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  1. Causation Without Influence.Tomasz Bigaj - 2012 - Erkenntnis 76 (1):1-22.
    David Lewis’s latest theory of causation defines the causal link in terms of the relation of influence between events. It turns out, however, that one event’s influencing another is neither a necessary nor sufficient condition for its being a cause of that event. In the article one particular case of causality without influence is presented and developed. This case not only serves as a counterexample to Lewis’s influence theory, but also threatens earlier counterfactual analyses of causation by admitting a particularly (...)
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  • A Psychological Approach to Causal Understanding and the Temporal Asymmetry.Elena Popa - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-18.
    This article provides a conceptual account of causal understanding by connecting current psychological research on time and causality with philosophical debates on the causal asymmetry. I argue that causal relations are viewed as asymmetric because they are understood in temporal terms. I investigate evidence from causal learning and reasoning in both children and adults: causal perception, the temporal priority principle, and the use of temporal cues for causal inference. While this account does not suffice for correct inferences of causal structure, (...)
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  • Mental Causation for Mind-Body Dualists.Antonella Corradini - 2015 - Humana Mente 8 (29).
    Interactive dualism is notorious for supporting genuine and autonomous mental causation that is allegedly impossible for its confliction with basic principles of physics. The purpose of this essay is to show the invalidity of this commonplace view, by arguing to the contrary in three different steps. First, I will deal with the objection about the non-scientific character of interactive dualism, as it is conceived of in present-day philosophy of mind. Second, I will illustrate and critically examine three contemporary models of (...)
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  • Is Knowledge of Causes Sufficient for Understanding?Xingming Hu - 2019 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (3):291-313.
    ABSTRACT: According to a traditional account, understanding why X occurred is equivalent to knowing that X was caused by Y. This paper defends the account against a major objection, viz., knowing-that is not sufficient for understanding-why, for understanding-why requires a kind of grasp while knowledge-that does not. I discuss two accounts of grasp in recent literature and argue that if either is true, then knowing that X was caused by Y entails at least a rudimentary understanding of why X occurred. (...)
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  • Mental Causation, Compatibilism and Counterfactuals.Dwayne Moore - 2017 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47 (1):20-42.
    According to proponents of the causal exclusion problem, there cannot be a sufficient physical cause and a distinct mental cause of the same piece of behaviour. Increasingly, the causal exclusion problem is circumvented via this compatibilist reasoning: a sufficient physical cause of the behavioural effect necessitates the mental cause of the behavioural effect, so the effect has a sufficient physical cause and a mental cause as well. In this paper, I argue that this compatibilist reply fails to resolve the causal (...)
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  • Contiguity and the Causal Theory of Memory.Sarah K. Robins - 2017 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47 (1):1-19.
    In Memory: A Philosophical Study, Bernecker argues for an account of contiguity. This Contiguity View is meant to solve relearning and prompting, wayward causation problems plaguing the causal theory of memory. I argue that Bernecker’s Contiguity View fails in this task. Contiguity is too weak to prevent relearning and too strong to allow prompting. These failures illustrate a problem inherent in accounts of memory causation. Relearning and prompting are both causal relations, wayward only with respect to our interest in specifying (...)
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  • Critical Notice.Tom L. Beauchamp & Alexander Rosenberg - 1977 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 7 (2):371-404.
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  • Humean Causation and Kim's Theory of Events.Terence Horgan - 1980 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 10 (4):663 - 679.
    In recent years Jaegwon Kim has propounded and elaborated an influential theory of events. He takes an event to be the exemplification of an empirical property by a concrete object at a time. He also has proposed and endorsed a version of the “Humean” tradition concerning causation: the view that causal relations between concrete events depend upon general "covering laws." But although his explication of the covering-law conception of causation seems quite natural within the framework of his theory, it gives (...)
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  • On Identifying the Mental with the Physical.Peter Smith - 1983 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 13 (June):227-238.
