Causal priority and causal conditionship

Synthese 71 (1):19 - 36 (1987)
Abstract
Temporal analyses of causal directionality fail if causes needn't precede their effects. Certain well-known difficulties with alternative (non-temporal) analyses have, in recent accounts, been avoided by attending more carefully to the formal features of relations typically figuring in philosophical discussions of causation. I discuss here a representative of such accounts, offered by David Sanford, according to which a correct analysis of causal priority must issue from viewing the condition relation as nonsymmetrical. The theory is shown first to be an implicitly counterfactual treatment at its base: this provides for an explicit reformulation of several key notions in the theory. An argument is then presented, independent of these modal considerations, for the conclusion that causal priority is possible only given certain implausible assumptions about the asymmetric character of causal laws which, I claim, are not met. The best objection to this argument is shown to fail on several counts, partly in light of the counterfactual results offered earlier. It is concluded that, if laws are symmetric, analyses of the sort discussed must look elsewhere for the source of causal priority; but if laws are not symmetric, resting causal priority so heavily on nomological asymmetry is no analysis at all.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 12,068
External links
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
Similar books and articles
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

7 ( #194,809 of 1,101,833 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

5 ( #68,160 of 1,101,833 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.