The Ontology of Causal Process Theories

Philosophia 40 (3):523-538 (2012)
Abstract
There is a widespread belief that the so-called process theories of causation developed by Wesley Salmon and Phil Dowe have given us an original account of what causation really is. In this paper, I show that this is a misconception. The notion of “causal process” does not offer us a new ontological account of causation. I make this argument by explicating the implicit ontological commitments in Salmon and Dowe’s theories. From this, it is clear that Salmon’s Mark Transmission Theory collapses to a counterfactual theory of causation, while the Conserved Quantity Theory collapses to David Fair’s phsyicalist reduction of causation
Keywords Dowe  Salmon  Process theories of causation  Ontological commitments
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References found in this work BETA
Phil Dowe (1992). An Empiricist Defence of the Causal Account of Explanation. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 6 (2):123 – 128.
Phil Dowe (2000). Physical Causation. Cambridge University Press.

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Phil Dowe (2000). Physical Causation. Cambridge University Press.
Douglas Ehring (1986). Causal Processes and Causal Interactions. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1986:24 - 32.
Phil Dowe (2004). Causation and Misconnections. Philosophy of Science 71 (5):926-931.
Phil Dowe (1992). An Empiricist Defence of the Causal Account of Explanation. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 6 (2):123 – 128.
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