Causes with material continuity

Biology and Philosophy 36 (6):1-17 (2021)
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Recent philosophical work on causation has focused on distinctions across types of causal relationships. This paper argues for another distinction that has yet to receive attention in this work. This distinction has to do with whether causal relationships have “material continuity,” which refers to the reliable movement of material from cause to effect. This paper provides an analysis of material continuity and argues that causal relationships with this feature are associated with a unique explanatory perspective, are studied with distinct causal investigative methods, and provide different types of causal control over their effects.

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Lauren N. Ross
University of California, Irvine


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