Causal and Explanatory Asymmetry

This paper asks why causal asymmetries should give rise to explanatory asymmetries. One way to give some rationale for the asymmetries of causal explanation is to adopt a pragmatic view of explanation and to stress the fact that causes can be used to manipulate their effects. This paper argues, however, that when one recognizes that causal asymmetry is fundamentally an asymmetry of "connectedness", one can see how causal asymmetry leads to an objective difference between explanations in terms of causes and explanations in terms of effects. The pragmatic differences are subsidiary.
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DOI 10.2307/192654
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