    Our states of belief and desire are no doubt supervenient on the overall pattern of our physical states. But can this minimal physicalist presumption be strengthened into a claim to the effect that our mental states are each identical with some specific corresponding physical state? A developed identity theory will need, in a sense to be made clear, a schema for specifying the physical state which is supposed to be identical with a given mental state. And there are problems in (...)
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  • Utility Theory and Preference Logic.Rainer W. Trapp - 1985 - Erkenntnis 22 (1-3):301 - 339.
  • Overdetermining Causes.Jonathan Schaffer - 2003 - Philosophical Studies 114 (1-2):23 - 45.
    When two rocks shatter the window at once, what causes the window to shatter? Is the throwing of each individual rock a cause of the window shattering, or are the throwings only causes collectively? This question bears on the analysis of causation, and the metaphysics of macro-causation. I argue that the throwing of each individual rock is a cause of the window shattering, and generally that individual overdeterminers are causes.
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  • The Social Epidemiologic Concept of Fundamental Cause.Andrew Ward - 2007 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 28 (6):465-485.
    The goal of research in social epidemiology is not simply conceptual clarification or theoretical understanding, but more importantly it is to contribute to, and enhance the health of populations (and so, too, the people who constitute those populations). Undoubtedly, understanding how various individual risk factors such as smoking and obesity affect the health of people does contribute to this goal. However, what is distinctive of much on-going work in social epidemiology is the view that analyses making use of individual-level variables (...)
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  • Actions as Events.Ming Xu - 2012 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 41 (4):765 - 809.
    We present a theory of actions based on a theory of events in branching time, in which "particular" or "token" actions are taken to be sets of transitions from their initial states to the outcomes. We also present a simple theory of composition of events by which composite events can be formed out of other events. Various kinds of actions, including instantaneous group actions and sequential group actions, are introduced by way of composition, and an extended stit theory of agency (...)
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  • Action Theory.Douglas Walton - 1979 - Philosophia 8 (4):719-740.
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  • 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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  • Narrative Closure.Noël Carroll - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 135 (1):1 - 15.
    In this article, “Narrative Closure,” a theory of the nature of narrative closure is developed. Narrative closure is identified as the phenomenological feeling of finality that is generated when all the questions saliently posed by the narrative are answered. The article also includes a discussion of the intelligibility of attributing questions to narratives as well as a discussion of the mechanisms that achieve this. The article concludes by addressing certain recent criticisms of the view of narrative expounded by this article.
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  • What's in a Cause?: The Pragmatic Dimensions of Genetic Explanations. [REVIEW]Lisa Gannett - 1999 - Biology and Philosophy 14 (3):349-373.
    The paper argues for a pragmatic account of genetic explanation. This is to say that when a disease or other trait is termed genetic, the reasons for singling out genes as causes over other, also necessary, genetic and nongenetic conditions are not wholly theoretical but include pragmatic dimensions. Whether the explanation is the presence of a trait in an individual or differences in a trait among individuals, genetic explanations are context-dependent in three ways: they are relative to a causal background (...)
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  • Viability Explanation.Arno Wouters - 1995 - Biology and Philosophy 10 (4):435-457.
    This article deals with a type of functional explanation, viability explanation, that has been overlooked in recent philosophy of science. Viability explanations relate traits of organisms and their environments in terms of what an individual needs to survive and reproduce. I show that viability explanations are neither causal nor historical and that, therefore, they should be accounted for as a distinct type of explanation.
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  • Degrees of Causation.Matthew Braham & Martin van Hees - 2009 - Erkenntnis 71 (3):323 - 344.
    The primary aim of this paper is to analyze the concept of degrees of causal contribution for actual events and examine the way in which it can be formally defined. This should go some way to filling out a gap in the legal and philosophical literature on causation. By adopting the conception of a cause as a necessary element of a sufficient set (the so-called NESS test) we show that the concept of degrees of causation can be given clear and (...)
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  • Causation in Classical Physics.Paul D. Bowen - 1983 - Synthese 57 (1):1 - 20.
