David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In Michael J. Loux & Dean W. Zimmerman (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Metaphysics. Oxford University Press. 435-460 (2003)
1. Of what use is the concept of causation? Bertrand Russell [1912-13] argued that it is not useful: it is “a relic of a bygone age, surviving, like the monarchy, only because it is erroneously supposed to do no harm.” His argument for this was that the kind of physical theories that we have come to regard as fundamental leave no place for the notion of causation: not only does the word ‘cause’ not appear in the advanced sciences, but the laws that these sciences state are incompatible with causation as we normally understand it. But Nancy Cartwright has argued  that abandoning the concept of causation would cripple science; her conclusion was based not on fundamental physics, but on more ordinary science such as the search for the causes of cancer. She argues that Russell was right that the fundamental theories of modern physics say nothing, even implicitly, about causation, and concludes on this basis that such theories are incomplete. It is with this cluster of issues that I will begin my discussion.
|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
Matt Farr & Alexander Reutlinger (2013). A Relic of a Bygone Age? Causation, Time Symmetry and the Directionality Argument. Erkenntnis 78 (2):215-235.
Panu Raatikainen (2010). Causation, Exclusion, and the Special Sciences. Erkenntnis 73 (3):349-363.
Michael Esfeld (2007). Mental Causation and the Metaphysics of Causation. Erkenntnis 67 (2):207 - 220.
Luke Glynn (2013). Causal Foundationalism, Physical Causation, and Difference-Making. Synthese 190 (6):1017-1037.
Christoph Hoerl (2011). Causal Reasoning. Philosophical Studies 152 (2):167-179.
Similar books and articles
Douglas Kutach (2013). Causation and Its Basis in Fundamental Physics. Oxford University Press.
Huw Price & Richard Corry (eds.) (2007). Causation, Physics, and the Constitution of Reality: Russell's Republic Revisited. Oxford University Press.
A. M. Soto, C. Sonnenschein & P. A. Miquel (2008). On Physicalism and Downward Causation in Developmental and Cancer Biology. Acta Biotheoretica 56 (4).
John Campbell (2010). Control Variables and Mental Causation. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 110 (1):15-30.
Mehmet Elgin (2010). How Could There Be True Causal Claims Without There Being Special Causal Facts in the World? Philosophia 38 (4):755-771.
J. Schaffer (2010). Causation, Physics, and the Constitution of Reality: Russell's Republic Revisited, Edited by Huw Price and Richard Corry. Mind 119 (475):844-848.
Alyssa Ney (2009). Physical Causation and Difference-Making. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (4):737-764.
Helen Beebee (2011). Hume's Impact on Causation. The Philosophers' Magazine (54):75-79.
Richard Corry (2006). Causal Realism and the Laws of Nature. Philosophy of Science 73 (3):261-276.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads86 ( #15,834 of 1,099,787 )
Recent downloads (6 months)6 ( #51,183 of 1,099,787 )
How can I increase my downloads?