The role of contrast in causal and explanatory claims

Synthese 107 (3):395 - 419 (1996)
Following Dretske (1977), there has been a considerable body of literature on the role of contrastive stress in causal claims. Following van Fraassen (1980), there has been a considerable body of literature on the role of contrastive stress in explanations and explanation-requesting why-questions. Amazingly, the two bodies of literature have remained almost entirely disjoint. With an understanding of the contrastive nature of ordinary causal claims, and of the linguistic roles of contrastive stress, it is possible to provide a unified account of both phenomena. I provide such an account from within the framework of a probabilistic theory of causation. Relations of screening-off, long familiar to researchers in probabilistic causality, play a central role in this account.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/BF00413843
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 15,904
External links
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

View all 16 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Robert Northcott (2008). Causation and Contrast Classes. Philosophical Studies 139 (1):111 - 123.

View all 22 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

61 ( #54,172 of 1,725,422 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

8 ( #81,185 of 1,725,422 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.