David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 56 (4):823-842 (2005)
The paper begins with a discussion of Russell's view that the notion of cause is unnecessary for science and can therefore be eliminated. It is argued that this is true for theoretical physics but untrue for medicine, where the notion of cause plays a central role. Medical theories are closely connected with practical action (attempts to cure and prevent disease), whereas theoretical physics is more remote from applications. This suggests the view that causal laws are appropriate in a context where there is a close connection to action. This leads to a development of an action-related theory of causality which is similar to the agency theory of Menzies and Price, but differs from it in a number of respects, one of which is the following. Menzies and Price connect ‘A causes B’ with an action to produce B by instantiating A, but, particularly in the case of medicine, the law can also be linked to the action of trying to avoid B by ensuring that A is not instantiated. The action-related theory has in common with the agency theory of Menzies and Price the ability to explain causal asymmetry in a simple fashion, but the introduction of avoidance actions together with some ideas taken from Russell enable some of the objections to agency accounts of causality to be met. Introduction Russell on causality Preliminary exposition of the action-related theory Differences between the action-related theory and the agency theory of Menzies and Price Explanation of causal asymmetry Objections to the action-related theory Extension of the theory to the indeterminate case.
|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
Michel Bitbol (2012). Downward Causation Without Foundations. Synthese 185 (2):233-255.
Clark Glymour, David Danks, Bruce Glymour, Frederick Eberhardt, Joseph Ramsey, Richard Scheines, Peter Spirtes, Choh Man Teng & Jiji Zhang (2010). Actual Causation: A Stone Soup Essay. Synthese 175 (2):169 - 192.
Donald Gillies (forthcoming). A New Branch of Philosophy of Science: The Philosophy of Medicine. [REVIEW] Metascience:1-4.
Similar books and articles
Markus E. Schlosser (2010). Agency, Ownership, and the Standard Theory. In A. Buckareff, J. Aguilar & K. Frankish (eds.), New Waves in the Philosophy of Action. Palgrave Macmillan. 13-31.
Peter Hucklenbroich (1981). Action Theory as a Source for Philosophy of Medicine. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 2 (1):55-73.
James Swindal (2012). Action and Existence: A Case for Agent Causation. Palgrave Macmillan.
Zhu Xu (2010). Laws, Causality and the Intentional Explanation of Action. Frontiers of Philosophy in China 5 (2):280-293.
Hugh J. McCann (1998). The Works of Agency: On Human Action, Will, and Freedom. Cornell University Press.
Alfred R. Mele (2005). Motivation and Agency: Precis. [REVIEW] Philosophical Studies 123 (3):243–247.
Alicia Juarrero Roqué (1987). Does Action Theory Rest on a Mistake? Philosophy Research Archives 13:587-612.
Carl Ginet (1990). On Action. Cambridge University Press.
David-Hillel Ruben (2010). The Causal and Deliberative Strength of Reasons for Action. In J. Aguilar & A. Buckareff (eds.), Causing Human Action: New Perspectives on the Causal Theory of Action. Bradford.
John Bishop (1990). Natural Agency: An Essay on the Causal Theory of Action. Cambridge University Press.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads25 ( #80,640 of 1,679,369 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #78,612 of 1,679,369 )
How can I increase my downloads?