Causation as property acquisition

Philosophical Studies 109 (1):53 - 74 (2002)
Persistence theories of causation – such as transference theory, conserved-quantity theory, and Douglas Ehring's theory – attempt to analyzecausation in terms of some persisting entityconnecting cause and effect. While mostpersistence accounts are intended as empiricaltheories, this article develops a persistenceanalysis of the concept of causation. The basic idea is that the central concept ofdirect causation can be analyzed in terms ofproperty acquisition. The analysis cohereswith our ordinary causal judgments andprovides a straightforward explanation of thedirection of causation. It also explains whybackwards causation is conceptually problematic.
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