David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Philosophy 97 (4):235-256 (2000)
While skiing, Suzy falls and breaks her right wrist. The next day, she writes a philosophy paper. Her right wrist is broken, so she writes her paper using her left hand. (Assume, as seems plausible, that she isn’t dexterous enough to write it any other way, e.g., with her right foot.) She writes the paper, sends it off to a journal, and it is subsequently published. Is Suzy’s accident a cause of the publication of the paper?2 Of course not. Below, I will show that none of the major contenders for a theory of events coupled with a theory of causation succeeds against examples like that of Suzy’s accident, and that the reason for this derives from an underlying tension between our beliefs about events and our goals for theories of causation. I will then argue that property instances should be taken, in the first instance, as the causal relata, and propose an analysis of causation that I call aspect causation.
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Citations of this work BETA
Robert D. Rupert (2006). Functionalism, Mental Causation, and the Problem of Metaphysically Necessary Effects. Noûs 40 (2):256-83.
George Botterill (2010). Two Kinds of Causal Explanation. Theoria 76 (4):287-313.
Carolina Sartorio (2008). Moral Inertia. Philosophical Studies 140 (1):117 - 133.
Carolina Sartorio (2005). A New Asymmetry Between Actions and Omissions. Noûs 39 (3):460–482.
Eugen Zeleňák (2009). On Explanatory Relata in Singular Causal Explanation. Theoria 75 (3):179-195.
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