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  1. Roberta L. Millstein (2006). Natural Selection as a Population-Level Causal Process. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (4):627-653.
    Recent discussions in the philosophy of biology have brought into question some fundamental assumptions regarding evolutionary processes, natural selection in particular. Some authors argue that natural selection is nothing but a population-level, statistical consequence of lower-level events (Matthen and Ariew [2002]; Walsh et al. [2002]). On this view, natural selection itself does not involve forces. Other authors reject this purely statistical, population-level account for an individual-level, causal account of natural selection (Bouchard and Rosenberg [2004]). I argue that each of these (...)
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The Direction of Causation
  1. Michael Baumgartner & Luke Glynn (2013). Introduction to Special Issue on 'Actual Causation'. Erkenntnis 78 (1):1-8.
  2. Tom L. Beauchamp & Daniel N. Robinson (1975). On von Wright's Argument for Backward Causation. Ratio 17:99-103.
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  3. Hanoch Ben-Yami (2010). Backwards Causation Still Impossible. Analysis 70 (1):89-92.
    (No abstract is available for this citation).
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  4. Max Black (1956). Why Cannot an Effect Precede its Cause? Analysis 16 (3):49-58.
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  5. Bob Brier (1973). Magicians, Alarm Clocks, and Backward Causation. Southern Journal of Philosophy 11 (4):359-364.
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  6. Milan Cirkovic & Suzana Cveticanin, Backward Causation, Isolation and the Pursuit of Justice.
    The recent operationalization of the famous Newcomb's game by Schmidt (1998) offers an interesting and thought-provoking look at the plausibility of backward causation in a Newtonian universe. Hereby we investigate two details of the Schmidt's scenario which may, at least in principle, invalidate his conclusion in two different domains: one dealing with the issue of Newtonian predictability in specific instance of human actions, and the other stemming from a possible strategy aimed at obviating the anthropically oriented view of backward causation (...)
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  7. Richard Corry, Retrocausal Models for EPR.
    Huw Price, among others, has argued that much of the weirdness of quantum mechanics can be avoided if we are willing to accept the possibility of “retrocausation” (i.e. backwards causation). In particular, retrocausal interpretations of quantum mechanics promise to solve the incompleteness problem (namely that Quantum state descriptions do not assign determinate values to all the observable properties of a system at any one time), and hence also the Measurement Problem. Inspired by Price's "Helsinki" model of retrocausal quantum mechanics, I (...)
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  8. D. Dieks (1986). Physics and the Direction of Causation. Erkenntnis 25 (1):85 - 110.
    Two proposals for a physicalistic analysis of causation — the so-called transference model and an account given by J. L. Mackie — are examined and found wanting on the score of physical objectivity. This shortcoming can be remedied, but it is further argued that both proposals embody a too restricted conception of what a physicalistic analysis of causation should be. A more general program is proposed.
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  9. Jan Faye, Backward Causation. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Sometimes also called retro causation. A common feature of our world seems to be that in all cases of causation, the cause and the effect are placed in time so that the cause precedes its effect temporally. Our normal understanding of causation assumes this feature to such a degree that we intuitively have great difficulty imagining things differently. The notion of backward causation, however, stands for the idea that the temporal order of cause and effect is a mere contingent feature (...)
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  10. Antony Flew (1973). Magicians, Alarm Clocks, and Backward Causation: A Comment. Southern Journal of Philosophy 11 (4):365-366.
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  11. Peter Forrest (1985). Backwards Causation in Defense of Free Will. Mind 94 (April):210-17.
  12. Adolf Grunbaum (1976). Is Preacceleration of Particles in Dirac's Electrodynamics a Case of Backward Causation? The Myth of Retrocausation in Classical Electrodynamics. Philosophy of Science 43 (2):165-201.
    Is it a "conceptual truth" or only a logically contingent fact that, in any given kind of case, an event x which asymmetrically causes ("produces") an event y likewise temporally precedes y or at least does not temporally succeed y? A bona fide physical example in which the cause retroproduces the effect would show that backward causation is no less conceptually possible than forward causation. And it has been claimed ([9], p. 151; [4], p. 41) that in Dirac's classical electrodynamics (...)
