Resemblance-based resources for reductive singularism (or: How to be a Humean singularist about causation)
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
The Monist 92 (1):153-190 (2009)
Hume argued that experience could not justify commonly held beliefs in singular causal effcacy, according to which individual or singular causes produce their effects or make their effects happen. Hume's discussion has been influential, as motivating the view that Causal reductionism (denying that causal efficacy is an irreducible feature of natural reality) requires Causal generalism (according to which causal relations are metaphysically constituted by patterns of events). Here I argue that causal reductionists---indeed, Hume himself---have previously unappreciated resources for making sense of Causal singularism, associated with a relation that has been curiously underexploited in the causation debates: resemblance. The core idea I explore here is that causation may be metaphysically and epistemologically indicated by the coming-to-be of a resemblance. Comings-to-be of resemblances are epistemically available in the singular instance, even by Hume's strict lights, and, I argue, can justify (albeit fallibly) belief in the holding of singular causal relations; hence Hume's general argument for generalism fails. More to the contemporary metaphysical point, comings-to-be of resemblances provide valuable resources for existing singularist accounts: while neither changes (Ducasse) nor transfers of physical quantities (Fair, Dowe, Salmon) provide a suffciently fine-grained basis for the individuation of causes, either changes or transfers, in combination with comings-to-be of resemblances, can do so.
|Keywords||causation singlarist causation transfer accounts causal reductionism causal generalism Ehring Dowe Salmon Hume resemblance|
|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
Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen (2012). Against the Contrastive Account of Singular Causation. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 63 (1):115-143.
Anton Froeyman (2012). The Ontology of Causal Process Theories. Philosophia 40 (3):523-538.
Douglas Ehring (1986). Causal Processes and Causal Interactions. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1986:24 - 32.
Mehmet Elgin (2010). How Could There Be True Causal Claims Without There Being Special Causal Facts in the World? Philosophia 38 (4):755-771.
Brian Ellis (2000). Causal Laws and Singular Causation. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 61 (2):329-351.
Peter Millican (2009). Hume, Causal Realism, and Causal Science. Mind 118 (471):647-712.
Anjan Chakravartty (2005). Causal Realism: Events and Processes. [REVIEW] Erkenntnis 63 (1):7 - 31.
Phil Dowe (2000). Physical Causation. Cambridge University Press.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads76 ( #56,337 of 1,907,461 )
Recent downloads (6 months)14 ( #45,399 of 1,907,461 )
How can I increase my downloads?