Causal Scepticism or Invisible Cement

Ratio (Misc.) 24 (2):161 (1982)
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I defend the view, hardly original with me, that there is no evidence, deductive or non-deductive, for any of our causal beliefs, that does not already assume that there are some causal connections, and hence that there is no way in which experience on its own, or with causalität-free principles, can support the structure of out causal knowledge. The deductive case is perhaps obvious. In the case of non-deductive arguments, I consider how experience of constant conjunctions, together with the employment of an inference to the best explanation, might lead to a causal conclusion. But I argue that such an inference would need as a premiss that the causal explanation of the constant conjunction is the best explanation of that evidence, and ‘best’ in this context requires the thought that the causal hypothesis best fits with our existing causal beliefs.
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