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  13. Adolf Grünbaum & Allen I. Janis (1977). Is There Backward Causation in Classical Electrodynamics? Journal of Philosophy 74 (8):475-482.
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  14. Adolf Grunbaum & Allen I. Janis (1977). Is There Backward Causation In Classical Electrodynamics? Journal of Philosophy 74 (August):475-482.
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  15. David B. Hershenov (2007). The Memory Criterion and the Problem of Backward Causation. International Philosophical Quarterly 47 (2):181-185.
    Lockeans, as well as their critics, have pointed out that the memory criterion is likely to mean that none of us were ever fetuses or even infants due to the lack of direct psychological connections between then and now. But what has been overlooked is that the memory criterion leads to either backward causation and a violation of Locke’s own very plausible principle that we can have only one origin, or backward causation and a number of overlapping people where we (...)
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  16. Michael Huemer & Ben Kovitz (2003). Causation as Simultaneous and Continuous. Philosophical Quarterly 53 (213):556–565.
    We propose that all actual causes are simultaneous with their direct effects, as illustrated by both everyday examples and the laws of physics. We contrast this view with the sequential conception of causation, according to which causes must occur prior to their effects. The key difference between the two views of causation lies in differing assumptions about the mathematical structure of time.
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  17. 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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  18. Barry Loewer, Brad Weslake & Eric Winsberg (eds.) (forthcoming). Time's Arrows and the Probability Structure of the World. Harvard University Press.
    A collection of newly commissioned papers on themes from David Albert's Time and Chance (HUP, 2000), with replies by Albert. Confirmed contributors: Sean Carroll, Sidney Felder, Alison Fernandes, Mathias Frisch, Nick Huggett, Jenann Ismael, Doug Kutach, Barry Loewer, Tim Maudlin, Chris Meacham, David Wallace, and Eric Winsberg.
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  19. 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 rela- tions. 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 (...)
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  20. Daniel Nolan, What Would Teleological Causation Be?
    As is well known, Aristotelian natural philosophy, and many other systems of natural philosophy since, have relied heavily on teleology and teleological causation. Somehow, the purpose or end of an object can be used to predict and explain what that object does: once you know that the end of an acorn is to become an oak, and a few things about what sorts of circumstances are conducive to the attainment of this end, you can predict a lot about the sprouting (...)
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  21. Paul Noordhof (2003). Tooley on Backward Causation. Analysis 63 (2):157–162.
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  22. Graham Oddie (1990). Backwards Causation and the Permanence of the Past. Synthese 85 (1):71 - 93.
    Can a present or future event bring about a past event? An answer to this question is demanded by many other interesting questions. Can anybody, even a god, do anything about what has already occurred? Should we plan for the past, as well as for the future? Can anybody precognise the future in a way quite different from normal prediction? Do the causal laws and the past jointly preclude free action? Does current physical theory entail a consistent version of backwards (...)
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  23. H. Price (1996). Backward Causation and the Direction of Causal Processes: Reply to Dowe. Mind 105 (419):467 - 474.
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  24. Huw Price (2008). Toy Models for Retrocausality. Studies in Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 39 (4):752-761.
    A number of writers have been attracted to the idea that some of the peculiarities of quantum theory might be manifestations of 'backward' or 'retro' causality, underlying the quantum description. This idea has been explored in the literature in two main ways: firstly in a variety of explicit models of quantum systems, and secondly at a conceptual level. This note introduces a third approach, intended to complement the other two. It describes a simple toy model, which, under a natural interpretation, (...)
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  25. Huw Price (2008). Toy Models for Retrocausality. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 39 (4):752-761.
    Forthcoming in Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, 39(2008).
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  26. Huw Price (2001). Backward Causation, Hidden Variables and the Meaning of Completeness. PRAMANA - Journal of Physics 56:199-209.