    In summary, then, I have presented a program for analysis of physical causal statements in terms of the following metaphysical primitives: space (made up of ordered points), time (also ordered and punctiliar), causal density, haecceity and causal necessity. These can be ‘read off’ the theories in question. I claim that theevent-singular cases are crucial, and that other cases can be reduced to this via set theory and (causal) modal logic. I have given several examples of this sort of translation and (...)
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  • Causal Realism: Events and Processes.Anjan Chakravartty - 2005 - Erkenntnis 63 (1):7-31.
    Minimally, causal realism (as understood here) is the view that accounts of causation in terms of mere, regular or probabilistic conjunction are unsatisfactory, and that causal phenomena are correctly associated with some form of de re necessity. Classic arguments, however, some of which date back to Sextus Empiricus and have appeared many times since, including famously in Russell, suggest that the very notion of causal realism is incoherent. In this paper I argue that if such objections seem compelling, it is (...)
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  • Negative Causation in Causal and Mechanistic Explanation.D. Benjamin Barros - 2013 - Synthese 190 (3):449-469.
    Instances of negative causation—preventions, omissions, and the like—have long created philosophical worries. In this paper, I argue that concerns about negative causation can be addressed in the context of causal explanation generally, and mechanistic explanation specifically. The gravest concern about negative causation is that it exacerbates the problem of causal promiscuity—that is, the problem that arises when a particular account of causation identifies too many causes for a particular effect. In the explanatory context, the problem of promiscuity can be solved (...)
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  • Genetic Traits.Fred Gifford - 1990 - Biology and Philosophy 5 (3):327-347.
    Recognizing that all traits are the result of an interaction between genes and environment, I offer a set of criteria for nevertheless making sense of our practice of singling out certain traits as genetic ones, in effect making a distinction between causes and mere conditions. The central criterion is that a trait is genetic if it is genetic differences that make the differences in that trait variable in a given population. A second criterion requires that genetic traits be individuated in (...)
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  • Expressing Mental States.Michael McKinsey - 1979 - Philosophia 8 (4):657-671.
  • Internalist Virtues and Knowledge.Sarah Wright - 2010 - Acta Analytica 25 (2):119-132.
    What role can intellectual virtues play in an account of knowledge when we interpret those virtues internalistically, i.e., as depending only on internal states of the cognizer? Though it has been argued that internalist virtues are ill suited to play any role in an account of knowledge, I will show that, on the contrary, internalist virtues can play an important role in recent accounts of knowledge developed to utilize externalist virtues. The virtue account of knowledge developed by Linda Zagzebski is (...)
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  • The Logical Vs. The Ontological Understanding of Conditions.Rögnvaldur Ingthorsson - 2008 - Metaphysica 9 (2):129-137.
    According to the truth-functional analysis of conditions, to be ‘necessary for’ and ‘sufficient for’ are converse relations. From this, it follows that to be ‘necessary and sufficient for’ is a symmetric relation, that is, that if P is a necessary and sufficient condition for Q, then Q is a necessary and sufficient condition for P. This view is contrary to common sense. In this paper, I point out that it is also contrary to a widely accepted ontological view of conditions, (...)
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  • Einige Bemerkungen zur statistischen Kausalitätstheorie von P. Suppes.Ansgar Beckermann - 1975 - Zeitschrift Für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 6 (2):292-310.
    In einer Kritik der Hempelschen Erklärungstheorie hat W. Stegmüller gezeigt, daß zur Erklärung nur die "wirklichen Realgründe", also die Ursachen eines Ereignisses herangegezogen werden können, und W. C. Salmon hat darauf aufmerksam gemacht, daß in Erklärungen nur relevante Faktoren angeführt werden dürfen. Für die Theorie der wissenschaftlichen Erklärung ist daher heute die probabilistische Kausalitätstheorie von P. Suppes besonders interessant; denn Suppes versucht, den Begriff der Ursache statistisch zu fassen und auf den Begriff der statistischen Relevanz zurückzuführen. In diesem Aufsatz werden (...)
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  • A Model-Invariant Theory of Causation.J. Dmitri Gallow - forthcoming - Philosophical Review.
