Review of Max Kistler, Causalité et lois de la nature Paris: Vrin 1999, 311 pages, FRF 198 [Book Review]

Abstract
Max Kistler’s first book, based on his Paris Ph.D. thesis, is an elaborate defence of a transference theory of causation. Such a theory conceives of causality as the transfer of a conserved quantity. A transference theory of causation is thus one form that a regularity account of causation, as opposed to a counterfactual account, might take. Kistler’s original contribution consists (a) in the way in which he develops an account of causation based on transference and (b) in relating a theory of causation to a specific view of natural laws. Kistler first considers what a relation of causation is and thereby contrasts the transference theory with other explanations (Ch. 1). He then develops a view of natural laws (Ch. 2) and combines this view with his transference theory of causation (Chs. 3 & 4). The second part of the book focuses on causally efficacious properties. Kistler employs the notion of properties that are responsable for a relation of causation. The function of such properties in laws of causation is examined (Chs. 5 & 6). The last chapter discusses examples that are to show how this theory of causation works (Ch. 7). Kistler argues for a realistic view: there is causation in the world independently of whether and how people conceptualize causal relations. The relata of a causal relation are events. An event is the content of a continuous space–time region (which may be as small as being pointlike) (18, 64–68). Events are in space–time what objects are in space (196): An object has spatial parts, whereas an event has spatio–temporal parts. To give an example, a volcano has spatial parts such as a top, whereas an eruption of a volcano can be gentle and limited to its northern side first and then become violent and extending to all sides. There is a relation of causation between two events if and only if at least one conserved quantity is transferred between them (39–40, 100). That is to say: an event x has a certain value of a physical quantity, and that individual value is transferred to another event y..
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(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 Translate to english
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 10,304
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

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Max Kistler (2001). Causation as Transference and Responsibility. In Wolfgang Spohn, Marion Ledwig & Michael Esfeld (eds.), Current Issues in Causation. Mentis. 115-133.
S. D. Rieber (2002). Causation as Property Acquisition. Philosophical Studies 109 (1):53 - 74.
Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen (2012). Against the Contrastive Account of Singular Causation. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 63 (1):115-143.
Max Kistler (2010). Mechanisms and Downward Causation. Philosophical Psychology 22 (5):595-609.
Phil Dowe (2000). Physical Causation. Cambridge University Press.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2010-12-22

Total downloads

9 ( #147,458 of 1,096,373 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #130,630 of 1,096,373 )

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.