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  1. Lynne Rudder Baker (1993). Metaphysics and Mental Causation. In John Heil & Alfred R. Mele (eds.), Mental Causation. Oxford University Press. 75-96.
    My aim is twofold: first, to root out the metaphysical assumptions that generate the problem of mental causation and to show that they preclude its solution; second, to dissolve the problem of mental causation by motivating rejection of one of the metaphysical assumptions that give rise to it. There are three features of this metaphysical background picture that are important for our purposes. The first concerns the nature of reality: all reality depends on physical reality, where physical reality consists of (...)
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  2. Michael Baumgartner (2013). A Regularity Theoretic Approach to Actual Causation. Erkenntnis 78 (1):85-109.
    The majority of the currently flourishing theories of actual (token-level) causation are located in a broadly counterfactual framework that draws on structural equations. In order to account for cases of symmetric overdeterminiation and preemption, these theories resort to rather intricate analytical tools, most of all, to what Hitchcock (J Philos 98:273–299, 2001) has labeled explicitly nonforetracking counterfactuals. This paper introduces a regularity theoretic approach to actual causation that only employs material (non-modal) conditionals, standard Boolean minimization procedures, and a (non-modal) stability (...)
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  3. Tomasz Bigaj (2012). Causation Without Influence. Erkenntnis 76 (1):1-22.
    David Lewis’s latest theory of causation defines the causal link in terms of the relation of influence between events. It turns out, however, that one event’s influencing another is neither a necessary nor sufficient condition for its being a cause of that event. In the article one particular case of causality without influence is presented and developed. This case not only serves as a counterexample to Lewis’s influence theory, but also threatens earlier counterfactual analyses of causation by admitting a particularly (...)
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  4. Alexander Bird (2010). Causation and the Manifestation of Powers. In Anna Marmodoro (ed.), The Metaphysics of Powers: Their Grounding and Their Manifestations. Routledge.
    It is widely agreed that many causal relations can be regarded as dependent upon causal relations that are in some way more basic. For example, knocking down the first domino in a row of one hundred dominoes will be the cause of the hundredth domino falling. But this causal relation exists in virtue of the knocking of the first domino causing the falling of the second domino, and so forth. In such a case, A causes B in virtue of there (...)
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  5. Jim Bogen (2005). Regularities and Causality; Generalizations and Causal Explanations. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 36 (2):397-420.
    Machamer, Darden, and Craver argue (Mechanism) that causal explanations explain effects by describing the operations of the mechanisms (systems of entities engaging in productive activities) which produce them. One of this paper’s aims is to take advantage of neglected resources of Mechanism to rethink the traditional idea (Regularism) that actual or counterfactual natural regularities are essential to the distinction between causal and non-causal co-occurrences, and that generalizations describing natural regularities are essential components of causal explanations. I think that causal productivity (...)
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  6. Jim Bogen, What We Talk About When We Talk About Causality.
    This paper compares the relative merits of two alternatives to traditional accounts of causal explanation: Jim Woodward's counterfactual invariance account, and the Mechanistic account of Machamer, Darden, and Craver. Mechanism wins (a) because we have good causal explanations for chaotic effects whose production does not exhibit the counterfactual regularities Woodward requires, and (b)because arguments suggested by Belnap's and Green's discussion of prediction (in'Facing the Future' chpt 6)show that the relevant counterfactuals about ideal interventions on non-deterministic and deterministic systems lack truth (...)
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  7. Thomas D. Bontly (2006). What is an Empirical Analysis of Causation? Synthese 151 (2):177 - 200.
    Philosophical accounts of causation have traditionally been framed as attempts to analyze the concept of a cause. In recent years, however, a number of philosophers have proposed instead that causation be empirically reduced to some relation uncovered by the natural sciences: e.g., a relation of energy transfer. This paper argues that the project of empirical analysis lacks a clearly defined methodology, leaving it uncertain how such views are to be evaluated. It proposes several possible accounts of empirical analysis and argues (...)
