David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
David Danks Clark Glymour, Frederick Eberhardt Bruce Glymour, Richard Scheines Joseph Ramsey, Choh Man Teng Peter Spirtes & Jiji Zhang
We argue that current discussions of criteria for actual causation are ill-posed in several respects. (1) The methodology of current discussions is by induction from intuitions about an infinitesimal fraction of the possible examples and counterexamples; (2) cases with larger numbers of causes generate novel puzzles; (3) “neuron” and causal Bayes net diagrams are, as deployed in discussions of actual causation, almost always ambiguous; (4) actual causation is (intuitively) relative to an initial system state since state changes are relevant, but most current accounts ignore state changes through time; (5) more generally, there is no reason to think that philosophical judgements about these sorts of cases are normative; but (6) there is a dearth of relevant psychological research that bears on whether various philosophical accounts are descriptive. Our skepticism is not directed towards the possibility of a correct account of actual causation; rather, we argue that standard methods will not lead to such an account. A different approach is required. Once upon a time a hungry wanderer came into a village. He filled an iron cauldron with water, built a fire under it, and dropped a stone into the water. “I do like a tasty stone soup” he announced. Soon a villager added a cabbage to the pot, another added some salt and others added potatoes, onions, carrots, mushrooms, and so on, until there was a meal for all.
|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
Justin T. Tiehen (2011). Disproportional Mental Causation. Synthese 182 (3):375-391.
Peter Spirtes (2011). Intervention, Determinism, and the Causal Minimality Condition. Synthese 182 (3):335-347.
Michael Huemer & Ben Kovitz (2003). Causation as Simultaneous and Continuous. Philosophical Quarterly 53 (213):556–565.
Eric Hiddleston (2005). Causal Powers. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 56 (1):27-59.
Robert Northcott (2008). Causation and Contrast Classes. Philosophical Studies 139 (1):111 - 123.
Christian Jakob (2006). Hitchcock's (2001) Treatment of Singular and General Causation. Minds and Machines 16 (3):277-287.
Christopher Hitchcock & Joshua Knobe (2009). Cause and Norm. Journal of Philosophy 106 (11):587-612.
Brad Weslake (forthcoming). A Partial Theory of Actual Causation. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
Added to index2009-05-04
Total downloads32 ( #119,134 of 1,790,225 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #320,602 of 1,790,225 )
How can I increase my downloads?