David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
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.
|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
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Stefan Dragulinescu (2012). On Anti Humeanism and Medical Singular Causation. Acta Analytica 27 (3):265-292.
Richard Corry (2006). Causal Realism and the Laws of Nature. Philosophy of Science 73 (3):261-276.
Daniel Steel (2010). Cartwright on Causality: Methods, Metaphysics and Modularity. Economics and Philosophy 26 (1):77-86.
Carl Hoefer (2003). For Fundamentalism. Philosophy of Science 70 (5):1401--1412.
Gurol Irzik (1992). Cartwright, Capacities, and Probabilities. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1992:239 - 250.
Iain Martel (2008). The Principle of the Common Cause, the Causal Markov Condition, and Quantum Mechanics: Comments on Cartwright. In Luc Bovens, Carl Hoefer & Stephan Hartmann (eds.), Nancy Cartwright's Philosophy of Science. Routledge 242-262.
Dan Mcarthur (2006). Contra Cartwright: Structural Realism, Ontological Pluralism and Fundamentalism About Laws. Synthese 151 (2):233 - 255.
Nancy Cartwright (1979). Causal Laws and Effective Strategies. Noûs 13 (4):419-437.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads15 ( #171,704 of 1,725,237 )
Recent downloads (6 months)0
How can I increase my downloads?