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  8. Andrew Chignell & Derk Pereboom (2010). Kant's Theory of Causation and its Eighteenth-Century German Background. Philosophical Review 119 (4):565-591.
    This critical notice highlights the important contributions that Eric Watkins's writings have made to our understanding of theories about causation developed in eighteenth-century German philosophy and by Kant in particular. Watkins provides a convincing argument that central to Kant's theory of causation is the notion of a real ground or causal power that is non-Humean (since it doesn't reduce to regularities or counterfactual dependencies among events or states) and non-Leibnizean because it doesn't reduce to logical or conceptual relations. However, we (...)
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  9. John D. Collier (1999). Causation is the Transfer of Information. In Howard Sankey (ed.), Causation and Laws of Nature. Kluwer. 215--245.
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  10. Georges Dicker (2000). Regularity, Conditionality, and Asymmetry in Causation. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy 7:129-138.
    In this paper I explore the relationship between the “Humean” regularity view of causation, the view that a cause is a necessary condition of its effect, and the asymmetry of causation—the principle that if an event e1 causes e2, then it is false that e2 causes e1. I argue that the regularity view, in combination with the view that a cause is a necessary condition of its effect, is inconsistent with the asymmetry of causation, and that the inconsistency can be (...)
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  11. Phil Dowe (1999). Good Connections: Causation and Causal Processes. In Howard Sankey (ed.), Causation and Laws of Nature. Kluwer. 247--263.
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  12. Michael Esfeld, Lewis' Causation and Quantum Correlations.
    If we apply Lewis’ theory of causation to the quantum correlations which become manifest in the Bell experiments, this theory tells us that these correlations are a case of causation. However, there are strong physical reasons (and concrete suggestions) not to treat these correlations in terms of a physical interaction. The aim of this paper is to assess this conflict. My conclusion is: one can either divorce Lewis’ causation from physical interaction, or one can take the quantum case as an (...)
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  13. Anton Froeyman (2012). The Ontology of Causal Process Theories. Philosophia 40 (3):523-538.
    There is a widespread belief that the so-called process theories of causation developed by Wesley Salmon and Phil Dowe have given us an original account of what causation really is. In this paper, I show that this is a misconception. The notion of “causal process” does not offer us a new ontological account of causation. I make this argument by explicating the implicit ontological commitments in Salmon and Dowe’s theories. From this, it is clear that Salmon’s Mark Transmission Theory collapses (...)
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  14. Anton Froeyman & Leen De Vreese (2008). Unravelling the Methodology of Causal Pluralism. Philosophica 81 (1).
    In this paper we try to bring some clarification in the recent debate on causal pluralism. Our first aim is to clarify what it means to have a pluralistic theory of causation and to articulate the criteria by means of which a certain theory of causation can or cannot qualify as a pluralistic theory of causation. We also show that there is currently no theory on the market which meets these criteria, and therefore no full-blown pluralist theory of causation exists. (...)
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  15. Eduardo García-Ramírez (2012). Trans-World Causation? Philosophical Quarterly 62 (246):71-83.
    According to Lewis, causal claims must be analysed in terms of counterfactual conditionals, and these in turn are understood in terms of relations of comparative similarity among single concrete possible worlds. Lewis also claims that there is no trans-world causation because there is no way to make sense of trans-world counterfactuals without automatically making them come out to be false. In this paper I argue against this claim. I show how to make sense of trans-world counterfactuals in a non-trivial way (...)
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  16. Stuart S. Glennan (1996). Mechanisms and the Nature of Causation. Erkenntnis 44 (1):49--71.
    In this paper I offer an analysis of causation based upon a theory of mechanisms-complex systems whose internal parts interact to produce a system's external behavior. I argue that all but the fundamental laws of physics can be explained by reference to mechanisms. Mechanisms provide an epistemologically unproblematic way to explain the necessity which is often taken to distinguish laws from other generalizations. This account of necessity leads to a theory of causation according to which events are causally related when (...)
