David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Synthese 97 (3):335 - 364 (1993)
I advance a new theory of causal relevance, according to which causal claims convey information about conditional probability functions. This theory is motivated by the problem of disjunctive factors, which haunts existing probabilistic theories of causation. After some introductory remarks, I present in Section 3 a sketch of Eells's (1991) probabilistic theory of causation, which provides the framework for much of the discussion. Section 4 explains how the problem of disjunctive factors arises within this framework. After rejecting three proposed solutions, I offer in Section 6 a new approach to causation that avoids the problem. Decision-theoretic considerations also support the new approach. Section 8 develops the consequences of the new theory for causal explanation. The resulting theory of causal explanation incorporates the new insights while respecting important work on scientific explanation by Salmon (1971), Railton (1981), and Humphreys (1989). My conclusions are enumerated in Section 9.
|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
James Woodward & Christopher Hitchcock (2003). Explanatory Generalizations, Part I: A Counterfactual Account. Noûs 37 (1):1–24.
Jonathan Schaffer (2010). Contrastive Causation in the Law. Legal Theory 16 (4):259-297.
Elliott Sober (2011). A Priori Causal Models of Natural Selection. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (4):571 - 589.
Pablo Razeto-Barry & Ramiro Frick (2011). Probabilistic Causation and the Explanatory Role of Natural Selection. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 42 (3):344-355.
Christopher Hitchcock (2012). Events and Times: A Case Study in Means-Ends Metaphysics. Philosophical Studies 160 (1):79-96.
Similar books and articles
Christopher Read Hitchcock (1992). Causal Explanation and Scientific Realism. Erkenntnis 37 (2):151 - 178.
Huw Price (1991). Agency and Probabilistic Causality. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 42 (2):157-176.
Paul Noordhof (1999). Probabilistic Causation, Preemption and Counterfactuals. Mind 108 (429):95-125.
Peter Menzies (1989). Probabilistic Causation and Causal Processes: A Critique of Lewis. Philosophy of Science 56 (4):642-663.
Richard Bradley, Franz Dietrich & Christian List (forthcoming). Aggregating Causal Judgments. The University of Chicago Press on Behalf of the Philosophy of Science Association: Philosophy of Science.
Christopher Hitchcock, Probabilistic Causation. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Iain Thomas Martel (2000). Probabilistic Empiricism: In Defence of a Reichenbachian Theory of Causation and the Direction of Time. Dissertation, University of Colorado at Boulder
Christopher Hitchcock (1996). A Probabilistic Theory of Second Order Causation. Erkenntnis 44 (3):369 - 377.
Wolfgang Spohn (1993). Causal Laws Are Objectifications of Inductive Schemes. In J. Dubucs (ed.), Philosophy of Probability. Kluwer, Dordrecht. 223-252.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads44 ( #44,182 of 1,410,226 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #52,180 of 1,410,226 )
How can I increase my downloads?