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Causation: A User’s Guide

Oxford University Press UK (2013)

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  1. Committing Crimes with BCIs: How Brain-Computer Interface Users Can Satisfy Actus Reus and Be Criminally Responsible.Kramer Thompson - 2021 - Neuroethics 14 (S3):311-322.
    Brain-computer interfaces allow agents to control computers without moving their bodies. The agents imagine certain things and the brain-computer interfaces read the concomitant neural activity and operate the computer accordingly. But the use of brain-computer interfaces is problematic for criminal law, which requires that someone can only be found criminally responsible if they have satisfied the actus reus requirement: that the agent has performed some (suitably specified) conduct. Agents who affect the world using brain-computer interfaces do not obviously perform any (...)
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  • The Oxford Handbook of Causal Reasoning.Michael Waldmann (ed.) - 2017 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
    Causal reasoning is one of our most central cognitive competencies, enabling us to adapt to our world. Causal knowledge allows us to predict future events, or diagnose the causes of observed facts. We plan actions and solve problems using knowledge about cause-effect relations. Without our ability to discover and empirically test causal theories, we would not have made progress in various empirical sciences. In the past decades, the important role of causal knowledge has been discovered in many areas of cognitive (...)
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  • On the Argument from Physics and General Relativity.Christopher Gregory Weaver - 2020 - Erkenntnis 85 (2):333-373.
    I argue that the best interpretation of the general theory of relativity has need of a causal entity, and causal structure that is not reducible to light cone structure. I suggest that this causal interpretation of GTR helps defeat a key premise in one of the most popular arguments for causal reductionism, viz., the argument from physics.
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  • Explaining Contingent Facts.Fatema Amijee - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (4):1163-1181.
    I argue against a principle that is widely taken to govern metaphysical explanation. This is the principle that no necessary facts can, on their own, explain a contingent fact. I then show how this result makes available a response to a longstanding objection to the Principle of Sufficient Reason—the objection that the Principle of Sufficient Reason entails that the world could not have been otherwise.
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  • Physicalism Without Supervenience.Lei Zhong - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (5):1529-1544.
    It is widely accepted that supervenience is a minimal commitment of physicalism. In this article, however, I aim to argue that physicalism should be exempted from the supervenience requirement. My arguments rely on a parallel between ontological dependence and causal dependence. Since causal dependence does not require causal determination, ontological dependence should not require ontological determination either. Moreover, my approach has a significant theoretical advantage: if physicalism is not committed to supervenience, then the metaphysical possibility of zombies—which is still wide (...)
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  • A Model-Invariant Theory of Causation.J. Dmitri Gallow - 2021 - Philosophical Review 130 (1):45-96.
    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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  • In Defence of Explanatory Realism.Stefan Roski - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):14121-14141.
    Explanatory realism is the view that explanations work by providing information about relations of productive determination such as causation or grounding. The view has gained considerable popularity in the last decades, especially in the context of metaphysical debates about non-causal explanation. What makes the view particularly attractive is that it fits nicely with the idea that not all explanations are causal whilst avoiding an implausible pluralism about explanation. Another attractive feature of the view is that it allows explanation to be (...)
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  • A Deliberative Approach to Causation.Fernandes Alison Sutton - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 95 (3):686-708.
    Fundamental physics makes no clear use of causal notions; it uses laws that operate in relevant respects in both temporal directions and that relate whole systems across times. But by relating causation to evidence, we can explain how causation fits in to a physical picture of the world and explain its temporal asymmetry. This paper takes up a deliberative approach to causation, according to which causal relations correspond to the evidential relations we need when we decide on one thing in (...)
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  • Russell and the Temporal Contiguity of Causes and Effects.Graham Clay - 2018 - Erkenntnis 83 (6):1245-1264.
    There are some necessary conditions on causal relations that seem to be so trivial that they do not merit further inquiry. Many philosophers assume that the requirement that there could be no temporal gaps between causes and their effects is such a condition. Bertrand Russell disagrees. In this paper, an in-depth discussion of Russell’s argument against this necessary condition is the centerpiece of an analysis of what is at stake when one accepts or denies that there can be temporal gaps (...)
