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Causal Relations

In Tim Crane & Katalin Farkas (eds.), Metaphysics: A Guide and Anthology. Oxford University Press (2004)

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  1. Local Explanation in Historiography of Science.Veli Virmajoki - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-21.
    In this paper, I offer an explication of the notion of local explanation. In the literature, local explanations are considered as metaphysically and methodologically satisfactory: local explanations reveal the contingency of science and provide a methodologically sound historiography of science. However, the lack of explication of the notion of local explanation makes these claims difficult to assess. The explication provided in this paper connects the degree of locality of an explanans to the degree of contingency of the explanandum. Moreover, the (...)
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  • The Individuation of Actions.B. Mossel - 2001 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 79 (2):258 – 278.
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  • Natural Selection, Causality, and Laws: What Fodor and Piatelli-Palmarini Got Wrong.Elliott Sober - 2010 - Philosophy of Science 77 (4):594-607.
    In their book What Darwin Got Wrong, Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini construct an a priori philosophical argument and an empirical biological argument. The biological argument aims to show that natural selection is much less important in the evolutionary process than many biologists maintain. The a priori argument begins with the claim that there cannot be selection for one but not the other of two traits that are perfectly correlated in a population; it concludes that there cannot be an evolutionary (...)
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  • Contrastive Causation.Jonathan Schaffer - 2005 - Philosophical Review 114 (3):327-358.
    Causation is widely assumed to be a binary relation: c causes e. I will argue that causation is a quaternary, contrastive relation: c rather than C* causes e rather than E*, where C* and E* are nonempty sets of contrast events. Or at least, I will argue that treating causation as contrastive helps resolve some paradoxes.
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  • The Research Potential of Educational Theory: On the Specific Characteristics of the Issues of Education.Tomasz Leś - 2017 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 49 (14):1428-1440.
    In this article, I present the argument that educational theory has specific character, which distinguishes it from most scientific disciplines. It requires the application of not only strictly scientific methods, which essentially consist of descriptions and explanations, but also normative ones, which indicate how it is related to philosophy and ethics. Its essential connections with philosophy and ethics cause that clear and final thesis are actually impossible to claim, but from the other hand, it is the only discipline which, according (...)
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  • The Four Faces of Omission: Ontology, Terminology, Epistemology, and Ethics.Giovanni Boniolo & Gabriele De Anna - 2006 - Philosophical Explorations 9 (3):277 – 293.
    In this paper, the ontological, terminological, epistemological, and ethical aspects of omission are considered in a coherent and balanced framework, based on the idea that there are omissions which are actions and omissions which are non-actions. In particular, we suggest that the approach to causation which best deals with omission is Mackie's INUS conditional proposal. We argue that omissions are determined partly by the ontological conditional structure of reality, and partly by the interests, beliefs, and values of observers. The final (...)
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  • Presentism and Absence Causation: An Exercise in Mimicry.Brannon McDaniel - 2010 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (2):323-332.
    If _presentism_ is true, then no wholly non-present events exist. If _absence orthodoxy_ is true, then no absences exist. I discuss a well-known causal argument against presentism, and develop a very similar argument against absence orthodoxy. I argue that solutions to the argument against absence orthodoxy can be adopted by the presentist as solutions to the argument against presentism. The upshot is that if the argument against absence orthodoxy fails, then so does the argument against presentism.
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  • Reason, Causation and Compatibility with the Phenomena.Basil Evangelidis - 2020 - Wilmington, Delaware, USA: Vernon Press.
    'Reason, Causation and Compatibility with the Phenomena' strives to give answers to the philosophical problem of the interplay between realism, explanation and experience. This book is a compilation of essays that recollect significant conceptions of rival terms such as determinism and freedom, reason and appearance, power and knowledge. This title discusses the progress made in epistemology and natural philosophy, especially the steps that led from the ancient theory of atomism to the modern quantum theory, and from mathematization to analytic philosophy. (...)
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  • A Functionalist Theory of Properties.Ann Whittle - 2008 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 77 (1):59-82.
    I consider a grand, yet neglected proposal put forward by Shoemaker—a functionalist theory of all properties. I argue that two possible ways of developing this proposal meet with substantial objections. However, if we are prepared to endorse an ontology of tropes, one of these functionalist analyses can be developed into an original and informative theory of properties.
