David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Synthese 93 (3):403 - 449 (1992)
Essence and causation are fundamental in metaphysics, but little is said about their relations. Some essential properties are of course causal, as it is essential to footprints to have been caused by feet. But I am interested less in causation's role in essence than the reverse: the bearing a thing's essence has on its causal powers. That essencemight make a causal contribution is hinted already by the counterfactual element in causation; and the hint is confirmed by the explanation essence offers of something otherwise mysterious, namely, how events exactly alike in every ordinary respect, like the bolt'ssuddenly snapping and its snapping per se, manage to disagree in what they cause. Some prior difference must exist between these events to make their causal powers unlike. Paradoxically, though, it can only be in point of a property, suddenness, which both events possess in common. Only by postulating a difference in themanner — essential or accidental — of the property's possession is the paradox resolved. Next we need an account of causation in which essence plays an explicit determinative role. That account, based on the idea that causes should becommensurate with their effects, is thatx causesy only if nothing essentially poorer would have done, and nothing essentially richer was needed.
|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
Karen Bennett (2003). Why the Exclusion Problem Seems Intractable and How, Just Maybe, to Tract It. Noûs 37 (3):471-97.
Scott Sturgeon (2008). Reason and the Grain of Belief. Noûs 42 (1):139–165.
Ralph Wedgwood (2006). The Normative Force of Reasoning. Noûs 40 (4):660–686.
Brad Weslake (2013). Proportionality, Contrast and Explanation. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (4):785-797.
N. Hall (2007). Structural Equations and Causation. Philosophical Studies 132 (1):109 - 136.
Similar books and articles
Alexander Bird (2009). Essences and Natural Kinds. In Robin Le Poidevin (ed.), The Routledge Companion to Metaphysics. Routledge. 497--506.
Sajjad H. Rizvi (2005). Mullā Sadrā and Causation: Rethinking a Problem in Later Islamic Philosophy. Philosophy East and West 55 (4):570-583.
Danilo Šuster (2002). Embedded Conditionals as the Essence of Causality? Croatian Journal of Philosophy 2 (2):197-211.
Anand Jayprakash Vaidya (2010). Understanding and Essence. Philosophia 38 (4):811-833.
Valtteri Viljanen (2008). Spinoza's Essentialist Model of Causation. Inquiry 51 (4):412 – 437.
Brian Ellis (2000). Causal Laws and Singular Causation. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 61 (2):329-351.
David Yates (2013). The Essence of Dispositional Essentialism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (1):93-128.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads65 ( #33,767 of 1,696,808 )
Recent downloads (6 months)11 ( #54,283 of 1,696,808 )
How can I increase my downloads?