David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Perspectives on Science 12 (3) (2004)
: Among the current philosophical accounts of causation two are the most prominent. The first is James Woodward's interventionist counterfactual approach; the second is the mechanistic approach advocated by Peter Machamer, Lindley Darden, Carl Craver, Jim Bogen and Stuart Glennan. Thecounterfactual approach takes it that causes make a difference to their effects, where this difference-making is cashed out in terms of actual and counterfactual interventions. The mechanistic approach takes it that two events are causally related if and only if there is a mechanism that connects them. In this paper I examine them both in some detail. After pointing out some important problems that both approaches face, I argue that there is a sense in which the counterfactual approach is more basic than the mechanistic one in that a proper account of mechanisms depends on counterfactuals while counterfactuals need not be supported (or depend on) mechanisms. Nonetheless, I also argue that if both approaches work in tandem in practice, they can offer us a better understanding of aspects of Hume's secret connexion and hence a glimpse of it
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
Lei Zhong (2012). Counterfactuals, Regularity and the Autonomy Approach. Analysis 72 (1):75-85.
Jonathan Waskan (2011). Mechanistic Explanation at the Limit. Synthese 183 (3):389-408.
James G. Tabery (2004). Synthesizing Activities and Interactions in the Concept of a Mechanism. Philosophy of Science 71 (1):1-15.
James Woodward (2004). Counterfactuals and Causal Explanation. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 18 (1):41 – 72.
James Tabery (2004). Synthesizing Activities and Interactions in the Concept of a Mechanism. Philosophy of Science 71 (1):1-15.
Peter Fazekas & Gergely Kertész (2011). Causation at Different Levels: Tracking the Commitments of Mechanistic Explanations. Biology and Philosophy 26 (3):365-383.
Johannes Persson (2010). Activity-Based Accounts of Mechanism and the Threat of Polygenic Effects. Erkenntnis 72 (1):135 - 149.
Peter Menzies (2004). Difference-Making in Context. In J. Collins, N. Hall & L. Paul (eds.), Causation and Counterfactuals. Mit Press.
Stathis Psillos (2004). A Glimpse of the Secret Connexion: Harmonizing Mechanisms with Counterfactuals. Perspectives on Science 12 (3):288-319.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads18 ( #100,214 of 1,139,819 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #99,928 of 1,139,819 )
How can I increase my downloads?