Causation comes in degrees

Synthese 200 (1):1-17 (2022)
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Abstract

Which country, politician, or policy is more of a cause of the Covid-19 pandemic death toll? Which of the two factories causally contributed more to the pollution of the nearby river? A wide-ranging portion of our everyday thought and talk, and attitudes rely on a graded notion of causation. However, it is sometimes highlighted that on most contemporary accounts, causation is on-off. Some philosophers further question the legitimacy of talk of degrees of causation and suggest that we avoid it. Some hold that the notion of degrees of causation is an illusion. In this paper, I’ll argue that causation does come in degrees.

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Huzeyfe Demirtas
Syracuse University

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