David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Synthese 101 (2):129-156 (1994)
By a macro-level feature, I understand any feature that supervenes on, and is thus realized in, lower-level features. Recent discussions by Kim have suggested that such features cannot be causally relevant insofar as they are not classically reducible to lower-level features. This seems to render macro-level features causally irrelevant. I defend the causal relevance of some such features. Such features have been thought causally relevant in many examples that have underpinned philosophical work on causality. Additionally, in certain typical biological cases, we conceive of causally relevant features at various compatible levels of analysis. When elaborated, these points make a strong prima facie case for macro-level causal relevance. However, we might abandon both the philosophical guideposts and the corresponding explanatory practice in the special sciences were we convinced that no reflective philosophical account could provide for the causal relevance there supposed. I show that such drastic measures are not necessary, for we can make sense of macro-level causal relevance by drawing on Paul Humphreys' recent work in ways suggested by the concrete examples considered here.
|Keywords||Causation Epistemology Supervenience Humphreys, P|
|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
Wesley Salmon (1984). Scientific Explanation and the Causal Structure of the World. Princeton University Press.
David Lewis (1973). Causation. Journal of Philosophy 70 (17):556-567.
Robert C. Cummins (1975). Functional Analysis. Journal of Philosophy 72 (November):741-64.
Philip Kitcher (1984). 1953 and All That. A Tale of Two Sciences. Philosophical Review 93 (3):335-373.
Citations of this work BETA
Zenonas Norkus (2005). Mechanisms as Miracle Makers? The Rise and Inconsistencies of the "Mechanismic Approach" in Social Science and History. History and Theory 44 (3):348–372.
Similar books and articles
Scott DeVito (1996). Completeness and Indeterministic Causation. Philosophy of Science 63 (3):184.
Alexander Rueger (2004). Reduction, Autonomy, and Causal Exclusion Among Physical Properties. Synthese 139 (1):1-21.
Vera Hoffmann & Albert Newen (2007). Supervenience of Extrinsic Properties. Erkenntnis 67 (2):305 - 319.
Douglas Kutach (2007). The Physical Foundations of Causation. In Huw Price & Richard Corry (eds.), Causation, Physics, and the Constitution of Reality: Russell's Republic Revisited. Oxford University Press
Alexander Rueger (2004). Reduction, Autonomy, and Causal Exclusion Among Physical Properties. Synthese 139 (1):1 - 21.
Christian List & Peter Menzies (2009). Nonreductive Physicalism and the Limits of the Exclusion Principle. Journal of Philosophy 106 (9):475-502.
Nicolai Foss (2010). Causal and Constitutive Relations, and the Squaring of Coleman's Diagram: Reply to Vromen. [REVIEW] Erkenntnis 73 (3):385-391.
Harold Kincaid (1988). Supervenience and Explanation. Synthese 77 (November):251-81.
Ned Block (2003). Do Causal Powers Drain Away. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (1):133-150.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads26 ( #149,696 of 1,906,972 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #468,378 of 1,906,972 )
How can I increase my downloads?