Proportionality, contrast and explanation

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (4):785-797 (2013)
If counterfactual dependence is sufficient for causation and if omissions can be causes, then all events have many more causes than common sense tends to recognize. This problem is standardly addressed by appeal to pragmatics. However, Carolina Sartorio [2010] has recently raised what I shall argue is a more interesting problem concerning omissions for counterfactual theories of causation—more interesting because it demands a more subtle pragmatic solution. I discuss the relationship between the idea that causes are proportional to their effects, the idea that causation is contrastive, and the question of the dimensions along which causal explanations should be evaluated with respect to one another.
Keywords Causation  Omissions  Contrast  Explanation  Proportionality  Counterfactuals  Pragmatics
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DOI 10.1080/00048402.2013.788045
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References found in this work BETA
Stephen Yablo (1992). Mental Causation. Philosophical Review 101 (2):245-280.
Jonathan Schaffer (2005). Contrastive Causation. Philosophical Review 114 (3):327-358.

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Citations of this work BETA
Neil McDonnell (2015). The Deviance in Deviant Causal Chains. Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 4 (2):162-170.
Sara Bernstein (2015). The Metaphysics of Omissions. Philosophy Compass 10 (3):208-218.

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