    Bell’s theorem requires the assumption that hidden variables are independent of future measurement settings. This independence assumption rests on surprisingly shaky ground. In particular, it is puzzlingly time-asymmetric. The paper begins with a summary of the case for considering hidden variable models which, in abandoning this independence assumption, allow a degree of ‘backward causation’. The remainder of the paper clarifies the physical significance of such models, in relation to the issue as to whether quantum mechanics provides a complete description of (...)
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  27. Huw Price (1996). Backward Causation and the Direction of Causal Processes: Reply to Dowe. Mind 105 (419):467-474.
    argues that the success of the backward causation hypothesis in quantum mechanics would provide strong support for a version of Reichenbach's account of the direction of causal processes, which takes the direction of causation to rest on the fork asymmetry. He also criticises my perspectival account of the direction of causation, which takes causal asymmetry to be a projection of our own temporal asymmetry as agents. In this reply I take issue with Dowe's argument at three main points: his claim (...)
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  28. Huw Price (1992). Agency and Causal Asymmetry. Mind 101 (403):501-520.
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  29. Huw Price (1992). The Direction of Causation: Ramsey's Ultimate Contingency. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1992:253 - 267.
    The paper criticizes the attempt to account for the direction of causation in terms of objective statistical asymmetries, such as those of the fork asymmetry. Following Ramsey, I argue that the most plausible way to account for causal asymmetry is to regard it as "put in by hand", that is as a feature that agents project onto the world. Its temporal orientation stems from that of ourselves as agents. The crucial statistical asymmetry is an anthropocentric one, namely that we take (...)
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  30. Huw Price (1984). The Philosophy and Physics of Affecting the Past. Synthese 61 (3):299 - 323.
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  31. Alexander Reutlinger (2014). Can Interventionists Be Neo-Russellians? Interventionism, the Open Systems Argument, and the Arrow of Entropy. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 27 (3):273-293.
    International Studies in the Philosophy of Science, Volume 27, Issue 3, Page 273-293, September 2013.
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  32. Peter J. Riggs (1991). A Critique of Mellor's Argument Against 'Backwards' Causation. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 42 (1):75-86.
    In this paper, criticisms are made of the main tenets of Professor Mellor's argument against ‘backwards’ causation. He requires a closed causal chain of events if there is to be ‘backwards’ causation, but this condition is a metaphysical assumption which he cannot totally substantiate. Other objections to Mellor's argument concern his probabilistic analysis of causation, and the use to which he puts this analysis. In particular, his use of conditional probability inequality to establish the ‘direction’ of causation is shown to (...)
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  33. Daniel N. Robinson and Tom L. Beauchamp (1975). On von Wright's Argument for Backward Causation. Ratio (June).
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  34. Daniel N. Robinson (1975). On von Wright's Argument for Backward Causation. Ratio (June).
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  35. David H. Sanford (1988). Can There Be One-Way Causal Conditionship? Synthese 76 (3):397 - 408.
    I defend my attempt to explain causal priority by means of one-way causal conditionship by answering an argument by J. A. Cover about Charles'' law. Then I attempt to say what makes a philosophical analysis a counterfactual analysis, so I can understand Cover''s claim that my account is at its base a counterfactual one. Finally I examine Cover''s discussion of my contention that necessary for in the circumstances is nontransitive.
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  36. David H. Sanford (1985). Causal Dependence and Multiplicity. Philosophy 60 (232):215-230.
    In "Causes and "If P, Even If X, still Q," Philosophy 57 (July 1982), Ted Honderich cites my "The Direction of Causation and the Direction of Conditionship," journal of Philosophy 73 (April 22, 1976) as an example of an account of causal priority that lacks the proper character. After emending Honderich's description of the proper character, I argue that my attempt to account for one-way causation in terms of one-way causal conditionship does not totally lack it. Rather than emphasize the (...)
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  37. David H. Sanford (1976). The Direction of Causation and the Direction of Conditionship. Journal of Philosophy 73 (8):193-207.
    I criticize and emend J L Mackie's account of causal priority by replacing ‘fixity’ in its central clause by 'x is a causal condition of y, but y is not a causal condition of x'. This replacement works only if 'is a causal condition of' is not a symmetric relation. Even apart from our desire to account for causal priority, it is desirable to have an account of nonsymmetric conditionship. Truth, for example, is a condition of knowledge, but knowledge is (...)
