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Causation as influence

Journal of Philosophy 97 (4):182-197 (2000)

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  1. Two Problems with the Socio-Relational Critique of Distributive Egalitarianism.Christian Seidel - 2013 - In Miguel Hoeltje, Thomas Spitzley & Wolfgang Spohn (eds.), Was dürfen wir glauben? Was sollen wir tun? Sektionsbeiträge des achten internationalen Kongresses der Gesellschaft für Analytische Philosophie e.V. DuEPublico.
    Distributive egalitarians believe that distributive justice is to be explained by the idea of distributive equality (DE) and that DE is of intrinsic value. The socio-relational critique argues that distributive egalitarianism does not account for the “true” value of equality, which rather lies in the idea of “equality as a substantive social value” (ESV). This paper examines the socio-relational critique and argues that it fails because – contrary to what the critique presupposes –, first, ESV is not conceptually distinct from (...)
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  • Overdetermination in Intuitive Causal Decision Theory.Esteban Céspedes - 2013 - In Miguel Hoeltje, Thomas Spitzley & Wolfgang Spohn (eds.), Was dürfen wir glauben? Was sollen wir tun? Sektionsbeiträge des achten internationalen Kongresses der Gesellschaft für Analytische Philosophie e.V.
    Causal decision theory defines a rational action as the one that tends to cause the best outcomes. If we adopt counterfactual or probabilistic theories of causation, then we may face problems in overdetermination cases. Do such problems affect Causal decision theory? The aim of this work is to show that the concept of causation that has been fundamental in all versions of causal decision theory is not the most intuitive one. Since overdetermination poses problems for a counterfactual theory of causation, (...)
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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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  • What is Field's Epistemological Objection to Platonism?Ylwa Sjölin Wirling - 2019 - In Robin Stenwall & Tobias Hansson Wahlberg (eds.), Maurinian Truths. pp. 123-133.
    This paper concerns an epistemological objection against mathematical platonism, due to Hartry Field.The argument poses an explanatory challenge – the challenge to explain the reliability of our mathematical beliefs – which the platonist, it’s argued, cannot meet. Is the objection compelling? Philosophers disagree, but they also disagree on (and are sometimes very unclear about) how the objection should be understood. Here I distinguish some options, and highlight some gaps that need to be filled in on the potentially most compelling version (...)
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  • The Foundations of Epistemic Decision Theory.Jason Konek & Benjamin A. Levinstein - 2019 - Mind 128 (509):69-107.
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  • Presentism and Modal Realism.Michael De - 2019 - Analytic Philosophy 60 (3):259-282.
    David Lewis sells modal realism as a package that includes an eternalist view of time. There is, of course, nothing that ties together the thesis that modality should be analyzed in terms of "concrete" possibilia with the view that non-present things exist. In this paper I develop a theory I call \emph{modal realist presentism} that is a combination of modal realism and presentism, and argue that is has compelling answers to some of the main objections to presentism, including the arguments (...)
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  • Is Knowledge of Causes Sufficient for Understanding?Xingming Hu - 2019 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (3):291-313.
    ABSTRACT: According to a traditional account, understanding why X occurred is equivalent to knowing that X was caused by Y. This paper defends the account against a major objection, viz., knowing-that is not sufficient for understanding-why, for understanding-why requires a kind of grasp while knowledge-that does not. I discuss two accounts of grasp in recent literature and argue that if either is true, then knowing that X was caused by Y entails at least a rudimentary understanding of why X occurred. (...)
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  • Where’s the Biff?Toby Handfield, Charles R. Twardy, Kevin B. Korb & Graham Oppy - 2008 - Erkenntnis 68 (2):149-68.
    This paper presents an attempt to integrate theories of causal processes—of the kind developed by Wesley Salmon and Phil Dowe—into a theory of causal models using Bayesian networks. We suggest that arcs in causal models must correspond to possible causal processes. Moreover, we suggest that when processes are rendered physically impossible by what occurs on distinct paths, the original model must be restricted by removing the relevant arc. These two techniques suffice to explain cases of late preëmption and other cases (...)
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  • Natural Necessity: An Introductory Guide for Ontologists.Fumiaki Toyoshima - forthcoming - Applied Ontology:1-29.
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  • Causation By Omission: A Dilemma.Sarah McGrath - 2005 - Philosophical Studies 123 (1-2):125-148.
    Some omissions seem to be causes. For example, suppose Barry promises to water Alice’s plant, doesn’t water it, and that the plant then dries up and dies. Barry’s not watering the plant – his omitting to water the plant – caused its death. But there is reason to believe that if omissions are ever causes, then there is far more causation by omission than we ordinarily think. In other words, there is reason to think the following thesis true.