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  • Events.Roberto Casati & Achille C. Varzi - 2020 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    A critical survey of the main philosophical theories about events and event talk, organized in three main sections: (i) Events and Other Categories (Events vs. Objects; Events vs. Facts; Events vs. Properties; Events vs. Times); (ii) Types of Events (Activities, Accomplishments, Achievements, and States; Static and Dynamic Events; Actions and Bodily Movements; Mental and Physical Events; Negative Events); (iii) Existence, Identity, and Indeterminacy.
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  • 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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  • Salience and Metaphysical Explanation.Phil Corkum - forthcoming - Synthese:1-22.
    Metaphysical explanations, unlike many other kinds of explanation, are standardly thought to be insensitive to our epistemic situation and so are not evaluable by cognitive values such as salience. I consider a case study that challenges this view. Some properties are distributed over an extension. For example, the property of being polka-dotted red on white, when instantiated, is distributed over a surface. Similar properties have been put to work in a variety of explanatory tasks in recent metaphysics, including: providing an (...)
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  • Contrastive Mental Causation.Walter Sinnott-Armstrong - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 3):861-883.
    Any theory of mind needs to explain mental causation. Kim’s exclusion argument concludes that non-reductive physicalism cannot meet this challenge. One classic reply is that mental properties capture the causally relevant level of generality, because they are insensitive to physical realization. However, this reply suggests downward exclusion, contrary to physicalism’s assumption of closure. This paper shows how non-reductive physicalists can solve this problem by introducing a contrastive account of causation with non-exhaustive contrasts. That view has independent justification, because it is (...)
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  • How (not) to judge a theory of causation.Victor Gijsbers - forthcoming - Synthese:1-19.
    Philosophical theories of causation are commonly judged by their ability to correctly determine whether there is a causal relation present in intuitively clear example scenarios. If the theories survive this test, they are then used to answer big philosophical questions about causation. This Method of Examples is attractive because it seems to allow us to determine the quality of a theory of causation independently of answering the big philosophical questions; which is good, since it means that we can then non-circularly (...)
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  • Causal necessitarianism and the monotonicity objection.Salim Hirèche - forthcoming - Synthese:1-31.
    Do causes necessitate their effects? Causal necessitarianism is the view that they do. One major objection—the “monotonicity objection”—runs roughly as follows. For many particular causal relations, we can easily find a possible “blocker”—an additional causal factor that, had it also been there, would have prevented the cause from producing its effect. However—the objection goes on—, if the cause really necessitated its effect in the first place, it would have produced it anyway—despite the blocker. Thus, CN must be false. Though different (...)
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  • Purely Theoretical Explanations.Giacomo Andreoletti, Jonathan Tallant & Giuliano Torrengo - 2020 - Philosophia 49 (1):133-154.
    This paper introduces a new kind of explanation that we describe as ‘purely theoretical’. We first present an example, E, of what we take to be a case of purely theoretical explanation. We then show that the explanation we have in mind does not fit neatly into any of the existing categories of explanation. We take this to give us prima facie motivation for thinking that purely theoretical explanation is a distinctive kind of explanation. We then argue that it can (...)
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  • Mechanisms, laws and explanation.Nancy Cartwright, John Pemberton & Sarah Wieten - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10 (3):1-19.
    Mechanisms are now taken widely in philosophy of science to provide one of modern science’s basic explanatory devices. This has raised lively debate concerning the relationship between mechanisms, laws and explanation. This paper focuses on cases where a mechanism gives rise to a ceteris paribus law, addressing two inter-related questions: What kind of explanation is involved? and What is going on in the world when mechanism M affords behavior B described in a ceteris paribus law? We explore various answers offered (...)
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  • Tropes for Causation.M. J. Garcia-Encinas - 2009 - Metaphysica 10 (2):157-174.
    Tropes, as distinguished from other possible kinds of entities such as universals, states of affairs, events and bare particulars, are best-suited to play the role of causal relata.
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  • Mental Causation and the Supervenience Argument.Jürgen Schröder - 2007 - Erkenntnis 67 (2):221 - 237.
    One of several problems concerning the possibility of mental causation is that the causal potential of a supervenient property seems to be absorbed by its supervenience base if that base and the supervenient property are not identical. If the causal powers of the supervenient property are a proper subset of the causal powers of the supervenience base then, according to the causal individuation of properties, the supervenience base seems to do all the causal work and the supervenient property appears to (...)
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  • Semantic Determinants and Psychology as a Science.Steven Yalowitz - 1998 - Erkenntnis 49 (1):57-91.
