Causation in the special sciences: The case for pragmatism

One of the jobs of philosophers of the special sciences is to connect the local concerns of particular disciplines with those of philosophy in general. The two-way complexities of this task are well-illustrated by the case of causation. On the one hand—from the outside, as it were— philosophers interested in general issues about causation are prone to turn to the special sciences for real-life examples of the use of causal notions. On the other hand, from the inside, the special disciplines themselves throw up philosophical puzzles in which the notion of causation plays a role. When does correlation indicate causation, for example? Physics and economics both generate hard cases of this kind
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