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  • Hasteners and Delayers: Why Rains Don’T Cause Fires.Caroline Torpe Touborg - 2018 - Philosophical Studies (7):1-20.
    We typically judge that hasteners are causes of what they hasten, while delayers are not causes of what they delay. These judgements, I suggest, are sensitive to an underlying metaphysical distinction. To see this, we need to pay attention to a relation that I call positive security-dependence, where an event E security-depends positively on an earlier event C just in case E could more easily have failed to occur if C had not occurred. I suggest that we judge that an (...)
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  • Causation in Memory: Necessity, Reliability and Probability.Nikola Andonovski - 2021 - Acta Scientiarum 43 (3).
    In this paper, I argue that causal theories of memory are typically committed to two independent, non-mutually entailing theses. The first thesis pertains to the necessity of appropriate causation in memory, specifying a condition token memories need to satisfy. The second pertains to the explanation of memory reliability in causal terms and it concerns memory as a type of mental state. Post-causal theories of memory can reject only the first (weak post-causalism) or both (strong post-causalism) theses. Upon this backdrop, I (...)
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  • Boltzmannian Immortality.Christian Loew - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (4):761-776.
    Plausible assumptions from Cosmology and Statistical Mechanics entail that it is overwhelmingly likely that there will be exact duplicates of us in the distant future long after our deaths. Call such persons “Boltzmann duplicates,” after the great pioneer of Statistical Mechanics. In this paper, I argue that if survival of death is possible at all, then we almost surely will survive our deaths because there almost surely will be Boltzmann duplicates of us in the distant future that stand in appropriate (...)
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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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  • Projects and Methods of Experimental Philosophy.Eugen Fischer & Justin Sytsma - forthcoming - In Alexander Max Bauer & Stephan Kornmesser (eds.), The Compact Compendium of Experimental Philosophy. Berlin: De Gruyter.
    How does experimental philosophy address philosophical questions and problems? That is: What projects does experimental philosophy pursue? What is their philosophical relevance? And what empirical methods do they employ? Answers to these questions will reveal how experimental philosophy can contribute to the longstanding ambition of placing philosophy on the ‘secure path of a science’, as Kant put it. We argue that experimental philosophy has introduced a new methodological perspective – a ‘meta-philosophical naturalism’ that addresses philosophical questions about a phenomenon by (...)
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  • Relativizing Proportionality to a Domain of Events.Caroline Torpe Touborg - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-20.
    A cause is proportional to its effect when, roughly speaking, it is at the right level of detail. There is a lively debate about whether proportionality is a necessary condition for causation. One of the main arguments against a proportionality constraint on causation is that many ordinary and seemingly perfectly acceptable causal claims cite causes that are not proportional to their effects. In this paper, I suggest that proponents of a proportionality constraint can respond to this objection by developing an (...)
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  • Avoiding Late Preemption with the Right Kind of Influence.Kenneth Silver - 2019 - Philosophia 47 (4):1297-1312.
    David Lewis championed a counterfactual account of causation, but counterfactual accounts have a notoriously difficult time handling cases of late preemption. These are cases in which we still count one event as the cause of another although the effect does not depend on the cause in the way taken to be necessary by the account. Lewis recognized these cases, but they have been shown to be problematic even for his final analysis of causation, the Influence Account. In this paper, I (...)
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  • The Asymmetry of Counterfactual Dependence.Christian Loew - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (3):436-455.
    A certain type of counterfactual is thought to be intimately related to causation, control, and explanation. The time asymmetry of these phenomena therefore plausibly arises from a time asymmetry of counterfactual dependence. But why is counterfactual dependence time asymmetric? The most influential account of the time asymmetry of counterfactual dependence is David Albert’s account, which posits a new, time-asymmetric fundamental physical law, the so-called “past hypothesis.” Albert argues that the time asymmetry of counterfactual dependence arises from holding fixed the past (...)
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  • The Fate of Causal Structure Under Time Reversal.Porter Williams - 2022 - Theoria. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science 37 (1):87-102.