    I provide a theory of causation within the causal modeling framework. In contrast to most of its predecessors, this theory is model-invariant in the following sense: if the theory says that C caused (didn't cause) E in a causal model, M, then it will continue to say that C caused (didn't cause) E once we've removed an inessential variable from M. I suggest that, if this theory is true, then we should understand a cause as something which transmits deviant or (...)
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  • Mental Causation Versus Physical Causation: No Contest.Crawford L. Elder - 2001 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 62 (1):110-127.
    James decides that the best price today on pork chops is at Supermarket S, then James makes driving motions for twenty minutes, then James’ car enters the parking lot at Supermarket S. Common sense supposes that the stages in this sequence may be causally connected, and that the pattern is commonplace: James’ belief (together with his desire for pork chops) causes bodily behavior, and the behavior causes a change in James’ whereabouts. Anyone committed to the idea that beliefs and desires (...)
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  • An Incompatible Pair of Subjunctive Conditional Modal Axioms.David Butcher - 1983 - Philosophical Studies 44 (1):71 - 110.
  • Causal Foundationalism, Physical Causation, and Difference-Making.Luke Glynn - 2013 - Synthese 190 (6):1017-1037.
    An influential tradition in the philosophy of causation has it that all token causal facts are, or are reducible to, facts about difference-making. Challenges to this tradition have typically focused on pre-emption cases, in which a cause apparently fails to make a difference to its effect. However, a novel challenge to the difference-making approach has recently been issued by Alyssa Ney. Ney defends causal foundationalism, which she characterizes as the thesis that facts about difference-making depend upon facts about physical causation. (...)
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  • Mechanisms and Constitutive Relevance.Mark B. Couch - 2011 - Synthese 183 (3):375-388.
    This paper will examine the nature of mechanisms and the distinction between the relevant and irrelevant parts involved in a mechanism’s operation. I first consider Craver’s account of this distinction in his book on the nature of mechanisms, and explain some problems. I then offer a novel account of the distinction that appeals to some resources from Mackie’s theory of causation. I end by explaining how this account enables us to better understand what mechanisms are and their various features.
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  • More Than A Feeling: The Communicative Function of Regret.Benjamin Matheson - 2017 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 25 (5):664-681.
    Rüdiger Bittner argues that regret is not useful and so it is always unreasonable to feel and express it. In this paper, I argue that regret is often reasonable because regret has a communicative function: it communicates where we stand with respect to things we have done and outcomes that we have caused. So, I not only argue that Bittner’s argument is unsuccessful, I also shed light on the nature and purpose of regret.
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  • Situando Aristóteles na Discussão Acerca da Natureza da Causação.Davi Heckert César Bastos - 2018 - Dissertation, University of Campinas, Brazil
    I present Aristotle’s theory of causation in a way that privileges a comparison with contemporary discussion on causation. I do so by selecting in Aristotle’s theory points that are interesting to contemporary discussion and by translating Aristotle in the contemporary philosophical terminology. I compare Aristotle’s views with Mackie’s (1993/1965) and Sosa’s (1993/1980). Mackie is a humean regularist regarding the metaphysics of causal necessity, but his theory postulates some formal aspects of the causal relation which are similar to the Aristotelian theory. (...)
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  • Regularity Accounts of Causation and the Problem of Pre-Emption: Dark Prospects Indeed. [REVIEW]Cei Maslen - 2012 - Erkenntnis 77 (3):419-434.
    In this paper I examine a recent argument that regularity approaches to causation can easily solve the problem of pre-emption. If this argument were successful it would neatly solve the problem of pre-emption—a problem that many still consider to be a central unsolved problem for accounts of causation. The argument is surprising in that the conclusion goes against the common consensus that regularity accounts of causation cannot solve the problem of pre-emption, at least without major amendments. This consensus was one (...)
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  • Corrupting the Youth: A History of Philosophy in Australia.James Franklin - 2003 - Sydney, Australia: Macleay Press.
