Hasteners and delayers: why rains don’t cause fires

Philosophical Studies:1-20 (2017)
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Abstract
We typically judge that hasteners are causes of what they hasten, while delayers are not causes of what they delay. These judgements, I suggest, are sensitive to an underlying metaphysical distinction. To see this, we need to pay attention to a relation that I call positive security-dependence, where an event E security-depends positively on an earlier event C just in case E could more easily have failed to occur if C had not occurred. I suggest that we judge that an event C is a cause of a later event E only if E security-depends positively on C. This explains our causal judgements in typical cases of hastening and delaying as well as in atypical cases, where we judge that hasteners are not causes of what they hasten or that delayers are causes of what they delay.
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Archival date: 2017-05-30
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References found in this work BETA
Causation: A User’s Guide.Paul, L. A. & Hall, Ned
Contrastive Causation.Schaffer, Jonathan

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2017-05-26

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