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  1. Mechanistic Causality and the Bottoming-Out Problem.Laura Felline - forthcoming - In New Developments in Logic and Philosophy of Science.
    The so-called bottoming-out problem is considered one of the most serious problems in Stuart Glennan's mechanistic theory of causality. It is usually argued that such a problem cannot be overcome with the acknowledgement of the non-causal character of fundamental phenomena. According to such a widespread view, in the mechanistic account causation must go all the way down to the bottom level; a solution to the bottoming-out problem, therefore, requires an appeal to an ancillary account of causation that covers fundamental phenomena. (...)
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  2. Three Concepts of Actual Causation.Enno Fischer - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    I argue that we need to distinguish between three concepts of actual causation: total, path-changing, and contributing actual causation. I provide two lines of argument in support of this account. First, I address three thought experiments that have been troublesome for unified accounts of actual causation, and I show that my account provides a better explanation of corresponding causal intuitions. Second, I provide a functional argument: if we assume that a key purpose of causal concepts is to guide agency, we (...)
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  3. Trope Mental Causation: Still Not Qua Mental.Wenjun Zhang - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.
    A popular solution to the causal exclusion problem in the non-reductive physicalist camp is the trope identity solution. But this solution is haunted by the “quausation problem” which charges that the trope only confers causal powers qua physical, not qua mental. Although proponents of the trope solution have responded to the problem by denying the existence of properties of tropes, I do not find their reply satisfactory. Rather, I believe they have missed the core presupposition behind the quausation problem. I (...)
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  4. Causal Sufficiency and Actual Causation.Sander Beckers - 2021 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 50 (6):1341-1374.
    Pearl opened the door to formally defining actual causation using causal models. His approach rests on two strategies: first, capturing the widespread intuition that X = x causes Y = y iff X = x is a Necessary Element of a Sufficient Set for Y = y, and second, showing that his definition gives intuitive answers on a wide set of problem cases. This inspired dozens of variations of his definition of actual causation, the most prominent of which are due (...)
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  5. Correction to: Causal Sufficiency and Actual Causation.Sander Beckers - 2021 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 50 (6):1375-1375.
    A Correction to this paper has been published: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10992-021-09632-6.
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  6. COVID-19 and the Selection Problem in National Cause-of-Death Statistics.B. I. B. Lindahl - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (2):1-5.
    The World Health Organization has issued international instructions for certification and classification (coding) of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as cause of death. Central to these instructions is the selection of the underlying cause of death for a public health preventive purpose. This article focuses on two rules for this selection: (1) that a death due to COVID-19 should be counted independently of pre-existing conditions that are suspected of triggering a severe course of COVID-19 and (2) that COVID-19 should not be (...)
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  7. Causation, Responsibility, and Typicality.Justin Sytsma - 2021 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 12 (4):699-719.
    There is ample evidence that violations of injunctive norms impact ordinary causal attributions. This has struck some as deeply surprising, taking the ordinary concept of causation to be purely descriptive. Our explanation of the findings—the responsibility view—rejects this: we contend that the concept is in fact partly normative, being akin to concepts like responsibility and accountability. Based on this account, we predicted a very different pattern of results for causal attributions when an agent violates a statistical norm. And this pattern (...)
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  8. Causation in Psychology.John Campbell - 2020 - Harvard University Press.
    "A blab droid is a robot with a body shaped like a pizza box, a pair of treads, and a smiley face. Guided by an onboard video camera, it roams hotel lobbies and conference centers, asking questions in the voice of a seven-year-old. "Can you help me?" "What is the worst thing you've ever done?" "Who in the world do you love most?" People pour their hearts out in response. This droid prompts the question of what we can hope from (...)
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  9. What Might a Theory of Causation Do for Sport?Evan Thomas Knott - 2019 - Philosophies 4 (2):34-0.
    The purpose of this research is to articulate how a theory of causation might be serviceable to a theory of sport. This article makes conceptual links between Bernard Suits’ theory of game-playing, causation, and theories of causation. It justifies theories of causation while drawing on connections between sport and counterfactuals. It articulates the value of theories of causation while emphasizing possible limitations. A singularist theory of causation is found to be more broadly serviceable with particular regard to its analysis of (...)
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  10. Path-Specific Effects.Naftali Weinberger - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (1):53-76.
