Resolving Russell's Anti-Realism About Causation

The Monist 83 (2):274-295 (2000)
Abstract
In "On the Notion of Cause," Bertrand Russell expressed an eliminativist view about causation driven by an examination of the contents of mathematical physics. Russell's primary reason for thinking that the notion of causation is absent in physics was that laws of nature are mere "functional dependencies" and not "causal laws." In this paper, I show that several ordinary notions of causation can be found within the functional dependencies of physics. Not only does this show that Russell's eliminitivism was misguided, but it shows that Russell's opponents, such as Nancy Cartwright, who think that mere functional dependenciescannot capture causal claims, also underestimate the causal content of such equations
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