David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In Anna Marmodoro (ed.), The Metaphysics of Powers: Their Grounding and Their Manifestations. Routledge (2010)
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 being intermediate events I1 . . . In such that A causes I1, I1 causes I2, . . . , In−1 causes In, and In causes B. Cases of this sort include my putting my foot on the brake causing the car to slow, the smoke from a fire causing the fire brigade to be alerted, and so forth. In other cases the more basic causal relations may not be intermediate (or at least it is controversial that they are). My seeing that it is raining may cause me to want to stay inside, and this causal relation depends upon more basic causal relations among various components of my brain. But it does not seem possible to analyze this in terms of my perception causing certain brain events, which cause other brain events, which eventually cause my desire. Rather it seems as if the principle causal relation, between perception and desire, is constituted, rather than mediated, by the more basic causal relations in the brain. The same is true of the operation of the dynamo causing the current to flow. Again there are not intermediate events, but rather the causal relation between them is constituted by the motion of the charged particles in the wires moving though a magnetic field, which causes an electric field, which causes the charges to move in the wire. There are thus at least two kinds of complex causal relation: the chain kind and the constitution kind. If we wish to understand causation, we need to understand the basic causal relations, at least as found in the chain kind. That is, to understand what it is for A to cause B when the latter is a causal relation of the chain kind, requires understanding what it is for the intermediate, basic causal relations to hold. In the case of a complex causal relation of the constitution kind, it is may be that understanding what it is for A and B to be causally related does not require understanding what it is for the constituting causal relations to hold..
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Max Urchs (1994). On the Logic of Event-Causation Jaśkowski-Style Systems of Causal Logic. Studia Logica 53 (4):551 - 578.
Alex Broadbent (2012). Causes of Causes. Philosophical Studies 158 (3):457-476.
Jason Taylor (2009). Dis-Unified Pluralist Accounts of Causation. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 90 (3):388-401.
Brandon N. Towl (2010). The Individuation of Causal Powers by Events (and Consequences of the Approach). Metaphysica 11 (1):49-61.
Brian Ellis (2000). Causal Laws and Singular Causation. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 61 (2):329-351.
M. Gregory Oakes (2007). Can Indirect Causation Be Real? Metaphysica 8 (2):111-122.
Richard Swinburne (2006). Relations Between Universals,or Divine Laws? Australasian Journal of Philosophy 84 (2):179 – 189.
Daniel Murray Hausman (2005). Causal Relata: Tokens, Types, or Variables? [REVIEW] Erkenntnis 63 (1):33 - 54.
Rebekah L. H. Rice (2011). Agent Causation and Acting for Reasons. American Philosophical Quarterly 48 (4):333-346.
Added to index2009-07-16
Total downloads112 ( #8,911 of 1,100,968 )
Recent downloads (6 months)8 ( #27,650 of 1,100,968 )
How can I increase my downloads?