    What happens to the causal structure of a world when time is reversed? At first glance it seems there are two possible answers: the causal relations are reversed, or they are not. I argue that neither of these answers is correct: we should either deny that time-reversed worlds have causal relations at all, or deny that causal concepts developed in the actual world are reliable guides to the causal structure of time-reversed worlds. The first option is motivated by the instability (...)
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  • Sparse Causation and Mere Abundant Causation.Tobias Hansson Wahlberg - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-22.
    Setting off from a familiar distinction in the philosophy of properties, this paper introduces a tripartite distinction between sparse causation, abundant causation and mere abundant causation. It is argued that the contrast between sparse and mere abundant causation allows us to resolve notorious philosophical issues having to do with negative causation, causation involving institutional properties and physical macro-causation in a way that is unified, intuitive and in line with scientific doctrines and practices.
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  • Taking Control : The Role of Manipulation in Theories of Causation.Henning Strandin - 2019 - Dissertation, Stockholm University
    Causation has always been a philosophically controversial subject matter. While David Hume’s empiricist account of causation has been the dominant influence in analytic philosophy and science during modern times, a minority view has instead connected causation essentially to agency and manipulation. A related approach has for the first time gained widespread popularity in recent years, due to new powerful theories of causal inference in science that are based in a technical notion of intervention, and James Woodward’s closely connected interventionist theory (...)
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  • A Study in Metaphysics for Free Will: Using Models of Causality, Determinism and Supervenience in the Search for Free Will.David Robson - unknown
    We have two main aims: to construct mathematical models for analysing determinism, causality and supervenience; and then to use these to demonstrate the possibility of constructing an ontic construal of the operation of free will - one requiring both the presentation of genuine alternatives to an agent and their selecting between them in a manner that permits the attribution of responsibility. Determinism is modelled using trans-temporal ontic links between discrete juxtaposed universe states and shown to be distinct from predictability. Causality (...)
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  • Cause and Burn.David Rose, Eric Sievers & Shaun Nichols - 2021 - Cognition 207 (104517):104517.
    Many philosophers maintain that causation is to be explicated in terms of a kind of dependence between cause and effect. These “dependence” theories are opposed by “production” accounts which hold that there is some more fundamental causal “oomph”. A wide range of experimental research on everyday causal judgments seems to indicate that ordinary people operate primarily with a dependence-based notion of causation. For example, people tend to say that absences and double preventers are causes. We argue that the impression that (...)
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  • Following the FAD: Folk Attributions and Theories of Actual Causation.Jonathan Livengood, Justin Sytsma & David Rose - 2017 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 8 (2):273-294.
    In the last decade, several researchers have proposed theories of actual causation that make use of structural equations and directed graphs. Many of these researchers are committed to a widely-endorsed folk attribution desideratum, according to which an important constraint on the acceptability of a theory of actual causation is agreement between the deliverances of the theory with respect to specific cases and the reports of untutored individuals about those same cases. In the present article, we consider a small collection of (...)
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  • Preemptive Omissions.Joseph Metz - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-22.
    Philosophers have already recognized the importance of causal preemption involving “positive” events. First, preemption with positive events raises problems for counterfactual theories of causation. Second, theories of moral and legal responsibility rely heavily on the concept of causation, so accurately assessing responsibility in preemption cases requires correctly assessing their causal structure. However, philosophers have not discussed preemption involving “negative” events or omissions. This paper argues that cases of preemptive omissions exist and have important implications for theories of causation and for (...)
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  • Folk Intuitions of Actual Causation: A Two-Pronged Debunking Explanation.David Rose - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (5):1323-1361.
    How do we determine whether some candidate causal factor is an actual cause of some particular outcome? Many philosophers have wanted a view of actual causation which fits with folk intuitions of actual causation and those who wish to depart from folk intuitions of actual causation are often charged with the task of providing a plausible account of just how and where the folk have gone wrong. In this paper, I provide a range of empirical evidence aimed at showing just (...)
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  • Following the FAD: Folk Attributions and Theories of Actual Causation.Jonathan Livengood, Justin Sytsma & David Rose - 2016
    Using structural equations and directed graphs, Christopher Hitchcock (2007a) proposes a theory specifying the circumstances in which counterfactual dependence of one event e on another event c is necessary and sufficient for c to count as an actual cause of e. In this paper, we argue that Hitchcock is committed to a widely-endorsed folk attribution desideratum (FAD) for theories of actual causation. We then show experimentally that Hitchcock’s theory does not satisfy the FAD, and hence, it is in need of (...)