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  17. Peter Godfrey-Smith (2009). Causal Pluralism. In Helen Beebee, Peter Menzies & Christopher Hitchcock (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Causation. Oxford University Press. 326--337.
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  18. John Heil (2002). Mental Causation. In Stephen P. Stich & Ted A. Warfield (eds.), Blackwell Guide to Philosophy of Mind. Blackwell. 29--52.
    This volume presents a collection of new, specially written essays by a diverse group of philosophers, including Donald Davidson, Ted Honderich, and Philip Pettit, each of whom is widely known for defending a particular conception of minds and their place in nature.
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  19. Gábor Hofer-Szabó & Péter Vecsernyés (2012). Reichenbach's Common Cause Principle in Algebraic Quantum Field Theory with Locally Finite Degrees of Freedom. Foundations of Physics 42 (2):241-255.
    In the paper it will be shown that Reichenbach’s Weak Common Cause Principle is not valid in algebraic quantum field theory with locally finite degrees of freedom in general. Namely, for any pair of projections A, B supported in spacelike separated double cones ${\mathcal{O}}_{a}$ and ${\mathcal{O}}_{b}$ , respectively, a correlating state can be given for which there is no nontrivial common cause (system) located in the union of the backward light cones of ${\mathcal{O}}_{a}$ and ${\mathcal{O}}_{b}$ and commuting with the both (...)
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  20. Jonathan D. Jacobs, A Powers Theory of Causation.
    In this paper, my central aim is to defend the Powers Theory of causation, according to which causation is the exercise of a power (or manifestation of a disposition). I will do so by, first, presenting a recent version of the Powers Theory, that of Mumford (Forthcoming). Second, I will raise an objection to Mumford’s account. Third, I will offer a revised version that avoids the objection. And, fourth, I will end by briefly comparing the proposed Powers Theory with the (...)
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  21. Pawel Kawalec, Cartwright's Theorem and Procedural Approach to Causality.
    N. Cartwright's recent results on invariance under intervention and causality (2003) are reconsidered. Procedural approach to causality elicited in this paper and contrasted with Cartwright's apparently philosophical one unravels certain ramifications of her results. The procedural approach seems to license only a constrained notion of intervention and in consequence the "correctness to invariance" part of Cartwright's first theorem fails for a class of cases. The converse "invariance to correctness" part of the theorem relies heavily on modeling assumptions which prove to (...)
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  22. Douglas Kutach (2009). Empirical Analyses of Causation. In Allan Hazlett (ed.), New Waves in Metaphysics. Palgrave Macmillan.
    Conceptual analyses can be subdivided into two classes, good and evil. Em- pirical analysis is the good kind, routinely practiced in the sciences. Orthodox analysis is the malevolent version that plagues philosophical discourse. In this paper, I will clarify the difference between them, provide some reasons to prefer good over evil, and illustrate their consequences for the metaphysics of causation. By conducting an empirical analysis of causation rather than an orthodox analysis, one can segregate the genuine metaphysical problems that need (...)
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  23. Jonathan Livengood & Edouard Machery (2007). The Folk Probably Don't Think What You Think They Think: Experiments on Causation by Absence. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 31 (1):107–127.
    Folk theories—untutored people’s (often implicit) theories about various features of the world—have been fashionable objects of inquiry in psychology for almost two decades now (e.g., Hirschfeld and Gelman 1994), and more recently they have been of interest in experimental philosophy (Nichols 2004). Folk theories of psy- chology, physics, biology, and ethics have all come under investigation. Folk meta- physics, however, has not been as extensively studied. That so little is known about folk metaphysics is unfortunate for (at least) two reasons. (...)