    A polemical account of Australian philosophy up to 2003, emphasising its unique aspects (such as commitment to realism) and the connections between philosophers' views and their lives. Topics include early idealism, the dominance of John Anderson in Sydney, the Orr case, Catholic scholasticism, Melbourne Wittgensteinianism, philosophy of science, the Sydney disturbances of the 1970s, Francofeminism, environmental philosophy, the philosophy of law and Mabo, ethics and Peter Singer. Realist theories especially praised are David Armstrong's on universals, David Stove's on logical probability (...)
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  • Varieties of Inference?Anna-Sara Malmgren - 2018 - Philosophical Issues 28 (1):221-254.
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  • A Job for Philosophers: Causality, Responsibility, and Explaining Social Inequality.Robin Zheng - 2018 - Dialogue 57 (2):323-351.
    People disagree about the causes of social inequality and how to most effectively intervene in them. These may seem like empirical questions for social scientists, not philosophers. However, causal explanation itself depends on broadly normative commitments. From this it follows that (moral) philosophers have an important role to play in determining those causal explanations. I examine the case of causal explanations of poverty to demonstrate these claims. In short, philosophers who work to reshape our moral expectations also work, on the (...)
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  • A Criterion of Probabilistic Causation.Charles R. Twardy & Kevin B. Korb - 2004 - Philosophy of Science 71 (3):241-262.
    The investigation of probabilistic causality has been plagued by a variety of misconceptions and misunderstandings. One has been the thought that the aim of the probabilistic account of causality is the reduction of causal claims to probabilistic claims. Nancy Cartwright (1979) has clearly rebutted that idea. Another ill-conceived idea continues to haunt the debate, namely the idea that contextual unanimity can do the work of objective homogeneity. It cannot. We argue that only objective homogeneity in combination with a causal interpretation (...)
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  • A Note on the Contingent Necessity of a Morphogenic Society and Human Flourishing.Jamie Morgan - 2017 - Journal of Critical Realism 16 (3):255-267.
    ABSTRACTThe Centre for Social Ontology working group project has been exploring the concept of a Morphogenic Society since 2013. The project is now drawing to a close. One of the arising issues from the project has been whether such a society can be and is liable to be one of human flourishing. In this short paper, I explore one possible aspect of the concept of a Morphogenic Society.1 A Morphogenic Society may involve issues of ‘contingent necessity’. Contingent necessity may provide (...)
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  • Consecuencias alternativas y asimetría de resultados en la implementación de políticas socioeconómicas.Leonardo Ivarola - 2019 - Ideas Y Valores 68 (171):13-36.
    El conocimiento utilizado para armar e implementar políticas socioeconómicas refiere por lo general a aseveraciones causales que pueden ser conceptuadas de diferentes maneras; sin embargo, estas suelen omitir un tema central: las consecuencias alternativas o los desvíos que emergen en caso de fracasar, lo que puede acarrear consecuencias negativas. Se argumenta que, para una buena implementación, es fundamental tener en cuenta dichas consecuencias alternativas, lo cual implica un cambio sustancial en el modo de tomar decisiones, donde la asimetría de resultados (...)
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  • The Doctrine of Specific Etiology.Lauren N. Ross - 2018 - Biology and Philosophy 33 (5-6):37.
    Modern medicine is often said to have originated with nineteenth century germ theory, which attributed diseases to bacterial contagions. The success of this theory is often associated with an underlying principle referred to as the “doctrine of specific etiology”. This doctrine refers to specificity at the level of disease causation or etiology. While the importance of this doctrine is frequently emphasized in the philosophical, historical, and medical literature, these sources lack a clear account of the types of specificity that it (...)
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  • Alternative Consequences and Asymmetry of Results: Their Importance for Policy Decision Making.Leonardo Ivarola - 2019 - Journal of Economic Methodology 26 (2):147-162.
