MAKING Metaphysics

Philosophers' Imprint 21 (20) (2021)
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We can cause windows to break and we can break windows; we can cause villages to flood and we can flood villages; and we can cause chocolate to melt and we can melt chocolate. Each time these can come apart: if, for example, A merely instructs B to break the window, then A causes the window to break without breaking it herself. Each instance of A breaking/flooding/melting/burning/killing/etc. something, is an instance of what I call making. I argue that making is an independent, theoretically important notion—akin but irreducible to causing—and metaphysicians should pay attention to it.

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Thomas Byrne
University of California, Los Angeles


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