David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 81:109-122 (2007)
Many cosmological arguments for the existence of a first cause or a necessary being rely on a premise which denies the possibility of an infinite regress ofsome particular sort. Adequate and satisfying support for this premise, however, is not always provided. In this paper I attempt to address this gap in the literature. After discussing the notion of a causal explanation (section I), I formulate three principles which govern any successful causal explanation (section II). I then introduce the notions of a caused being, a causal network, and a causal chain, and argue that (roughly) an infinite causal chain cannot be explained merely by reference to the causal activities of the members of that chain (section III). In a sequel to the present paper, I employ this result to construct two closely related arguments for the existence of a necessary being
|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
Christopher Read Hitchcock (1992). Causal Explanation and Scientific Realism. Erkenntnis 37 (2):151 - 178.
Michael Baumgartner (2008). The Causal Chain Problem. Erkenntnis 69 (2):201 - 226.
George Botterill (2010). Two Kinds of Causal Explanation. Theoria 76 (4):287-313.
Michael Strevens (2004). The Causal and Unification Approaches to Explanation Unified—Causally. Noûs 38 (1):154–176.
Berent Enç (2004). Causal Theories of Intentional Behavior and Wayward Causal Chains. Behavior and Philosophy 32 (1):149 - 166.
Ruth Berger (1998). Understanding Science: Why Causes Are Not Enough. Philosophy of Science 65 (2):306-332.
Christopher Read Hitchcock (1993). A Generalized Probabilistic Theory of Causal Relevance. Synthese 97 (3):335 - 364.
Jaegwon Kim (1981). Causes as Explanations: A Critique. Theory and Decision 13 (4):293.
Scott R. Sehon (1997). Deviant Causal Chains and the Irreducibility of Teleological Explanation. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 78 (2):195–213.
Bénédicte Bes, Steven Sloman, Christopher G. Lucas & Éric Raufaste (2012). Non-Bayesian Inference: Causal Structure Trumps Correlation. Cognitive Science 36 (7):1178-1203.
Paul Thagard (1998). Explaining Disease: Correlations, Causes, and Mechanisms. [REVIEW] Minds and Machines 8 (1):61-78.
Denis J. Hilton (1996). Mental Models and Causal Explanation: Judgements of Probable Cause and Explanatory Relevance. Thinking and Reasoning 2 (4):273 – 308.
Rebecca Schweder (2005). A Defense of a Unificationist Theory of Explanation. Foundations of Science 10 (4):421-435.
Zhu Xu (2010). Laws, Causality and the Intentional Explanation of Action. Frontiers of Philosophy in China 5 (2):280-293.
Added to index2011-12-01
Total downloads15 ( #161,941 of 1,700,240 )
Recent downloads (6 months)7 ( #88,892 of 1,700,240 )
How can I increase my downloads?