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Profile: Brad Weslake (New York University, Shanghai)
  1. Brad Weslake, Exclusion Excluded.
    I argue that an independently attractive account of causation and causal explanation provides a principled resolution of the exclusion problem.
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  2. Brad Weslake, The Problem of Disjunctive Explanations.
    I present a problem for theories of explanation, concerning explanations involving disjunctive properties. The problem is particular acute for the explanatory non-fundamentalist, according to whom non-fundamental scientific explanations are sometimes superior to fundamental physical explanations. I criticise solutions to the problem due to Woodward, Strevens and Sober, and Lewis, and then defend a solution inspired by an account of non-fundamental laws recently defended by Callender and Cohen.
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  3. Barry Loewer, Eric Winsberg & Brad Weslake (eds.) (forthcoming). Currently-Unnamed Volume Discussing David Albert's "Time and Chance&Quot;.
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  4. Brad Weslake (forthcoming). A Partial Theory of Actual Causation. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    One part of the true theory of actual causation is a set of conditions responsible for eliminating all of the non-causes of an effect that can be discerned at the level of counterfactual structure. I defend a proposal for this part of the theory.
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  5. Brad Weslake (forthcoming). Difference-Making, Closure and Exclusion. In Helen Beebee, Christopher Hitchcock & Huw Price (eds.), Making a Difference. Oxford University Press.
    Consider the following causal exclusion principle: For all distinct properties F and F* such that F* supervenes on F, F and F* do not both cause a property G. Peter Menzies and Christian List have proven that it follows from a natural conception of causation as difference-making that this exclusion principle is not generally true. Rather, it turns out that whether the principle is true is a contingent matter. In addition, they have shown that in a wide range of empirically (...)
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  6. Brad Weslake (forthcoming). Statistical Mechanical Imperialism. In Alastair Wilson (ed.), Chance and Temporal Asymmetry. Oxford University Press.
    I argue against the claim, advanced by David Albert and Barry Loewer, that all non-fundamental laws can be derived from those required to underwrite the second law of thermodynamics.
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  7. Brad Weslake (2013). Proportionality, Contrast and Explanation. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (4):785-797.
    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, (...)
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  8. Denis M. Walsh, Leah Henderson, Noah D. Goodman, Joshua B. Tenenbaum, James F. Woodward, Hannes Leitgeb, Richard Pettigrew, Brad Weslake & John Kulvicki (2010). 1. Not a Sure Thing: Fitness, Probability, and Causation Not a Sure Thing: Fitness, Probability, and Causation (Pp. 147-171). [REVIEW] Philosophy of Science 77 (2).
     
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  9. Brad Weslake (2010). Explanatory Depth. Philosophy of Science 77 (2):273-294.
    I defend an account of explanatory depth according to which explanations in the non-fundamental sciences can be deeper than explanations in fundamental physics.
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  10. Huw Price & Brad Weslake (2009). The Time-Asymmetry of Causation. In Helen Beebee, Peter Menzies & Christopher Hitchcock (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Causation. Oxford University Press.
    One of the most striking features of causation is that causes typically precede their effects – the causal arrow is strongly aligned with the temporal arrow. Why should this be so? We offer an opinionated guide to this problem, and to the solutions currently on offer. We conclude that the most promising strategy is to begin with the de facto asymmetry of human deliberation, characterised in epistemic terms, and to build out from there. More than any rival, this subjectivist approach (...)
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  11. Brad Weslake (2006). Causation. In Martin Cohen (ed.), Essentials of Philosophy and Ethics. Hodder Arnold.
    hen Democritus (460–370 BC) said that he would rather discover one true cause than gain the kingdom of Persia, he signalled both the difficulty and the value of gaining causal knowledge. It is arguably the acquisition of causal knowledge that is the primary goal of scientific enquiry; and within philosophy, causation has played a central role in recent theories of reference, perception, decision making, knowledge, intentional and other mental states, and the role of theoretical terms in scientific theories. Indeed, Samuel (...)
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  12. Brad Weslake (2006). Common Causes and the Direction of Causation. Minds and Machines 16 (3):239-257.
    Is the common cause principle merely one of a set of useful heuristics for discovering causal relations, or is it rather a piece of heavy duty metaphysics, capable of grounding the direction of causation itself? Since the principle was introduced in Reichenbach’s groundbreaking work The Direction of Time (1956), there have been a series of attempts to pursue the latter program—to take the probabilistic relationships constitutive of the principle of the common cause and use them to ground the direction of (...)
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  13. Brad Weslake (2006). Time. In Martin Cohen (ed.), Essentials of Philosophy and Ethics. Hodder Arnold.
    ttempts to characterise time seem to throw up paradox at every turn. Some of the most famous of the paradoxes are also the oldest—those due to Aristotle (384–322 BC) and Zeno (b. c. 488 BC), as described in Aristotle’s Physics. For example, Zeno argued that in order to traverse any distance, one must always first traverse half that distance; but since this half is itself a distance to be traversed, one must in turn first traverse half of the half, and (...)
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  14. Brad Weslake (2006). Review of Making Things Happen. [REVIEW] Australasian Journal of Philosophy 84 (1):136-140.
    The concept of causation plays a central role in many philosophical theories, and yet no account of causation has gained widespread acceptance among those who have investigated its foundations. Theories based on laws, counterfactuals, physical processes, and probabilistic dependence and independence relations (the list is by no means exhaustive) have all received detailed treatment in recent years—and, while no account has been entirely successful, it is generally agreed that the concept has been greatly clarified by the attempts. In this magnificent (...)
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  15. Brad Weslake (2004). Review of Understanding Phenomenal Consciousness. [REVIEW] Metapsychology Online Reviews 8 (49).
    In recent philosophy of mind, epiphenomenalism—that strain of dualism according to which the mind is caused by the body but does not cause the body in turn—has undergone something of a renaissance. Contemporary epiphenomenalists bear only partial resemblance to their more extravagantly metaphysical ancestors, however. Traditional epiphenomenalists thought that (at least) two sorts of mental properties were epiphenomenal—intentional properties such as the meaning or representational content of the propositional attitudes (beliefs, desires and so on); and conscious properties such as awareness (...)
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