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  38. Jan Hendrik Schmidt (1998). Newcomb's Paradox Realized with Backward Causation. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 49 (1):67-87.
    In order to refute the widely held belief that the game known as ‘Newcomb's paradox’ is physically nonsensical and impossible to imagine (e.g. because it involves backward causation), I tell a story in which the game is realized in a classical, deterministic universe in a physically plausible way. The predictor is a collection of beings which are by many orders of magnitude smaller than the player and which can, with their exquisite measurement techniques, observe the particles in the player's body (...)
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  39. Michael Tooley (2002). Backward Causation and the Stalnaker-Lewis Approach to Counterfactuals. Analysis 62 (3):191–197.
Causal Overdetermination
  1. Simona Aimar (2011). Counterfactuals, Overdetermination and Mental Causation. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 111 (3):469-477.
    The Exclusion Problem (EP) for mental causation suggests that there is a tension between the claim that the mental causes physical effects, and the claim that the mental does not overdetermine its physical effects. In response, Karen Bennett (2008, 2003) puts forward an extra necessary condition for overdetermination: if one candidate cause were to occur but the other were not to occur, the effect would still occur. She thus denies one of the assumptions of EP, the assumption that if an (...)
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  2. Yuri Balashov (2003). Restricted Diachronic Composition, Immanent Causality, and Objecthood: A Reply to Hudson. Philosophical Papers 32 (1):23-30.
    Composition, persistence, vagueness, and more constitute an interconnected network of problems. My criticism of Hud Hudson's provocative claims made in a recent paper (Hudson 2002) was focused almost exclusively on the issue of diachronic composition (Balashov 2003). Hudson's response (2003) has highlighted the dangers of such isolationism. But I want to hold to my strategy to the end. Part of the reason is to evade the appalling responsibility of presenting a full-blown theory of all the above phenomena; I must confess (...)
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  3. Michael Baumgartner & Luke Glynn (2013). Introduction to Special Issue on 'Actual Causation'. Erkenntnis 78 (1):1-8.
  4. Umut Baysan (forthcoming). Review of 'Mental Causation and Ontology'. [REVIEW] Mind.
  5. William Bechtel (2007). Top-Down Causation Without Top-Down Causes. Biology and Philosophy 22 (4):547-563.
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  6. Sara Bernstein (2014). A Closer Look at Trumping. Acta Analytica:1-22.
    This paper argues that so-called “trumping preemption” is in fact overdetermination or early preemption, and is thus not a distinctive form of redundant causation. I draw a novel lesson from cases thought to be trumping: that the boundary between preemption and overdetermination should be reconsidered.
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  7. Martin Bunzl (1979). Causal Overdetermination. Journal of Philosophy 76 (3):134-150.
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  8. J. K. Campbell, M. O'Rourke & H. S. Silverstein (eds.) (2007). Causation and Explanation. MIT Press.
    Leading scholars discuss the development and application of theories of causation and explanation, offering a state-of-the-art view of current work on these two ...
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  9. Brandon Carey (2010). Overdetermination And The Exclusion Problem. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (2):251 - 262.
    The exclusion problem is held to show that mental and physical events are identical by claiming that the denial of this identity is incompatible with the causal completeness of physics and the occurrence of mental causation. The problem relies for its motivation on the claim that overdetermination of physical effects by mental and physical causes is objectionable for a variety of reasons. In this paper, I consider four different definitions of ?overdetermination? and argue that, on each, overdetermination in all cases (...)
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  10. John W. Carroll & William R. Carter (2005). An Unstable Eliminativism. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 86 (1):1–17.
    In his book Objects and Persons, Trenton Merricks has reoriented and fine-tuned an argument from the philosophy of mind to support a selective eliminativism about macroscopic objects.1 The argument turns on a rejection of systematic causal overdetermination and the conviction that microscopic things do the causal work that is attributed to a great many (though not all) macroscopic things. We will argue that Merricks’ argument fails to establish his selective eliminativism.
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