    A cause may influence its effect via multiple paths. Paradigmatically (Hesslow [1974]), taking birth control pills both decreases one’s risk of thrombosis by preventing pregnancy and increases it by producing a blood chemical. Building on Pearl ([2001]), I explicate the notion of a path-specific effect. Roughly, a path-specific effect of C on E via path P is the degree to which a change in C would change E were they to be transmitted only via P. Facts about such effects may (...)
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  11. The Mechanical World: The Metaphysical Commitments of the New Mechanistic Approach.Beate Krickel - 2018 - Springer Verlag.
    his monograph examines the metaphysical commitments of the new mechanistic philosophy, a way of thinking that has returned to center stage. It challenges a variant of reductionism with regard to higher-level phenomena, which has crystallized as a default position among these so-called New Mechanists. Furthermore, it opposes those philosophers who reject the possibility of interlevel causation. Contemporary philosophers believe that the explanation of scientific phenomena requires the discovery of relevant mechanisms. As a result, new mechanists are, in the main, concerned (...)
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  12. Ontic Explanation Is Either Ontic or Explanatory, but Not Both.Cory Wright & Dingmar van Eck - 2018 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 5:997–1029.
    What features will something have if it counts as an explanation? And will something count as an explanation if it has those features? In the second half of the 20th century, philosophers of science set for themselves the task of answering such questions, just as a priori conceptual analysis was generally falling out of favor. And as it did, most philosophers of science just moved on to more manageable questions about the varieties of explanation and discipline-specific scientific explanation. Often, such (...)
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  13. A Theory of Structural Determination.J. Dmitri Gallow - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (1):159-186.
    While structural equations modeling is increasingly used in philosophical theorizing about causation, it remains unclear what it takes for a particular structural equations model to be correct. To the extent that this issue has been addressed, the consensus appears to be that it takes a certain family of causal counterfactuals being true. I argue that this account faces difficulties in securing the independent manipulability of the structural determination relations represented in a correct structural equations model. I then offer an alternate (...)
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  14. Experimental Philosophy and Causal Attribution.Jonathan Livengood & David Rose - 2016 - In Justin Sytsma & Wesley Buckwalter (eds.), A Companion to Experimental Philosophy. Blackwell.
    Humans often attribute the things that happen to one or another actual cause. In this chapter, we survey some recent philosophical and psychological research on causal attribution. We pay special attention to the relation between graphical causal modeling and theories of causal attribution. We think that the study of causal attribution is one place where formal and experimental techniques nicely complement one another.
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  15. A Partial Theory of Actual Causation.Brad Weslake - 2015 - 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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  16. The Emergence of Causation.Jeffrey Dmitri Gallow - 2014 - Journal of Philosophy 112 (6):281-308.
    Several philosophers have embraced the view that high-level events—events like Zimbabwe's monetary policy and its hyper-inflation—are causally related if their corresponding low-level, fundamental physical events are causally related. I dub the view which denies this without denying that high-level events are ever causally related causal emergentism. Several extant philosophical theories of causality entail causal emergentism, while others are inconsistent with the thesis. I illustrate this with David Lewis's two theories of causation, one of which entails causal emergentism, the other of (...)
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  17. Making Causal Counterfactuals More Singular, and More Appropriate for Use in Law.Geert Keil - 2013 - In Benedikt Kahmen Markus Stepanians (ed.), Causation and Responsibility: Critical Essays. De Gruyter. pp. 157-189.
    Unlike any other monograph on legal liability, Michael S. Moore’s book CAUSATION AND RESPONSIBILITY contains a well-informed and in-depth discussion of the metaphysics of causation. Moore does not share the widespread view that legal scholars should not enter into metaphysical debates about causation. He shows respect for the subtleties of philosophical debates on causal relata, identity conditions for events, the ontological distinctions between events, states of affairs, facts and tropes, and the counterfactual analysis of event causation, and he considers all (...)
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  18. Actual Causation and Simple Voting Scenarios.Jonathan Livengood - 2013 - Noûs 47 (2):316-345.
