Humean effective strategies

Abstract
In a now-classic paper, Nancy Cartwright argued that the Humean conception of causation as mere regular co-occurrence is too weak to make sense of our everyday and scientific practices. Specifically she claimed that in order to understand our reasoning about, and uses of, effective strategies, we need a metaphysically stronger notion of causation and causal laws than Humeanism allows. Cartwright’s arguments were formulated in the framework of probabilistic causation, and it is precisely in the domain of (objective) probabilities that I am interested in defending a form of Humeanism. In this paper I will unpack some examples of effective strategies and discuss how well they fit the framework of causal laws and criteria such as CC from Cartwright’s and others’ works on probabilistic causality. As part of this discussion, I will also consider the concept or concepts of objective probability presupposed in these works. I will argue that Cartwright’s notion of a nomological machine, or a mechanism as defined by Stuart Glennan, is better suited for making sense of effective strategies, and therefore that a metaphysically primitive notion of causal law (or singular causation, or capacity, as Cartwright argues in (1989)) is not – here, at least – needed. These conclusions, as well as the concept of objective probabilities I defend, are largely in harmony with claims Cartwright defends in The Dappled World. My discussion aims, thus, to bring out into the open how far Cartwright’s current views are from a radically anti-Humean, causal-fundamentalist picture.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 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: 12,084
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

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

15 ( #114,274 of 1,101,944 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

0

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


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