    ABSTRACTIn policy implementation, the knowledge that leads to its success is as necessary as the knowledge of its possible alternative paths. Cartwright and Hardie’s approach [. Evidence-Based policy. A practical guide to doing it better. Oxford University Press.] accounts for the first but ignores the chance that a policy may ‘deviate’ from the desired outcome. The problem lies in whether these deviations lead to substantially negative consequences. The present paper offers a conceptual account meant to complement Cartwright and Hardie’s approach. (...)
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  • A Puzzle About Economic Explanation: Examining the Cournot and Bertrand Models of Duopoly Competition.Jonathan Nebel - 2017 - Dissertation, Kansas State University
    Economists use various models to explain why it is that firms are capable of pricing above marginal cost. In this paper, we will examine two of them: the Cournot and Bertrand duopoly models. Economists generally accept both models as good explanations of the phenomenon, but the two models contradict each other in various important ways. The puzzle is that two inconsistent explanations are both regarded as good explanations for the same phenomenon. This becomes especially worrisome when the two models are (...)
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  • Intentionality of Integration(誠)-From Dualistic Intentionality to Yinyang Intentionality.Daihyun Chung - 2005 - Sogang Journal of Philosophy 9:73-88.
    The Western intellectual tradition is accustomed to the separation between the human sphere and the sphere of nature, whereas in the East Asian intellectual tradition the two are considered continuous. For good or bad, the Western dualist outlook, which considers mind and matter to be fundamentally distinct, received much philosophical attention in modern times. But how is the East Asian tradition of non-separation to be philosophically expounded? The idea that the human sphere and the sphere of nature are fundamentally connected (...)
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  • Should Methodological Naturalists Commit to Metaphysical Naturalism?Zahra Zargar, Ebrahim Azadegan & Lotfollah Nabavi - 2019 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie:1-9.
    It is widely supposed that methodological naturalism, understood as a thesis about the methodology of science, is metaphysically neutral, and that this in turn guarantees the value-neutrality of science. In this paper we argue that methodological naturalism is underpinned by certain ontological and epistemological assumptions including evidentialism and the causal closure of the physical, adoption of which necessitates commitment to metaphysical naturalism.
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  • Thick Concepts and Sociological Research.Gabriel Abend - 2019 - Sociological Theory 37 (3):209-233.
    I consider how to do sociological things with thick concepts, what’s the relation between thick concepts and social facts, what’s unique about thick concepts, and what’s unique about creatures in whose lives there are thick concepts.
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  • Coherence and Common Causes: Against Relevance-Sensitive Measures of Coherence.Jakob Koscholke & Michael Schippers - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (3):771-785.
    Changing weather conditions and barometer changes usually coincide. Accordingly, the propositions that my barometer falls and that the weather conditions deteriorate are quite coherent—especially under the assumption that there is a drop in atmospheric pressure. Nevertheless, scenarios like these involving common causes turn out to be highly problematic for a prominent class of probabilistic coherence measures, namely, those explicating coherence based on the idea of relevance-sensitivity. In this article, we show that none of these measures accords with the intuition that (...)
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  • Harming as Making Worse Off.Duncan Purves - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (10):2629-2656.
    A powerful argument against the counterfactual comparative account of harm is that it cannot distinguish harming from failing to benefit. In reply to this problem, I suggest a new account of harm. The account is a counterfactual comparative one, but it counts as harms only those events that make a person occupy his level of well-being at the world at which the event occurs. This account distinguishes harming from failing to benefit in a way that accommodates our intuitions about the (...)
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  • Causal Networks or Causal Islands? The Representation of Mechanisms and the Transitivity of Causal Judgment.Samuel G. B. Johnson & Woo-Kyoung Ahn - 2015 - Cognitive Science 39 (7):1468-1503.
    Knowledge of mechanisms is critical for causal reasoning. We contrasted two possible organizations of causal knowledge—an interconnected causal network, where events are causally connected without any boundaries delineating discrete mechanisms; or a set of disparate mechanisms—causal islands—such that events in different mechanisms are not thought to be related even when they belong to the same causal chain. To distinguish these possibilities, we tested whether people make transitive judgments about causal chains by inferring, given A causes B and B causes C, (...)
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