David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
The object of this paper is to offer a conception of singular causality that lies between two main views in the literature, which I take to be paradigmatically represented by David Armstrong (1997) and by Michael Tooley (1987, 1990) respectively. Armstrong maintains that there is singular causation wherever there are singular facts that instantiate causal laws; these facts are otherwise independent regularities. Tooley maintains that singular causation is independent of causal laws together with any other non-causal fact. My own view is that Armstrong’s account is too weak to conform a singularist position, as in his view singular causal relations are finally dependent on universal causation. On the other hand, Tooley’s account is too strong to be causal, as causation dissolves into a purely external and mysterious connection that is not even Humean -not even regularities play a role in its establishment. I want to maintain that there exists a middle way that correctly characterizes the spirit of singular causation, and that can be stated by (CS): (CS) Singular causality is metaphysically independent of universal causality. Neither Tooley nor Armstrong would admit (CS) as an appropriate defining thesis for causal singularism. In what follows, I consider different causal situations existing in the literature, with the purpose of analysing singular causation, arguing against Tooley and Armstrong's views, and defending (CS) instead. If my reasons are accepted, Armstrong’s position, rather than being singular in spirit, results into a form of causal universalism. I will also reject Tooley’s singularism as an extreme counterintuitive form of hyperrealism. Some consequences for causation are immediate. In particular, that singular causal relations are tropes, i.e., individual relations.
|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
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Bence Nanay (2009). The Properties of Singular Causation. The Monist 92 (1):112-132.
Jessica M. Wilson (2006). Causality. In Jessica Pfeifer & Sahotra Sarkar (eds.), The Philosophy of Science: An Encyclopedia. Routledge. 90--100.
Eugen Zeleňák (2009). On Explanatory Relata in Singular Causal Explanation. Theoria 75 (3):179-195.
Christian Jakob (2006). Hitchcock's (2001) Treatment of Singular and General Causation. Minds and Machines 16 (3):277-287.
Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen (2012). Against the Contrastive Account of Singular Causation. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 63 (1):115-143.
Peter Menzies (1989). Probabilistic Causation and Causal Processes: A Critique of Lewis. Philosophy of Science 56 (4):642-663.
Jessica M. Wilson (2009). Resemblance-Based Resources for Reductive Singularism. The Monist 92 (1):153-190.
Dominick A. Rizzi & Stig Andur Pedersen (1992). Causality in Medicine: Towards a Theory and Terminology. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 13 (3).
Brian Ellis (2000). Causal Laws and Singular Causation. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 61 (2):329-351.
María José García-Encinas (2011). Singular Causation Without Dispositions. Theoria 26 (1):35-50.
Added to index2010-04-02
Total downloads27 ( #67,697 of 1,099,909 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #303,846 of 1,099,909 )
How can I increase my downloads?