David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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To claim that x was the cause of y (or x caused y) is 1) to assume that x was one of a number of things, each of which together with the others was sufficient to have brought about y, and 2) to deem x responsible for the occurrence of y. A best-explanation argument, including application to cases, is offered in defense of this analysis, which holds that claiming that something is the cause is, in part, a speech act (deeming x to be responsible) that reflects the cause selector’s values or perspectives. No proposed alternative explanation accounts for all the cases with which I am familiar, but this analysis does account for them. Thus the analysis and the defense of sole singular causal claims call for more than empirical evidence, though of course evidence is very important
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