Absence Causation for Causal Dispositionalists

Journal of the American Philosophical Association 4 (3):323-331 (2018)
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Several theories of causation reject causation of or by absences. They thereby clash with much of what we think and say about what causes what. This paper examines a way in which one kind of theory, causal dispositionalism, can be modified so as to accept absence causation, while still retaining a fundamental commitment of dispositionalism. The proposal adopts parts of a strategy described by David Lewis. The paper concludes with a brief discussion of the problem of the proliferation of causes.

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Randolph Clarke
Florida State University


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