The physical foundations of causation
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In Huw Price & Richard Corry (eds.), Causation, Physics, and the Constitution of Reality: Russell's Republic Revisited. Oxford University Press (2007)
I defend what may loosely be called an eliminativist account of causation by showing how several of the main features of causation, namely asymmetry, transitivity, and necessitation, arise from the combination of fundamental dynamical laws and a special constraint on the macroscopic structure of matter in the past. At the microscopic level, the causal features of necessitation and transitivity are grounded, but not the asymmetry. At the coarse-grained level of the macroscopic physics, the causal asymmetry is grounded, but not the necessitation or transitivity. Thus, at no single level of description does the physics justify the conditions that are taken to be constitutive of causation. Nevertheless, if we mix our reasoning about the microscopic and macroscopic descriptions, the structure provided by the dynamics and special initial conditions can justify the folk concept of causation to a significant extent. I explain why our causal concept works so well even though at bottom it is comprised of a patchwork of principles that don't mesh well
|Keywords||causation causal asymmetry past hypothesis|
|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
Alexander Reutlinger (2014). Can Interventionists Be Neo-Russellians? Interventionism, the Open Systems Argument, and the Arrow of Entropy. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 27 (3):273-293.
Similar books and articles
Alyssa Ney (2009). Physical Causation and Difference-Making. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (4):737-764.
Brad Weslake (forthcoming). A Partial Theory of Actual Causation. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
Douglas Kutach (2011). Backtracking Influence. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 25 (1):55-71.
David Papineau (2013). Causation is Macroscopic but Not Irreducible. In Sophie C. Gibb & Rögnvaldur Ingthorsson (eds.), Mental Causation and Ontology. Oxford University Press 126.
Ned Block (2003). Do Causal Powers Drain Away. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (1):133-150.
Huw Price & Brad Weslake (2009). The Time-Asymmetry of Causation. In Helen Beebee, Peter Menzies & Christopher Hitchcock (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Causation. Oxford University Press
Jig-Chuen Lee (1986). Causal Condition, Causal Asymmetry, and the Counterfactual Analysis of Causation. Synthese 67 (2):213 - 223.
Phil Dowe (1992). Process Causality and Asymmetry. Erkenntnis 37 (2):179-196.
Huw Price (1996). Backward Causation and the Direction of Causal Processes: Reply to Dowe. Mind 105 (419):467-474.
Douglas Kutach (2013). Causation and Its Basis in Fundamental Physics. Oxford University Press.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads222 ( #11,302 of 1,793,270 )
Recent downloads (6 months)19 ( #39,780 of 1,793,270 )
How can I increase my downloads?