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  24. Stephen Mumford & Rani Lill Anjum (2012). Causal Dispositionalism. In Alexander Bird, Brian Ellis & Howard Sankey (eds.), Properties, Powers and Structure. Routledge.
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  25. Bence Nanay (2009). The Properties of Singular Causation. The Monist 92 (1):112-132.
    Theories of singular causation have a genuine problem with properties. In virtue of what property do events (or facts) cause other events? One possible answer to this question, Davidson’s, is that causal relations hold between particulars and properties play no role in the way a particular causes another. According to another, recently fashionable answer, in contrast, events cause other events in virtue of having a trope (as opposed to a property-type). Both views face serious objections. My aim in this paper (...)
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  26. Alyssa Ney (2014). Metaphysics: An Introduction. Routledge.
    Metaphysics: An Introduction combines comprehensive coverage of the core elements of metaphysics with contemporary and lively debates within the subject. It provides a rigorous and yet accessible overview of a rich array of topics , connecting the abstract nature of metaphysics with the real world. Topics covered include: Basic logic for metaphysics An introduction to ontologyobjects Material objects Critiques of metaphysics Free Will Time Modality Persistence Causation Social ontology: the metaphysics of race This outstanding book not only equips the reader (...)
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  27. Robert Northcott (2010). Natural-Born Deterministe: A New Defense of Causation as Probability-Raising. Philosophical Studies 150 (1):1 - 20.
    A definition of causation as probability-raising is threatened by two kinds of counterexample: first, when a cause lowers the probability of its effect; and second, when the probability of an effect is raised by a non-cause. In this paper, I present an account that deals successfully with problem cases of both these kinds. In doing so, I also explore some novel implications of incorporating into the metaphysical investigation considerations of causal psychology.
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  28. Stathis Psillos (2004). A Glimpse of the Secret Connexion: Harmonizing Mechanisms with Counterfactuals. Perspectives on Science 12 (3):288-319.
    Among the current philosophical attempts to understand causation two seem to be the most prominent. The first is James Woodward’s counterfactual approach; the second is the mechanistic approach advocated by Peter Machamer, Lindley Darden, Carl Craver, Jim Bogen and Stuart Glennan. The counterfactual approach takes it that causes make a difference to their effects, where this difference-making is cashed out in terms of actual and counterfactual interventions. The mechanistic approach takes it that two events are causally related if and only (...)
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  29. Stathos Psillos, What is Causation?(.
    When we philosophers think about causation we are primarily interested in what causation is—what exactly is the relation between cause and effect? Or, more or less equivalently, how and in virtue of what is the cause connected to the effect? But we are also interested in an epistemic issue, viz., the possibility of causal knowledge: how, if at all, can causal knowledge be obtained? The two issues are, of course, conceptually distinct—but to many thinkers, there is a connection between them. (...)
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  30. Greg Ray (1992). Probabilistic Causality Reexamined. Erkenntnis 36 (2):219 - 244.
    According to Nancy Cartwright, a causal law holds just when a certain probabilistic condition obtains in all test situations which in turn satisfy a set of background conditions. These background conditions are shown to be inconsistent and, on separate account, logically incoherent. I offer a corrective reformulation which also incorporates a strategy for problems like Hesslow's thrombosis case. I also show that Cartwright's recent argument for modifying the condition to appeal to singular causes fails.Proposed modifications of the theory's probabilistic condition (...)
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  31. Gregor Schiemann (1998). Ohne Telos und Substanz. Grenzen des naturwissenschaftlichen Kausalitätsverständnisses. In Paideia. Philosophy of Science XX. World Congress for Philosophy 1998).