    Several prominent, contemporary theories of actual causation maintain that in order for something to count as an actual cause (in the circumstances) of some known effect, the potential cause must be a difference-maker with respect to the effect in some restricted range of circumstances. Although the theories disagree about how to restrict the range of circumstances that must be considered in deciding whether something counts as an actual cause of a known effect, the theories agree that at least some counterfactual (...)
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  19. Causality Reunified.Michael Strevens - 2013 - Erkenntnis 78 (2):299-320.
    Hall has recently argued that there are two concepts of causality, picking out two different kinds of causal relation. McGrath, and Hitchcock and Knobe, have recently argued that the facts about causality depend on what counts as a “default” or “normal” state, or even on the moral facts. In the light of these claims you might be tempted to agree with Skyrms that causal relations constitute, metaphysically speaking, an “amiable jumble”, or with Cartwright that ‘causation’, though a single word, encompasses (...)
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  20. Proportionality, Contrast and Explanation.Brad Weslake - 2013 - 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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  21. Causes of Causes.Alex Broadbent - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 158 (3):457-476.
    When is a cause of a cause of an effect also a cause of that effect? The right answer is either Sometimes or Always . In favour of Always , transitivity is considered by some to be necessary for distinguishing causes from redundant non-causal events. Moreover transitivity may be motivated by an interest in an unselective notion of causation, untroubled by principles of invidious discrimination. And causal relations appear to add up like transitive relations, so that the obtaining of the (...)
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  22. Portable Causal Dependence: A Tale of Consilience.Christopher Hitchcock - 2012 - Philosophy of Science 79 (5):942-951.
    This article describes research pursued by members of the McDonnell Collaborative on Causal Learning. A number of members independently converged on a similar idea: one of the central functions served by claims of actual causation is to highlight patterns of dependence that are highly portable into novel contexts. I describe in detail how this idea emerged in my own work and also in that of the psychologist Tania Lombrozo. In addition, I use the occasion to reflect on the nature of (...)
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  23. Primitive Causal Relations and the Pairing Problem.Paul Audi - 2011 - Ratio 24 (1):1-16.
    There is no doubt that spatial relations aid us in pairing up causes and effects. But when we consider the possibility of qualitatively indiscernible things, it might seem that spatial relations are more than a mere aid – they might seem positively required. The belief that spatial relations are required for causal relations is behind an important objection to Cartesian Dualism, the pairing problem. I argue that the Cartesian can answer this objection by appeal to the possibility of primitive causal (...)
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  24. Singular Causation Without Dispositions.María José García-Encinas - 2011 - Theoria : An International Journal for Theory, History and Fundations of Science 26 (1):35-50.
    Is singular causation best understood within a dispositionalist framework? Although a positive answer has not yet been wholly developed, different philosophers have made some positive contributions suggesting that it is. Against these suggestions, I claim that any possible account of singular causation in terms of real, irreducible, dispositions conveys unsolvable flaws in its very metaphysical foundations.
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  25. Singular and General Causal Relations: A Mechanist Perspective.Stuart Glennan - 2011 - In Phyllis McKay Illari, Federica Russo & Jon Williamson (eds.), Causality in the Sciences. Oxford University Press.
    My aim in this paper is to make a case for the singularist view from the perspective of a mechanical theory of causation, and to explain what, from this perspective, causal generalizations mean, and what role they play within the mechanical theory.
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  26. Causal Reasoning.Christoph Hoerl - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 152 (2):167-179.
    The main focus of this paper is the question as to what it is for an individual to think of her environment in terms of a concept of causation, or causal concepts, in contrast to some more primitive ways in which an individual might pick out or register what are in fact causal phenomena. I show how versions of this question arise in the context of two strands of work on causation, represented by Elizabeth Anscombe and Christopher Hitchcock, respectively. I (...)
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  27. Causality in the Sciences.Illari Phyllis McKay, Russo Federica & Williamson Jon (eds.) - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
  28. Lessons From The Context Sensitivity of Causal Talk.Eric Swanson - 2010 - Journal of Philosophy 107 (5):221-242.
  29. On Causal Attribution.B. Ingemar B. Lindahl - 2009 - Dissertation, Stockholm University
    This dissertation treats of the problem of attributing the occurrence of an individual event or state to a single cause — a problem commonly understood either as a question of distinguishing the cause from the mere conditions or as a matter of singling out, from several causes, one cause, as the cause. The main purpose of the study is to clarify some basic concepts, and some criteria of ascertainment of the cause, that may be discerned in the literature on causal (...)