    One central but unrecognized strand of the complex debate between W. V. Quine and Donald Davidson over the status of psychology as a science turns on their disagreement concerning the compatibility of strict psychophysical, semantic-determining laws with the possibility of error. That disagreement in turn underlies their opposing views on the location of semantic determinants: proximal (on bodily surfaces) or distal (in the external world). This paper articulates these two disputes, their wider context, and argues that both are fundamentally misconceived. (...)
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  • Events and Times: A Case Study in Means-Ends Metaphysics.Christopher Hitchcock - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 160 (1):79-96.
    There is a tradition, tracing back to Kant, of recasting metaphysical questions as questions about the utility of a conceptual scheme, linguistic framework, or methodological rule for achieving some particular end. Following in this tradition, I propose a ‘means-ends metaphysics ’, in which one rigorously demonstrates the suitability of some conceptual framework for achieving a specified goal. I illustrate this approach using a debate about the nature of events. Specifically, the question is whether the time at which an event occurs (...)
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  • A Puzzle Concerning Time Perception.Robin le Poidevin - 2004 - Synthese 142 (1):109-142.
    According to a plausible and influential account of perceptual knowledge, the truth-makers of beliefs that constitute perceptual knowledge must feature in the causal explanation of how we acquire those beliefs. However, this account runs into difficulties when it tries to accommodate time perception -- specifically perception of order and duration -- since the features we are apparently tracking in such perception are not causal. The central aim of the paper is to solve this epistemological puzzle. Two strategies are examined. The (...)
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  • A Theory of Singular Causal Explanation.James Woodward - 1984 - Erkenntnis 21 (3):231 - 262.
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  • Logical Features of Reference to Facts in Causal Contexts.Cindy D. Stern - 1982 - Philosophical Studies 41 (2):197 - 211.
  • Change.Frederick F. Schmitt - 1978 - Philosophical Studies 34 (4):401 - 416.
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  • What Causes Effects?Philip L. Peterson - 1981 - Philosophical Studies 39 (2):107 - 139.
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  • Laws Are Conditionals.Toby Friend - 2016 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 6 (1):123-144.
    The ubiquitous schema ‘All Fs are Gs’ dominates much philosophical discussion on laws but rarely is it shown how actual laws mentioned and used in science are supposed to fit it. After consideration of a variety of laws, including those obviously conditional and those superficially not conditional, I argue that we have good reason to support the traditional interpretation of laws as conditionals of some quantified form with a single object variable. I show how this conclusion impacts on the status (...)
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  • Don't Ask, Look! Linguistic Corpora as a Tool for Conceptual Analysis.Roland Bluhm - 2013 - In Migue Hoeltje, Thomas Spitzley & Wolfgang Spohn (eds.), Was dürfen wir glauben? Was sollen wir tun? Sektionsbeiträge des achten internationalen Kongresses der Gesellschaft für Analytische Philosophie e.V. DuEPublico. pp. 7-15.
    Ordinary Language Philosophy has largely fallen out of favour, and with it the belief in the primary importance of analyses of ordinary language for philosophical purposes. Still, in their various endeavours, philosophers not only from analytic but also from other backgrounds refer to the use and meaning of terms of interest in ordinary parlance. In doing so, they most commonly appeal to their own linguistic intuitions. Often, the appeal to individual intuitions is supplemented by reference to dictionaries. In recent times, (...)
     
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  • How to Be an Adverbialist About Phenomenal Intentionality.Kyle Banick - 2018 - Synthese 198 (1):661-686.
    Kriegel has revived adverbialism as a theory of consciousness. But recent attacks have shed doubt on the viability of the theory. To save adverbialism, I propose that the adverbialist take a stance on the nature of adverbial modification. On one leading theory, adverbial modification turns on the instantiation by a substance of a psychological type. But the resulting formulation of adverbialism turns out to be a mere notational variant on the relationalist approaches against which Kriegel dialectically situates adverbialism. By contrast, (...)
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  • On the Carroll–Chen Model.Christopher Weaver - 2017 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 48 (1):97-124.
    I argue that the Carroll-Chen cosmogonic model does not provide a plausible scientific explanation of the past hypothesis (the thesis that our universe began in an extremely low-entropy state). I suggest that this counts as a welcomed result for those who adopt a Mill-Ramsey-Lewis best systems account of laws and maintain that the past hypothesis is a brute fact that is a non-dynamical law.
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  • Scientific Conjectures and the Growth of Knowledge.Sanjit Charaborty - 2021 - Journal of Indian Council of Philosophical Research 38:83-101.
