Weighted explanations in history

Philosophy of the Social Sciences 38 (1):76-96 (2008)
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, whereby some causes are deemed more important than others, are ubiquitous in historical studies. Drawing from influential recent work on causation, I develop a definition of causal-explanatory strength. This makes clear exactly which aspects of explanatory weighting are subjective and which objective. It also sheds new light on several traditional issues, showing for instance that: underlying causes need not be more important than proximate ones; several different causes can each be responsible for most of an effect; small causes need not be less important than big ones; and non-additive interactive effects between causes present no particular difficulty. Key Words: causation • explanation • history • interaction • proximate • underlying.
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References found in this work BETA
Causation, Prediction, and Search.Spirtes, Peter; Glymour, Clark & Scheines, Richard
Causation.Lewis, David
The Nature of Explanation.Horwich, Paul & Achinstein, Peter

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Citations of this work BETA
Degrees of Causation.Braham, Matthew & van Hees, Martin
Degree of Explanation.Northcott, Robert

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