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  30. The Properties of Singular Causation.Bence Nanay - 2009 - The Monist 92 (1):112-132.
    Theories of singular causation have a genuine problem with properties. In virtue of what property do events (or facts) cause other events? One possible answer to this question, Davidson’s, is that causal relations hold between particulars and properties play no role in the way a particular causes another. According to another, recently fashionable answer, in contrast, events cause other events in virtue of having a trope (as opposed to a property-type). Both views face serious objections. My aim in this paper (...)
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  31. Resemblance-Based Resources for Reductive Singularism (Or: How to Be a Humean Singularist About Causation).Jessica Wilson - 2009 - The Monist 92 (1):153-190.
    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 (...)
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  32. On Explanatory Relata in Singular Causal Explanation.Eugen Zeleňák - 2009 - Theoria 75 (3):179-195.
    Explanation is usually taken to be a relation between certain entities. The aim of this paper is to discuss what entities are suitable as explanatory relata of singular causal explanations, i.e., explanations concerning singular causality relating particular events or other appropriate entities. I outline three different positions. The purely causal approach stipulates that the same entities that are related in the singular causal relation are also linked by the explanatory relation. This position, however, has a problem to distinguish between causation (...)
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  33. Causes and Explanations: A Structural-Model Approach. Part I: Causes.Joseph Y. Halpern & Judea Pearl - 2005 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 56 (4):843-887.
    We propose a new definition of actual causes, using structural equations to model counterfactuals. We show that the definition yields a plausible and elegant account of causation that handles well examples which have caused problems for other definitions and resolves major difficulties in the traditional account.
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  34. Causes and Explanations: A Structural-Model Approach. Part II: Explanations.Joseph Y. Halpern & Judea Pearl - 2005 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 56 (4):889-911.
    We propose new definitions of (causal) explanation, using structural equations to model counterfactuals. The definition is based on the notion of actual cause, as defined and motivated in a companion article. Essentially, an explanation is a fact that is not known for certain but, if found to be true, would constitute an actual cause of the fact to be explained, regardless of the agent's initial uncertainty. We show that the definition handles well a number of problematic examples from the literature.
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  35. Singularism.Whittle Ann - 2004 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 104 (1):371-379.
    I distinguish between two opposing intuitions about the nature of the singular causal relation. The first stresses the nomological character of causation, while the second emphasises is seemingly local character. My question is this: is it possible to formulate an account of causation which incorporates both intuitions? Anscombe gives us reason to think that these intuitions could not be jointly met in an account of causation. Foster and Tooley's acount seems to provide a counter-instance to her claim, but this proves (...)
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  36. A Posteriori Necessity in Singular Causation and the Humean Argument.M. J. García-Encinas - 2003 - Dialectica 57 (1):41-55.
    The absence of a necessary connection in singular causation is a key step in the Humean argument against any form of necessity in causation. I argue that Hume's defence of this step is unsuccessful, and that the step could be skipped, accepting the possibility of necessary a posteriori truths. Still this does not suffice to guarantee a necessary connection in singular causation. Necessary a posteriori truths should be backed by necessary a priori truths. Thus, a main object of this paper (...)
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  37. Necessity in Singular Causation.M. J. García-Encinas - 2002 - Philosophia 29 (1-4):149-172.
    I want to make sense of the view that singular causation involves a metaphysical necessary connection. By this I understand, where A and B are particulars, that ifA causes B then in every possible world in which A (or an A-indiscernible) or B (or a B-indiscernible) occurs, A (or an Aindiscernible) and B (or a B-indiscernible) occur. In the singularist approach that I will favour causal facts do not supervene on laws, causal relata are best understood as tropes, causation is (...)
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  38. Causal Production as Interaction.Rognvaldur Ingthorsson - 2002 - Metaphysica 3 (1):87-119.
    The paper contains a novel realist account of causal production and the necessary connection between cause and effect. I argue that the asymmetric relation between causally connected events must be regarded as a product of a symmetric interaction between two or more entities. All the entities involved contribute to the producing, and so count as parts of the cause, and they all suffer a change, and so count as parts of the effect. Cause and effect, on this account, are two (...)