    A collective understanding that traces a debate between 'what is science?’ and ‘what is a science about?’ has an extraction to the notion of scientific knowledge. The debate undertakes the pursuit of science that hardly extravagance the dogma of pseudo-science. Scientific conjectures invoke science as an intellectual activity poured by experiences and repetition of the objects that look independent of any idealist views (believes in the consensus of mind-dependence reality). The realistic machinery employs in an empiricist exposition of the objective (...)
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  • The Microstructural Causation Hypothesis.David Braddon-Mitchell - 1993 - Erkenntnis 39 (2):257 - 283.
    I argue against a priori objections to the view that causation may be reducible to some micro-structural process in principle discoverable by physics. I distinguish explanation from causation, and argue that the main objections to such a reduction stem from conflating these two notions. Explanation is the collection of pragmatically relevant, possibly counterfactual information about causation; and causation is to be identified in a necessary a posteriori way with whatever physical processes underwrite our explanatory claims.
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  • Hitchcock’s Treatment of Singular and General Causation.Christian Jakob - 2006 - Minds and Machines 16 (3):277-287.
    Hitchcock (2001a) argues that the distinction between singular and general causation conflates the two distinctions ‘actual causation vs. causal tendencies’ and ‘wide vs. narrow causation’. Based on a recent regularity account of causation I will show that Hitchcock’s introduction of the two distinctions is an unnecessary multiplication of causal concepts.
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  • Compatibilism and the Notion of Rendering Something False.Benjamin Sebastian Schnieder - 2004 - Philosophical Studies 117 (3):409-428.
    In my paper I am concerned with Peter van Inwagen's Consequence Argument. I focus on its probably best known version. In this form it crucially employs the notion of rendering a proposition false, anotion that has never been made sufficiently clear. The main aim of my paper is to shed light on thisnotion. The explications offered so far in thedebate all are based on modal concepts. Iargue that for sufficient results a ``stronger'', hyper-intensional concept is needed, namely the concept expressed (...)
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  • Metaphysically Reductive Causation.Ned Hall & L. A. Paul - 2013 - Erkenntnis 78 (1):9-41.
    There are, by now, many rival, sophisticated philosophical accounts of causation that qualify as ‘metaphysically reductive’. This is a good thing: these collective efforts have vastly improved our understanding of causation over the last 30 years or so. They also put us in an excellent position to reflect on some central methodological questions: What exactly is the point of offering a metaphysical reduction of causation? What philosophical scruples ought to guide the pursuit of such a reduction? Finally, how should answers (...)
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  • Tacit and Accessible Understanding of Language.Kent Johnson - 2007 - Synthese 156 (2):253 - 279.
    The empirical nature of our understanding of language is explored. I first show that there are several important and different distinctions between tacit and accessible awareness. I then present empirical evidence concerning our understanding of language. The data suggests that our awareness of sentence-meanings is sometimes merely tacit according to one of these distinctions, but is accessible according to another. I present and defend an interpretation of this mixed view. The present project is shown to impact on several diverse areas, (...)
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  • High-Level Exceptions Explained.Michael Strevens - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (S10):1819-1832.
    Why are causal generalizations in the higher-level sciences “inexact”? That is, why do they have apparent exceptions? This paper offers one explanation: many causal generalizations cite as their antecedent—the \(F\) in \(Fs\,\, {\textit{are}}\,\, G\) —a property that is not causally relevant to the consequent, but which is rather “entangled” with a causally relevant property. Entanglement is a relation that may exist for many reasons, and that allows of exceptions. Causal generalizations that specify entangled but causally irrelevant antecedents therefore tolerate exceptions.
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  • On the Distinction Between Law Schemata and Causal Laws.Jens Harbecke - 2013 - Acta Analytica 28 (4):423-434.
    The paper argues against the widely accepted assumption that the causal laws of (completed) physics, in contrast to those of the special sciences, are essentially strict. This claim played an important role already in debates about the anomalousness of the mental, and it currently experiences a renaissance in various discussions about mental causation, projectability of special science laws, and the nature of physical laws. By illustrating the distinction with some paradigmatic physical laws, the paper demonstrates that only law schemata are (...)
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  • Individual Essence: Gibt Es Solche? [REVIEW]Márta Ujvári - 2013 - Metaphysica 14 (1):17-30.
    Two arguments are offered here for postulating individual essences of concrete individuals on top of their sortal essences. One is the explanatory gap argument, the other draws on the analogy with the individual essences of events presupposed in single causal explanations. These arguments support qualitative individual essences with explanatory goals as opposed to hybrid impure relational essences accounting for origin and numerical identity. It is highlighted why origin properties as parts of impure relational essences do not yield genuine de re (...)