    Die Zeiten, in denen Kausalität das Charakteristikum von Wissenschaftlichkeit war, scheinen sich ihrem Ende zu nähern. Seit dem Beginn unseres Jahrhunderts ist eine seit langem schwelende Krise des herkömmlichen Kausalitätsverständnisses in den Naturwissenschaften unübersehbar zum Ausdruck gekommen. Dessen ungeachtet halten jedoch viele Wissenschaftstheoretiker an Kausalitätsvorstellungen als vermeintlich unverzichtbarem Analyseinstrument fest. In Kritik dieser Tendenz zur Verkennung eines grundlegenden Bedeutungsverlustes wird der historische Verdrängungsprozess von Kausalitätsvorstellungen unter den Stichworten der Entfinalisierung und Entsubstantialisierung nachgezeichnet. Aus der Perspektive geschichtlicher Rekonstruktion handelt es sich (...)
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  32. Sydney Shoemaker (1990). Book Review. Causation. Michael Tooley. [REVIEW] Philosophical Review 99 (4):661-664.
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  33. Stephen P. Stich & Ted A. Warfield (eds.) (2002). Blackwell Guide to Philosophy of Mind. Blackwell.
  34. Jason Taylor (2009). Dis-Unified Pluralist Accounts of Causation. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 90 (3):388-401.
    One way of assessing the philosophical literature on causation is to consider views on the nature of the causal relation. Early theorists were 'monists', taking there to be one causal relation. More recent theorists, however, have turned to pluralism, which holds that the causal relation is only accurately captured by two (or more) relations. I argue that one way of being a pluralist – the way which takes there to be exactly two types of causation – is self defeating, if (...)
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  35. Michael Tooley (2009). Causation. In Robin Le Poidevin (ed.), The Routledge Companion to Metaphysics. Routledge.
    This volume presents a selection of the most influential recent discussions of the crucial metaphysical questions: what is it for one event to cause another? The subject of causation bears on many topics, such as time, explanation, mental states, the laws of nature, and the philosphy of science.
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  36. Ann Whittle (2008). Causality and Intrinsicality. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 108 (1part2):101-120.
    This paper examines the relationship between causality and intrinsicality. Construed in one way, that relationship can be defended against some proposed counterexamples. However, I argue that trumping cases pose a more serious, if not fatal, problem. I then examine an alternative way of thinking about the relationship, but suggest that this too meets the same fate.
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  37. Karen R. Zwier (2014). An Epistemology of Causal Inference From Experiment. Philosophy of Science 80 (5):660-671.
    The manipulationist account of causation provides a framework for assessing causal claims and the experiments used to test them. But its pertinence to the more general class of scientific experiments—particularly those experiments not explicitly designed for testing causal claims—is less clear. I aim to show (1) that the set of causal inferences afforded by any experiment is determined solely on the basis of contrasting case structures that I call “experimental series” and (2) that the conditions that suffice for causal inference (...)
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Causal Eliminativism
  1. John Earman (1976). Causation: A Matter of Life and Death. Journal of Philosophy 73 (1):5-25.
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  2. Adam Elga (2007). Isolation and Folk Physics. In Huw Price & Richard Corry (eds.), Causation, Physics, and the Constitution of Reality: Russell's Republic Revisited. Oxford University Press.
    There is a huge chasm between the notion of lawful determination that figures in fundamental physics, and the notion of causal determination that figures in the "folk physics" of everyday objects. In everyday life, we think of the behavior of an ordinary object as being determined by a small set of simple conditions. But in fundamental physics, no such conditions suffice to determine an ordinary object's behavior. What bridges the chasm is that fundamental physical laws make the folk picture of (...)
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  3. Matt Farr & Alexander Reutlinger (2013). A Relic of a Bygone Age? Causation, Time Symmetry and the Directionality Argument. Erkenntnis 78 (2):215-235.
    Bertrand Russell famously argued that causation is not part of the fundamental physical description of the world, describing the notion of cause as “a relic of a bygone age” (Russell in Proc Aristot Soc 13:1–26, 1913). This paper assesses one of Russell’s arguments for this conclusion: the ‘Directionality Argument’, which holds that the time symmetry of fundamental physics is inconsistent with the time asymmetry of causation. We claim that the coherence and success of the Directionality Argument crucially depends on the (...)
