An Internal Limit of the Structural Analysis of Causation

Axiomathes 26 (4):429-450 (2016)
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Abstract

Structural models of systems of causal connections have become a common tool in the analysis of the concept of causation. In the present paper I offer a general argument to show that one of the most powerful definitions of the concept of actual cause, provided within the structural models framework, is not sufficient to grant a full account of our intuitive judgements about actual causation, so that we are still waiting for a comprehensive definition. This is done not simply by focusing on a set of case studies, but by arguing that our intuitions about two different kinds of causal patterns, i.e., overdetermination and counterdetermination, cannot be addressed using that definition.

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Alessandro Giordani
Università Cattolica di Milano

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