Strevens's Counterexample to Lewis's "Causation as Influence", and Degrees of Causation

Dialectica 74 (1):125-138 (2020)
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Sungho Choi has criticised Michael Strevens's counterexample to DavidLewis's final theory of "token" causation, causation as "influence." Iargue that, even if Choi's points are correct, Strevens's counterexampleremains useful in revealing a shortcoming of Lewis's theory. Thisshortcoming is that Lewis's theory does not properly account for*degrees* of causation. That is, even if Choi's points are correct,Lewis's theory does not capture an intuition we have about the*comparative* causal statuses of those events involved in Strevens'scounterexample (we might, for example, intuit that Sylvie's ball-firingis *as much*/*more*/*less* a cause of the jar's shattering as/than isBruno's ball-firing).

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Joshua Goh
University College London


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