Cause and Norm

Journal of Philosophy 106 (11):587-612 (2009)
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Much of the philosophical literature on causation has focused on the concept of actual causation, sometimes called token causation. In particular, it is this notion of actual causation that many philosophical theories of causation have attempted to capture.2 In this paper, we address the question: what purpose does this concept serve? As we shall see in the next section, one does not need this concept for purposes of prediction or rational deliberation. What then could the purpose be? We will argue that one can gain an important clue here by looking at the ways in which causal judgments are shaped by peopleā€˜s understanding of norms.

Author Profiles

Christopher Hitchcock
California Institute of Technology
Joshua Knobe
Yale University


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