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  • 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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  • Hasteners and Delayers: Why Rains Don’T Cause Fires.Caroline Torpe 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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  • 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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  • Actualised Infinity: Before-Effect and Nullify-Effect.Steffen Borge - 2003 - Disputatio 1 (14):1 - 17.
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  • Aristotle: Metaphysics Book Iota: Translated with an Introduction and Commentary by Laura M. Castelli, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 2018, Pp. Xlvi + 292, £65.00 , £25.00 , ISBN: 978-0199682980 , 978-0199682997.Robert Gallagher - 2018 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 27 (5):1041-1046.
    Volume 27, Issue 5, September 2019, Page 1041-1046.
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  • Mental Causation, Compatibilism and Counterfactuals.Dwayne Moore - 2017 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47 (1):20-42.
    According to proponents of the causal exclusion problem, there cannot be a sufficient physical cause and a distinct mental cause of the same piece of behaviour. Increasingly, the causal exclusion problem is circumvented via this compatibilist reasoning: a sufficient physical cause of the behavioural effect necessitates the mental cause of the behavioural effect, so the effect has a sufficient physical cause and a mental cause as well. In this paper, I argue that this compatibilist reply fails to resolve the causal (...)
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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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  • Oorganiserade kollektiv kan handla.Simon Rosenqvist - 2018 - Tidskrift För Politisk Filosofi 22 (2):61-68.
    Jag argumenterar för att oorganiserade kollektiv, såsom kollektivet av alla människor, kan handla moraliskt rätt och fel. Storskaliga problem likt den globala uppvärmningen är till exempel resultatet av en sådan kollektiv handling, nämligen hela mänsklighetens utsläpp av växthusgaser. Denna kollektiva handling är dessutom moraliskt fel, på grund av dess dåliga konsekvenser. Jag bemöter också en invändning mot denna uppfattning om kollektivt handlande, enligt vilken det är intuitivt orimligt att oorganiserade kollektiv såsom ”hela mänskligheten” kan handla.
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  • Natural Law Theories.Jonathan Crowe - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (2):91-101.
    This article considers natural law perspectives on the nature of law. Natural law theories are united by what Mark Murphy calls the natural law thesis: law is necessarily a rational standard for conduct. The natural law position comes in strong and weak versions: the strong view holds that a rational defect in a norm renders it legally invalid, while the weak view holds that a rational defect in a legal norm renders it legally defective. The article explores the motivations for (...)
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  • Defeatism Defeated.Max Baker-Hytch & Matthew A. Benton - 2015 - Philosophical Perspectives 29 (1):40-66.
    Many epistemologists are enamored with a defeat condition on knowledge. In this paper we present some implementation problems for defeatism, understood along either internalist or externalist lines. We then propose that one who accepts a knowledge norm of belief, according to which one ought to believe only what one knows, can explain away much of the motivation for defeatism. This is an important result, because on the one hand it respects the plausibility of the intuitions about defeat shared by many (...)
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  • Aristotelian Essentialism: Essence in the Age of Evolution.Christopher J. Austin - 2017 - Synthese 194 (7):2539-2556.
    The advent of contemporary evolutionary theory ushered in the eventual decline of Aristotelian Essentialism (Æ) – for it is widely assumed that essence does not, and cannot have any proper place in the age of evolution. This paper argues that this assumption is a mistake: if Æ can be suitably evolved, it need not face extinction. In it, I claim that if that theory’s fundamental ontology consists of dispositional properties, and if its characteristic metaphysical machinery is interpreted within the framework (...)
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  • Introduction to the Special Issue on Individual Environmental Responsibility.Lieske Voget-Kleschin, Christian Baatz & Laura Garcia-Portela - 2019 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 32 (4):493-504.
    Human beings are the cause of many current environmental problems. This poses the question of how to respond to these problems at the national and international level. However, many people ask themselves whether they should personally contribute to solving these problems and how they could do so. This is the focus of this Special Issue on Individual Environmental Responsibility. The introduction proposes a way to structure this complex debate by distinguishing three broad clusters of arguments. The first cluster tackles the (...)
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  • Actual Causation and Compositionality.Jonathan Livengood & Justin Sytsma - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science.
    Many theories of actual causation implicitly endorse the claim that if c is an actual cause of e, then either c causes e directly or every intermediary by which c indirectly causes e is itself both an actual cause of e and also an actual effect of c. We think this compositionality constraint is plausible. However, as we show, it is not always satisfied by the causal attributions ordinary people make. After showing that the compositionality constraint is not always satisfied (...)