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  • Emphasis, Causation and Extensionality.Robert Heinaman - 1984 - Philosophical Studies 46 (3):367 - 380.
  • Regularity Theories Reassessed.Michael Baumgartner - 2006 - Philosophia 36 (3):327-354.
    For a long time, regularity accounts of causation have virtually vanished from the scene. Problems encountered within other theoretical frameworks have recently induced authors working on causation, laws of nature, or methodologies of causal reasoning – as e.g. May (Kausales Schliessen. Eine Untersuchung über kausale Erklärungen und Theorienbildung. Ph.D. thesis, Universität Hamburg, Hamburg, 1999), Ragin (Fuzzy-set social science. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), Graßhoff and May (Causal regularities. In W. Spohn, M. Ledwig, & M. Esfeld (Eds.), Current issues in (...)
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  • The Artist and the Madman.Paul G. Muscari - 1987 - Man and World 20 (4):385-397.
  • Explanation in Metaphysics?Johannes Persson - 2011 - Metaphysica 12 (2):165-181.
    Arguments from explanation, i.e. arguments in which the explanatory value of a hypothesis or premise is appealed to, are common in science, and explanatory considerations are becoming more popular in metaphysics. The paper begins by arguing that explanatory arguments in science—even when these are metaphysical explanations— may fail to be explanatory in metaphysics; there is a distinction to be drawn between metaphysical explanation and explanation in metaphysics. This makes it potentially problematic to deploy arguments from explanation in, for instance, metaphysics (...)
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  • On Doing Without Events.Andrew Altman, Michael Bradie & Fred D. Miller - 1979 - Philosophical Studies 36 (3):301 - 307.
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  • Are Events Things of the Past?Julian Bacharach - 2021 - Mind 130 (518):381-412.
    A popular claim in recent philosophy of mind and action is that events only exist once they are over. This has been taken to have the consequence that many temporal phenomena cannot be understood ‘from the inside’, as they are unfolding, purely in terms of events. However, as I argue here, the claim that events exist only when over is incoherent. I consider two ways of understanding the claim and the notion of existence it involves: one that ties existence to (...)
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  • Beliefs as Inner Causes: The (Lack of) Evidence.Devin Sanchez Curry - 2018 - Philosophical Psychology 31 (6):850-877.
    Many psychologists studying lay belief attribution and behavior explanation cite Donald Davidson in support of their assumption that people construe beliefs as inner causes. But Davidson’s influential argument is unsound; there are no objective grounds for the intuition that the folk construe beliefs as inner causes that produce behavior. Indeed, recent experimental work by Ian Apperly, Bertram Malle, Henry Wellman, and Tania Lombrozo provides an empirical framework that accords well with Gilbert Ryle’s alternative thesis that the folk construe beliefs as (...)
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  • Les dispositions: une analyse integrationnelle(誠).Daihyun Chung - 2014 - Diogène 248:59-70.
    Would it be possible to have an alternative to the physicalist world-view? If any type of dualism is not an option, I am tempted to consider an integrational world view, which was first claimed by Confucius under the notion of cheng. I would propose an integrational thesis that cheng of an entity is a power to realize the embedded objective of it in the context where it interacts with all others. The notion of compassion may be said to be both (...)
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  • Agent Causation as a Solution to the Problem of Action.Michael Brent - 2017 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47 (5):656-673.
    My primary aim is to defend a nonreductive solution to the problem of action. I argue that when you are performing an overt bodily action, you are playing an irreducible causal role in bringing about, sustaining, and controlling the movements of your body, a causal role best understood as an instance of agent causation. Thus, the solution that I defend employs a notion of agent causation, though emphatically not in defence of an account of free will, as most theories of (...)
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  • Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Science.Christopher Hitchcock (ed.) - 2004 - Blackwell.
    Showcasing original arguments for well-defined positions, as well as clear and concise statements of sophisticated philosophical views, this volume is an ...
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  • Causation By Omission: A Dilemma.Sarah McGrath - 2005 - Philosophical Studies 123 (1-2):125-148.
    Some omissions seem to be causes. For example, suppose Barry promises to water Alice’s plant, doesn’t water it, and that the plant then dries up and dies. Barry’s not watering the plant – his omitting to water the plant – caused its death. But there is reason to believe that if omissions are ever causes, then there is far more causation by omission than we ordinarily think. In other words, there is reason to think the following thesis true.
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