually depends.
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  • Extended Cognition & the Causal‐Constitutive Fallacy: In Search for a Diachronic and Dynamical Conception of Constitution.Michael D. Kirchhoff - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 90 (2):320-360.
    Philosophical accounts of the constitution relation have been explicated in terms of synchronic relations between higher- and lower-level entities. Such accounts, I argue, are temporally austere or impoverished, and are consequently unable to make sense of the diachronic and dynamic character of constitution in dynamical systems generally and dynamically extended cognitive processes in particular. In this paper, my target domain is extended cognition based on insights from nonlinear dynamics. Contrariwise to the mainstream literature in both analytical metaphysics and extended cognition, (...)
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  • Hunting Causes and Using Them: Is There No Bridge From Here to There?Nancy Cartwright & Sophia Efstathiou - 2011 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 25 (3):223 - 241.
    Causation is in trouble?at least as it is pictured in current theories in philosophy and in economics as well, where causation is also once again in fashion. In both disciplines the accounts of causality on offer are either modelled too closely on one or another favoured method for hunting causes or on assumptions about the uses to which causal knowledge can be put?generally for predicting the results of our efforts to change the world. The first kind of account supplies no (...)
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  • Lewis Causation is a Special Case of Spohn Causation.Franz Huber - 2011 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (1):207-210.
    This paper shows that causation in the sense of Lewis is a special case of causation in the sense of Spohn.
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  • Dispositions, Bases, Overdetermination and Identities.Stephen Mumford - 1995 - Ratio 8 (1):42-62.
    In this paper I aim to make sense of our pre‐theoretic intuitions about dispositions by presenting an argument for the identity of a disposition with its putative categorical base. The various possible ontologies for dispositions are outlined. The possibility of an empirical proof of identity is dismissed. Instead an a priori argument for identity is adapted from arguments in the philosophy of mind. I argue that dispositions occupy, by analytic necessity, the same causal roles that categorical bases occupy contingently and (...)
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  • Causing Global Warming.Mattias Gunnemyr - forthcoming - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice:1-26.
    Do I cause global warming, climate change and their related harms when I go for a leisure drive with my gas-guzzling car? The current verdict seems to be that I do not; the emissions produced by my drive are much too insignificant to make a difference for the occurrence of global warming and its related harms. I argue that our verdict on this issue depends on what we mean by ‘causation’. If we for instance assume a simple counterfactual analysis of (...)
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  • Causation in a Timeless World?Jonathan Tallant - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 62 (3):309-325.
    This paper is an attempt to answer the question, ‘could there be causation in a timeless world?’ My conclusion: tentatively, yes. The paper and argument have three parts. Part one introduces salient issues and spells out the importance of this line of investigation. Section two of the paper reviews recent arguments due to Baron and Miller, who argue in favour of the possibility of causation in a timeless world, and looks to reject their arguments developed there. Section three is a (...)
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  • A Dilemma About Necessity.Peter W. Hanks - 2008 - Erkenntnis 68 (1):129 - 148.
    The problem of the source of necessity is the problem of explaining what makes necessary truths necessarily true. Simon Blackburn has presented a dilemma intended to show that any reductive, realist account of the source of necessity is bound to fail. Although Blackburn's dilemma faces serious problems, reflection on the form of explanations of necessities reveals that a revised dilemma succeeds in defeating any reductive account of the source of necessity. The lesson is that necessity is metaphysically primitive and irreducible.
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  • Dualist Mental Causation and the Exclusion Problem.Thomas Kroedel - 2015 - Noûs 49 (2):357-375.
    The paper argues that dualism can explain mental causation and solve the exclusion problem. If dualism is combined with the assumption that the psychophysical laws have a special status, it follows that some physical events counterfactually depend on, and are therefore caused by, mental events. Proponents of this account of mental causation can solve the exclusion problem in either of two ways: they can deny that it follows that the physical effect of a mental event is overdetermined by its mental (...)
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  • Causation in Terms of Production.Holger Andreas & Mario Günther - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-27.
    In this paper, we analyse actual causation in terms of production. The latter concept is made precise by a strengthened Ramsey Test semantics of conditionals: \ iff, after suspending judgement about A and C, C is believed in the course of assuming A. This test allows us to verify or falsify that an event brings about another event. Complementing the concept of production by a weak condition of difference-making gives rise to a full-fledged analysis of causation.
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  • Causal Realism: Events and Processes.Anjan Chakravartty - 2005 - Erkenntnis 63 (1):7-31.
    Minimally, causal realism (as understood here) is the view that accounts of causation in terms of mere, regular or probabilistic conjunction are unsatisfactory, and that causal phenomena are correctly associated with some form of de re necessity. Classic arguments, however, some of which date back to Sextus Empiricus and have appeared many times since, including famously in Russell, suggest that the very notion of causal realism is incoherent. In this paper I argue that if such objections seem compelling, it is (...)
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  • Eventive Versus Stative Causation: The Case of German Causal von -Modifiers.Johanna Herdtfelder & Claudia Maienborn - 2017 - Linguistics and Philosophy 40 (3):279-320.
    Causation is generally conceived of as a relation that holds between events. Apart from a few cursory remarks, the case of stative causation has been widely neglected. The paper aims at contributing to a more balanced perspective by arguing for a stative variant of causation, on a par with eventive causation. The stative variant is analyzed in terms of Moltmann’s ontological notion of tropes. German causal von-modifiers are taken as a linguistic window into our understanding of causation. The study of (...)
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