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  • Philosophical Thought Experiments as Heuristics for Theory Discovery.Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen & Sara Kier Praëm - 2015 - Synthese 192 (9):2827-2842.
    The growing literature on philosophical thought experiments has so far focused almost exclusively on the role of thought experiments in confirming or refuting philosophical hypotheses or theories. In this paper we draw attention to an additional and largely ignored role that thought experiments frequently play in our philosophical practice: some thought experiments do not merely serve as means for testing various philosophical hypotheses or theories, but also serve as facilitators for conceiving and articulating new ones. As we will put it, (...)
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  • Why Your Causal Intuitions Are Corrupt: Intermediate and Enabling Variables.Christopher Clarke - forthcoming - Erkenntnis.
    When evaluating theories of causation, intuitions should not play a decisive role, not even intuitions in flawlessly-designed thought experiments. Indeed, no coherent theory of causation can respect the typical person’s intuitions in redundancy (pre-emption) thought experiments, without disrespecting their intuitions in threat-and-saviour (switching / short-circuit) thought experiments. I provide a deductively sound argument for these claims. Amazingly, this argument assumes absolutely nothing about the nature of causation. I also provide a second argument, whose conclusion is even stronger: the typical person’s (...)
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  • A Simple Argument for Downward Causation.Thomas Kroedel - 2015 - Synthese 192 (3):841-858.
    Instances of many supervenient properties have physical effects. In particular, instances of mental properties have physical effects if non-reductive physicalism is true. This follows by a straightforward argument that assumes a counterfactual criterion for causation. The paper presents that argument and discusses several issues that arise from it. In particular, the paper addresses the worry that the argument shows too many supervenient property-instances to have physical effects. The argument is also compared to a similar argument that has been suggested by (...)
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  • Backward Causation: Harder Than It Looks.Athamos Stradis - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science:1-30.
    According to Albert, there are certain situations where we can cause past events. In response to a well-known objection that we never observe backward causation, he argues that there are good reasons why we can’t tell when it obtains. However, I identify a new difficulty with Albert’s view: at face value, it has the unattractive consequence that backward causation is not just possible but downright rife. In this paper I show how this implication can be blocked. I then use my (...)
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  • Grounding in the Image of Causation.Jonathan Schaffer - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (1):49-100.
    Grounding is often glossed as metaphysical causation, yet no current theory of grounding looks remotely like a plausible treatment of causation. I propose to take the analogy between grounding and causation seriously, by providing an account of grounding in the image of causation, on the template of structural equation models for causation.
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  • Causes and Categories.Nathanael Stein - 2016 - Noûs 50 (3):465-489.
    Philosophers discussing causation take on, as one of their responsibilities, the task of specifying an ontology of causation. Both standard and non-standard accounts of that ontology make two assumptions: that the ontological category of causal relata admits a unique specification, and that cause and effect are of the same ontological type. These assumptions are rarely made explicit, but there is in fact little reason to think them true. It is argued here that, if the question has any interest, there are (...)
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  • Transformative Treatments.L. A. Paul & Kieran Healy - 2017 - Noûs:320-335.
    Contemporary social-scientific research seeks to identify specific causal mechanisms for outcomes of theoretical interest. Experiments that randomize populations to treatment and control conditions are the “gold standard” for causal inference. We identify, describe, and analyze the problem posed by transformative treatments. Such treatments radically change treated individuals in a way that creates a mismatch in populations, but this mismatch is not empirically detectable at the level of counterfactual dependence. In such cases, the identification of causal pathways is underdetermined in a (...)
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  • Are we free to make the laws?Christian Loew & Andreas Hüttemann - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-16.
    Humeans about laws maintain that laws of nature are nothing over and above the complete distribution of non-modal, categorical properties in spacetime. ‘Humean compatibilists’ argue that if Humeanism about laws is true, then agents in a deterministic world can do otherwise than they are lawfully determined to do because of the distinctive nature of Humean laws. More specifically, they reject a central premise of the Consequence argument by maintaining that deterministic laws of nature are ‘up to us’. In this paper, (...)
