The Causal Theory of Properties
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Dissertation, UCL (2003)
This thesis investigates the causal theory of properties (CTP). CTP states that properties must be understood via the complicated network of causal relations to which a property can contribute. If an object instantiates the property of being 900C, for instance, it will burn human skin on contact, feel warm to us if near, etc. In order to best understand CTP, I argue that we need to distinguish between properties and particular instances of them. Properties should be analysed via the causal relations their instances stand in, it is this oven’s being 900C which causes my skin to burn, etc. The resulting CTP offers an illuminating analysis of properties. First, it provides a criterion of identity for properties, their identity being analysed via the causal roles property instances realise. It also offers an account of how property instances are sorted into genuine kinds, in cases of determinables and determinates. I show how we can distinguish between genuine and non-genuine similarity via the property instances of objects. The implications of CTP for an analysis of causation are then investigated. I argue that the proposed CTP offers a plausible causal ontology. The fine-grainedness of property instances enables us to capture the subtleties involved in questions concerning what causes what. But, even more importantly, CTP enables us to reconcile two highly attractive theses concerning the causal relation. The first of these is the generalist’s thesis. This states that causal relations are part of more general patterns. The second of these is the singularist’s thesis. This states that the causal connection between two entities, doesn’t depend upon anything extraneous to that relation. I argue that by combining CTP with an ontology of tropes, we can thereby respect what is driving both singularism and generalism.Logic & Metaphysics.
|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
Jürgen Schröder (2007). Mental Causation and the Supervenience Argument. Erkenntnis 67 (2):221 - 237.
Robert Schroer (2011). Can Determinable Properties Earn Their Keep? Synthese 183 (2):229-247.
Brandon N. Towl (2010). The Individuation of Causal Powers by Events (and Consequences of the Approach). Metaphysica 11 (1):49-61.
R. Philip Buckley (2001). Physicalism and the Problem of Mental Causation. Journal of Philosophical Research 26 (January):155-174.
Ann Whittle (2009). Causal Nominalism. In Toby Handfield (ed.), Dispositions and Causes. Oxford University Press, Clarendon Press ;
Anthony B. Dardis (2002). A No Causal Rivalry Solution to the Problem of Mental Causation. Acta Analytica 17 (28):69-77.
Carl Gillett (2011). Multiply Realizing Scientific Properties and Their Instances. Philosophical Psychology 24 (6):727-738.
Anjan Chakravartty (2003). The Dispositional Essentialist View of Properties and Laws. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 11 (4):393 – 413.
Alexander Rueger (2004). Reduction, Autonomy, and Causal Exclusion Among Physical Properties. Synthese 139 (1):1 - 21.
Added to index2010-07-26
Total downloads32 ( #109,342 of 1,781,484 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #141,959 of 1,781,484 )
How can I increase my downloads?