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  4. Don Ross & David Spurrett (2007). Notions of Cause: Russell's Thesis Revisited. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 58 (1):45-76.
    We discuss Russell's 1913 essay arguing for the irrelevance of the idea of causation to science and its elimination from metaphysics as a precursor to contemporary philosophical naturalism. We show how Russell's application raises issues now receiving much attention in debates about the adequacy of such naturalism, in particular, problems related to the relationship between folk and scientific conceptual influences on metaphysics, and to the unification of a scientifically inspired worldview. In showing how to recover an approximation to Russell's conclusion (...)
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Causal Realism
  1. Richard Corry (2009). How is Scientific Analysis Possible? In Toby Handfield (ed.), Dispositions and Causes. Oxford University Press, Clarendon Press ;.
    One of the most powerful tools in science is the analytic method, whereby we seek to understand complex systems by studying simpler sub-systems from which the complex is composed. If this method is to be successful, something about the sub-systems must remain invariant as we move from the relatively isolated conditions in which we study them, to the complex conditions in which we want to put our knowledge to use. This paper asks what this invariant could be. The paper shows (...)
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  2. Richard Corry (2006). Causal Realism and the Laws of Nature. Philosophy of Science 73 (3):261-276.
    This paper proposes a revision of our understanding of causation that is designed to address what Hartry Field has suggested is the central problem in the metaphysics of causation today: reconciling Bertrand Russell’s arguments that the concept of causation can play no role in the advanced sciences with Nancy Cartwright’s arguments that causal concepts are essential to a scientific understanding of the world. The paper shows that Russell’s main argument is, ironically, very similar to an argument that Cartwright has put (...)
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  3. Troy Cross (forthcoming). Review of Mumford and Anjum, Getting Causes From Powers. [REVIEW] Dialectica.
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  4. Curt J. Ducasse (1926). On the Nature and the Observability of the Causal Relation. Journal of Philosophy 23 (3):57-68.
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  5. Steven M. Duncan, On Causation: With Special Reference to Hume.
    Hume was correct in his critique of causation as understood by the New Science, a critique deadly to both causal and scientific realism. Getting beyond Hume's critique of causation requires that we call into question the New Science's understanding of causation and replace it with a Neo-Aristotelian account of causal processes. In this paper, I try to point the way to such an account.
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  6. Tobias Hansson (2006). Too Many Dispositional Properties. SATS: Northern European Journal of Philosophy 7 (2):37-42.
    This paper identifies an overdetermination problem faced by the non-reductive dispositional property account of disposition ascriptions. Two possible responses to the problem are evaluated and both are shown to have serious drawbacks. Finally it is noted that the traditional conditional analysis of dispositional ascriptions escapes the original difficulty.
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  7. Rognvaldur Ingthorsson (2002). Causal Production as Interaction. Metaphysica 3 (1):87-119.
    The paper contains a novel realist account of causal production and the necessary connection between cause and effect. I argue that the asymmetric relation between causally connected events must be regarded as a product of a symmetric interaction between two or more entities. All the entities involved contribute to the producing, and so count as parts of the cause, and they all suffer a change, and so count as parts of the effect. Cause and effect, on this account, are two (...)
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  8. Robert C. Koons (1999). Situation Mereology and the Logic of Causation. Topoi 18 (2):167-174.
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  9. Olivier Massin (2009). The Metaphysics of Forces. Dialectica 64 (4):555-589.
    This paper defends the view that Newtonian forces are real, symmetrical and non-causal relations. First, I argue that Newtonian forces are real; second, that they are relations; third, that they are symmetrical relations; fourth, that they are not species of causation. The overall picture is anti-Humean to the extent that it defends the existence of forces as external relations irreducible to spatio-temporal ones, but is still compatible with Humean approaches to causation (and others) since it denies that forces are a (...)
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