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  39. A Tale of Two Effects.Christopher Hitchcock - 2001 - Philosophical Review 110 (3):361-396.
    In recent years, there has been a philosophical cottage industry producing arguments that our concept of causation is not univocal: that there are in fact two concepts of causation, corresponding to distinct species of causal relation. Papers written in this tradition have borne titles like “Two Concepts of Cause” and “Two Concepts of Causation”. With due apologies to Charles Dickens, I hereby make my own contribution to this genre.
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  40. An Empiricist Defence of Singular Causes.Nancy Cartwright - 2000 - In Roger Teichmann (ed.), Logic, Cause and Action. Cambridge University Press. pp. 47-58.
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  41. Sind Handlungssätze singuläre Kausalsätze?Geert Keil - 1999 - In Uwe Meixner & Peter M. Simons (eds.), Metaphysik im postmetaphysischen Zeitalter. pp. 305-311.
    Können Personen im Wortsinne die Ursache von etwas sein? Wer die Frage bejaht, möge ein Akteurskausalist heißen. Ereigniskausalisten hingegen lassen als Relata der Kausalrelation allein Ereignisse zu. Manche Akteurskausalisten, allen voran Kant und Chisholm, fassen die Verursachung durch Handelnde als eine Kausalität sui generis auf, die der gewöhnlichen Ereigniskausalität gleichberechtigt zur Seite zu stellen sei. Andere Akteurskausalisten, beispielsweise Aristoteles, scheinen lediglich eine liberalere Auffassung möglicher kausaler Relata zu haben, ohne für Akteure eine besondere Verursachungsart vorzusehen. Im folgenden möchte ich die (...)
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  42. On the Notion of Cause 'Philosophically Speaking'.Helen Steward - 1997 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 97 (2):125–140.
    This paper considers Davidson's critique, in his paper 'Causal Relations' of the Millian notion of the 'whole cause' of an event. The paper attempts to show why Davidson's criticisms of Mill, taken to its logical conclusion, entails that we must give up 'the network model of causation', a model which dominates contemporary philosophy of mind (as well as many accounts of the nature of causation in general) and shapes prevailing ideas about the form of some of its most important questions.
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  43. Précis of Nature’s Capacities and Their Measurement.Nancy Cartwright - 1995 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 55 (1):153.
    This book on the philosophy of science argues for an empiricism, opposed to the tradition of David Hume, in which singular rather than general causal claims are primary; causal laws express facts about singular causes whereas the general causal claims of science are ascriptions of capacities or causal powers, capacities to make things happen. Taking science as measurement, Cartwright argues that capacities are necessary for science and that these can be measured, provided suitable conditions are met. There are case studies (...)
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  44. Overall Positive Causal Impact.Igal Kvart - 1994 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 24 (2):205 - 227.
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  45. The Nature of Naturalism.Graham MacDonald & Philip Pettit - 1992 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 66 (1):225-266.
  46. The Nature of Naturalism.Graham Macdonald & Philip Pettit - 1992 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volumes 66 (66):225-266.
  47. Property-Level Causation?John W. Carroll - 1991 - Philosophical Studies 63 (3):245 - 270.
  48. The Nature of Causation: A Singularist Account.Michael Tooley - 1990 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 20 (sup1):271-322.
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  49. Supervenience and Singular Causal Statements.James Woodward - 1990 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 27:211-246.
    In his recent book, Causation: A Realistic Approach , Michael Tooley discusses the following thesis, which he calls the ‘thesis of the Humean Supervenience of Causal Relations’: The truth values of all singular causal statements are logically determined by the truth values of statements of causal laws, together with the truth values of non-causal statements about particulars . represents one version of the ‘Humean’ idea that there is no more factual content to the claim that two particular events are causally (...)
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  50. The Relativity of Causation and Explanation.Peter Noa Latham - 1988 - Dissertation, University of California, Berkeley
    I argue that any concrete event which absolutely precedes a particular effect is causally relevant to the occurrence of it and may be regarded as the cause of it, given a suitable enquirer. First I show how all singular causal statements can be regarded as expressing extensional relations between events, and as explanatory. Then I argue for the main thesis by offering thought experiments and examining attempts to analyse singular causal statements in terms of statements concerning deterministic and probabilistic generalisations, (...)
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