David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Synthese 190 (6):1017-1037 (2013)
An influential tradition in the philosophy of causation has it that all token causal facts are, or are reducible to, facts about difference-making. Challenges to this tradition have typically focused on pre-emption cases, in which a cause apparently fails to make a difference to its effect. However, a novel challenge to the difference-making approach has recently been issued by Alyssa Ney. Ney defends causal foundationalism, which she characterizes as the thesis that facts about difference-making depend upon facts about physical causation. She takes this to imply that causation is not fundamentally a matter of difference-making. In this paper, I defend the difference-making approach against Ney’s argument. I also offer some positive reasons for thinking, pace Ney, that causation is fundamentally a matter of difference-making.
|Keywords||Causation Difference-making Causal foundationalism Physical causation Processes|
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Judea Pearl (2000). Causality: Models, Reasoning, and Inference. Cambridge University Press.
David K. Lewis (1986/2001). On the Plurality of Worlds. Blackwell Publishers.
David K. Lewis (1973). Counterfactuals. Blackwell Publishers.
James Woodward (2003). Making Things Happen: A Theory of Causal Explanation. Oxford University Press.
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