David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In Francesca Castellani & Josef Quitterer (eds.), Agency and Causation in the Human Sciences. Mentis Verlag. 155–167 (2007)
In previous work I have argued that talk about negative events should not be taken at face value: typically, what we are inclined to think of as a negative event (John’s failure to go jogging) is just an ordinary, positive event (his going to the movie instead); it is a positive event under a negative description. Here I consider more closely the difficulties that arise in those cases where no positive event seems available to do the job, as with putative cases of causation by omission. In particular, I elaborate on Helen Beebee’s idea that not all causal explanations are reports of causation. When we mention John’s failure to turn off the gas as an explanans of why there was an explosion, we do not say what caused the explosion. We do not mention any of the relevant causes. We just remark that one sort of event that was supposed to occur, and whose occurrence would have prevented the explosion, did not in fact occur.
|Keywords||Omissions Causation Causal Explanation|
|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
Ruth Berger (1998). Understanding Science: Why Causes Are Not Enough. Philosophy of Science 65 (2):306-332.
Robert A. Wilson (1994). Causal Depth, Theoretical Appropriateness, and Individualism in Psychology. Philosophy of Science 61 (1):55-75.
Rebecca Schweder (2005). A Defense of a Unificationist Theory of Explanation. Foundations of Science 10 (4):421-435.
Denis J. Hilton (1996). Mental Models and Causal Explanation: Judgements of Probable Cause and Explanatory Relevance. Thinking and Reasoning 2 (4):273 – 308.
Alice McEleney & Ruth M. J. Byrne (2006). Spontaneous Counterfactual Thoughts and Causal Explanations. Thinking and Reasoning 12 (2):235 – 255.
Rob Vanderbeeken & Erik Weber (2002). Dispositional Explanations of Behavior. Behavior and Philosophy 30:43 - 59.
Merrilee H. Salmon (2003). Causal Explanations of Behavior. Philosophy of Science 70 (4):720-738.
Elizabeth Valentine (1988). Teleological Explanations and Their Relation to Causal Explanation in Psychology. Philosophical Psychology 1 (1):61-68.
Erik Weber, Jeroen Van Bouwel & Robrecht Vanderbeeken (2005). Forms of Causal Explanation. Foundations of Science 10 (4):437-454.
David Pineda (2011). Non-Committal Causal Explanations. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 24 (2):147-170.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads62 ( #26,723 of 1,101,815 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #191,891 of 1,101,815 )
How can I increase my downloads?