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  • Harm and Causation.Robert Northcott - 2015 - Utilitas 27 (2):147-164.
    I propose an analysis of harm in terms of causation: harm is when a subject is caused to be worse off. The pay-off from this lies in the details. In particular, importing influential recent work from the causation literature yields a contrastive-counterfactual account. This enables us to incorporate harm's multiple senses into a unified scheme, and to provide that scheme with theoretical ballast. It also enables us to respond effectively to previous criticisms of counterfactual accounts, as well as to sharpen (...)
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  • Causal Networks or Causal Islands? The Representation of Mechanisms and the Transitivity of Causal Judgment.Samuel G. B. Johnson & Woo-Kyoung Ahn - 2015 - Cognitive Science 39 (7):1468-1503.
    Knowledge of mechanisms is critical for causal reasoning. We contrasted two possible organizations of causal knowledge—an interconnected causal network, where events are causally connected without any boundaries delineating discrete mechanisms; or a set of disparate mechanisms—causal islands—such that events in different mechanisms are not thought to be related even when they belong to the same causal chain. To distinguish these possibilities, we tested whether people make transitive judgments about causal chains by inferring, given A causes B and B causes C, (...)
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  • A Proposed Probabilistic Extension of the Halpern and Pearl Definition of ‘Actual Cause’.Luke Fenton-Glynn - 2015 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (4):1061-1164.
    In their article 'Causes and Explanations: A Structural-Model Approach. Part I: Causes', Joseph Halpern and Judea Pearl draw upon structural equation models to develop an attractive analysis of 'actual cause'. Their analysis is designed for the case of deterministic causation. I show that their account can be naturally extended to provide an elegant treatment of probabilistic causation.
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  • Measuring Causal Specificity.Paul E. Griffiths, Arnaud Pocheville, Brett Calcott, Karola Stotz, Hyunju Kim & Rob Knight - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (4):529-555.
    Several authors have argued that causes differ in the degree to which they are ‘specific’ to their effects. Woodward has used this idea to enrich his influential interventionist theory of causal explanation. Here we propose a way to measure causal specificity using tools from information theory. We show that the specificity of a causal variable is not well-defined without a probability distribution over the states of that variable. We demonstrate the tractability and interest of our proposed measure by measuring the (...)
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  • Causing Global Warming.Mattias Gunnemyr - 2019 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 22 (2):399-424.
    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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  • Proportionality and Omissions.Phil Dowe - 2010 - Analysis 70 (3):446-451.
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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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  • Substantivalist and Relationalist Approaches to Spacetime.Oliver Pooley - 2013 - In Robert Batterman (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Physics. Oxford University Press.
    Substantivalists believe that spacetime and its parts are fundamental constituents of reality. Relationalists deny this, claiming that spacetime enjoys only a derivative existence. I begin by describing how the Galilean symmetries of Newtonian physics tell against both Newton's brand of substantivalism and the most obvious relationalist alternative. I then review the obvious substantivalist response to the problem, which is to ditch substantival space for substantival spacetime. The resulting position has many affinities with what are arguably the most natural interpretations of (...)
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  • Causation, Norms, and Omissions: A Study of Causal Judgments.Randolph Clarke, Joshua Shepherd, John Stigall, Robyn Repko Waller & Chris Zarpentine - 2015 - Philosophical Psychology 28 (2):279-293.
    Many philosophical theories of causation are egalitarian, rejecting a distinction between causes and mere causal conditions. We sought to determine the extent to which people's causal judgments discriminate, selecting as causes counternormal events—those that violate norms of some kind—while rejecting non-violators. We found significant selectivity of this sort. Moreover, priming that encouraged more egalitarian judgments had little effect on subjects. We also found that omissions are as likely as actions to be judged as causes, and that counternormative selectivity appears to (...)
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  • Causal Selection Versus Causal Parity in Biology: Relevant Counterfactuals and Biologically Normal Interventions.Marcel Weber - forthcoming - In C. Kenneth Waters & James Woodward (eds.), Philosophical Perspectives on Causal Reasoning in Biology. Minnesota Studies in Philosophy of Science. Vol. XXI. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
    Causal selection is the task of picking out, from a field of known causally relevant factors, some factors as elements of an explanation. The Causal Parity Thesis in the philosophy of biology challenges the usual ways of making such selections among different causes operating in a developing organism. The main target of this thesis is usually gene centrism, the doctrine that genes play some special role in ontogeny, which is often described in terms of information-bearing or programming. This paper is (...)
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  • The Modal Breadth of Consciousness.Michael Trestman - 2014 - Philosophical Psychology 27 (6):843-861.
