David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Theory and Decision 13 (4):293-309 (1981)
This paper offers a critique of the view that causation can be analyzed in terms of explanation. In particular, the following points are argued: (1) a genuine explanatory analysis of causation must make use of a fully epistemological-psychological notion of explanation; (2) it is unlikely that the relatively clear-cut structure of the causal relation can be captured by the relatively unstructured relation of explanation; (3) the explanatory relation does not always parallel the direction of causation; (4) certain difficulties arise for any attempt to construct a nonrelativistic relation of causation from the essentially relativistic relation of explanation; and (5) to analyze causation as explanation is to embrace a form of “causal idealism”, the view that causal connections are not among the objective features of the world. The paper closes with a brief discussion of the contrast between the two fundamentally opposed viewpoints about causality, namely causal idealism and causal realism.
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Citations of this work BETA
Dwayne Moore (2009). Explanatory Exclusion and Extensional Individuation. Acta Analytica 24 (3):211-222.
David Sapire (1991). General Causation. Synthese 86 (3):321 - 347.
Stephen E. G. Lea (1991). Why Optimality is Not Worth Arguing About. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 14 (2):225.
Philippe Mongin (1991). The Infinite Regress of Optimization. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 14 (2):229-230.
R. W. Byrne (1991). The Quest for Plausibility: A Negative Heuristic for Science? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 14 (2):217-218.
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