Humeans aren't out of their minds

Noûs 41 (3):529–535 (2007)
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Humeanism is “the thesis that the whole truth about a world like ours supervenes on the spatiotemporal distribution of local qualities.” (Lewis, 1994, 473) Since the whole truth about our world contains truths about causation, causation must be located in the mosaic of local qualities that the Humean says constitute the whole truth about the world. The most natural ways to do this involve causation being in some sense extrinsic. To take the simplest possible Humean analysis, we might say that c causes e iff throughout the mosaic events of the same type as c are usually followed by events of type e. For short, the causal relation is the constant conjunction relation. Whether this obtains is determined by the mosaic, so this is a Humean theory, but it isn’t determined just by c and e themselves, so whether c causes e is extrinsic to the pair. Now this is obviously a bad theory of causation, but the fact that causation is extrinsic is retained even by good Humean theories of causation. John Hawthorne (2004) objects to this feature of Humeanism. I’m going to argue that his arguments don’t work, but first we need to clear up three preliminaries about causation and intrinsicness.
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Counterfactuals.Lewis, David K.
Causation and Counterfactuals.Collins, John; Hall, Ned & Paul, Laurie (eds.)

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