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  • Reference, Truth, and Biological Kinds.Marcel Weber - 2014 - In: J. Dutant, D. Fassio and A. Meylan (Eds.) Liber Amicorum Pascal Engel.
    This paper examines causal theories of reference with respect to how plausible an account they give of non-physical natural kind terms such as ‘gene’ as well as of the truth of the associated theoretical claims. I first show that reference fixism for ‘gene’ fails. By this, I mean the claim that the reference of ‘gene’ was stable over longer historical periods, for example, since the classical period of transmission genetics. Second, I show that the theory of partial reference does not (...)
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  • A Defense of Causal Invariantism.Martin Montminy & Andrew Russo - 2015 - Analytic Philosophy (4):1-27.
    Causal contextualism holds that sentences of the form ‘c causes e’ have context-sensitive truth-conditions. We consider four arguments invoked by Jonathan Schaffer in favor of this view. First, he argues that his brand of contextualism helps solve puzzles about transitivity. Second, he contends that how one describes the relata of the causal relation sometimes affects the truth of one’s claim. Third, Schaffer invokes the phenomenon of contrastive focus to conclude that causal statements implicitly designate salient alternatives to the cause and (...)
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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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  • Lewis' Modal Realism and Absence Causation.Joseph A. Baltimore - 2011 - Metaphysica 12 (2):117-124.
    A major criticism of David Lewis’ counterfactual theory of causation is that it allows too many things to count as causes, especially since Lewis allows, in addition to events, absences to be causes as well. Peter Menzies has advanced this concern under the title “the problem of profligate causation.” In this paper, I argue that the problem of profligate causation provides resources for exposing a tension between Lewis’ acceptance of absence causation and his modal realism. The result is a different (...)
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  • Centrality and Marginalisation.Brian Weatherson - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 171 (3):517-533.
    A contribution to a symposium on Herman Cappelen's Philosophy without Intuitions.
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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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  • Old Problems for the Agency Theory of Causal Discourse.Shyane Siriwardena - 2019 - Erkenntnis 84 (4):939-951.
    Price’s :157–176, 1991; 44:187–203, 1993 ; 2007, 2017) agency theory of causation has takes itself to provide a use-theory of our causal discourse. The theory’s aim is to describe the rules implicit to our linguistic behaviour when we describe things in causal terms. According to this theory, the rules governing our use of the concept of causation are based on our perspective as agents and our associated experiences of manipulating events. I argue that the observed relation between agency and our (...)
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  • Lexical Flexibility, Natural Language, and Ontology.Christopher A. Vogel - 2016 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 16 (1):1-44.
    The Realist that investigates questions of ontology by appeal to the quantificational structure of language assumes that the semantics for the privileged language of ontology is externalist. I argue that such a language cannot be (some variant of) a natural language, as some Realists propose. The flexibility exhibited by natural language expressions noted by Chomsky and others cannot obviously be characterized by the rigid models available to the externalist. If natural languages are hostile to externalist treatments, then the meanings of (...)
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  • Which Kind of Causal Specificity Matters Biologically?Marcel Weber - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (3):574-585.
    Griffiths et al. (2015) have proposed a quantitative measure of causal specificity and used it to assess various attempts to single out genetic causes as being causally more specific than other cellular mechanisms, for example, alternative splicing. Focusing in particular on developmental processes, they have identified a number of important challenges for this project. In this discussion note, I would like to show how these challenges can be met.
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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • The Quinean Roots of Lewis's Humeanism.Frederique Janssen-Lauret - 2017 - The Monist 100 (2):249-265.
    An odd dissensus between confident metaphysicians and neopragmatist antimetaphysicians pervades early twenty-first century analytic philosophy. Each faction is convinced their side has won the day, but both are mistaken about the philosophical legacy of the twentieth century. More historical awareness is needed to overcome the current dissensus. Lewis and his possible-world system are lionised by metaphysicians; Quine’s pragmatist scruples about heavy-duty metaphysics inspire antimetaphysicians. But Lewis developed his system under the influence of his teacher Quine, inheriting from him his empiricism, (...)
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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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  • Making Sense of Interlevel Causation in Mechanisms From a Metaphysical Perspective.Beate Krickel - 2017 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 48 (3):453-468.
    According to the new mechanistic approach, an acting entity is at a lower mechanistic level than another acting entity if and only if the former is a component in the mechanism for the latter. Craver and Bechtel :547–563, 2007. doi:10.1007/s10539-006-9028-8) argue that a consequence of this view is that there cannot be causal interactions between acting entities at different mechanistic levels. Their main reason seems to be what I will call the Metaphysical Argument: things at different levels of a mechanism (...)
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