Dispositional versus epistemic causality

Minds and Machines 16 (3):259-276 (2006)
I put forward several desiderata that a philosophical theory of causality should satisfy: it should account for the objectivity of causality, it should underpin formalisms for causal reasoning, it should admit a viable epistemology, it should be able to cope with the great variety of causal claims that are made, and it should be ontologically parsimonious. I argue that Nancy Cartwright’s dispositional account of causality goes part way towards meeting these criteria but is lacking in important respects. I go on to argue that my epistemic account, which ties causal relationships to an agent’s knowledge and ignorance, performs well in the light of the desiderata. Such an account, I claim, is all we require from a theory of causality.
Keywords Causality  Causation  Dispositions  Capacities
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DOI 10.1007/s11023-006-9033-3
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Federica Russo & Jon Williamson (2007). Interpreting Causality in the Health Sciences. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 21 (2):157 – 170.
Julian Reiss (2012). Causation in the Sciences: An Inferentialist Account. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 43 (4):769-777.

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