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  • Why do the Laws Support Counterfactuals?Chris Dorst - 2022 - Erkenntnis 87 (2):545-566.
    This paper aims to explain why the laws of nature are held fixed in counterfactual reasoning. I begin by highlighting three salient features of counterfactual reasoning: it is conservative, nomically guided, and it uses hindsight. I then present a rationale for our engagement in counterfactual reasoning that aims to make sense of these features. In particular, I argue that counterfactual reasoning helps us evaluate the evidential relations between unanticipated pieces of evidence and various hypotheses of interest about the history of (...)
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  • Actual Causation and Compositionality.Jonathan Livengood & Justin Sytsma - 2020 - Philosophy of Science 87 (1):43-69.
    Many theories of actual causation implicitly endorse the claim that if c is an actual cause of e, then either c causes e directly or every intermediary by which c indirectly causes e is itself both an actual cause of e and also an actual effect of c. We think this compositionality constraint is plausible. However, as we show, it is not always satisfied by the causal attributions ordinary people make. We conclude by considering what philosophers working on causation should (...)
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  • Explanatory Conditionals.Holger Andreas - 2019 - Philosophy of Science 86 (5):993–1004.
    The present paper aims to complement causal model approaches to causal explanation by Woodward [15], Halpern and Pearl [5], and Strevens [14]. It centres on a strengthened Ramsey Test of conditionals: α ≫ γ iff, after sus- pending judgment about α and γ, an agent can infer γ from the supposition of α. It has been shown by Andreas and Gu ̈nther [1] that such a conditional can be used as starting point of an analysis of ‘because’ in natural language. (...)
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  • You Make Your Own Luck.Rachel McKinnon - 2014 - Metaphilosophy 45 (4-5):558-577.
    This essay takes up two questions. First, what does it mean to say that someone creates her own luck? At least colloquially speaking, luck is conceived as something out of an agent's control. So how could an agent increase or decrease the likelihood that she'll be lucky? Building on some recent work on the metaphysics of luck, the essay argues that there is a sense in which agents can create their own luck because people with more skill tend to have (...)
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  • Causes As Difference‐Makers For Processes.Christian Loew - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 98 (1):89-106.
    It is natural to think of causes as difference-makers. What exact difference causes make, however, is an open question. In this paper, I argue that the right way of understanding difference-making is in terms of causal processes: causes make a difference to a causal process that leads to the effect. I will show that this way of understanding difference-making nicely captures the distinction between causing an outcome and helping determine how the outcome happens and, thus, explains why causation is not (...)
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  • Strokes of Luck.E. J. Coffman - 2014 - Metaphilosophy 45 (4-5):477-508.
    This essay aims to reorient current theorizing about luck as an aid to our discerning this concept's true philosophical significance. After introducing the literature's leading theories of luck, it presents and defends counterexamples to each of them. It then argues that recent luck theorists’ main target of analysis—the concept of an event's being lucky for a subject—is parasitic on the more fundamental notion of an event's being a stroke of luck for a subject, which thesis serves as at least a (...)
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  • Offsetting Harm.Michael Deigan - forthcoming - In Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics, Volume 12.
    It is typically wrong to act in a way that foreseeably makes some impending harm worse. Sometimes it is permissible to do so, however, if one also offsets the harm increasing action by doing something that decreases the badness of the same harm by at least as much. This chapter argues that the standard deontological constraint against doing harm is not compatible with the permissibility of harm increases that have been offset. Offsetting neither prevents one's other actions from doing harm (...)
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  • How to Trace a Causal Process.J. Dmitri Gallow - manuscript
    According to the theory developed here, we may trace out the processes emanating from a cause in such a way that any consequence lying along one of these processes counts as an effect of the cause. This theory gives intuitive verdicts in a diverse range of problem cases from the literature. Its claims about causation will never be retracted when we include additional variables in our model. And it validates some plausible principles about causation, including Sartorio's 'Causes as Difference Makers' (...)
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  • The Development of Counterfactual Reasoning About Doubly-Determined Events.Teresa McCormack, Maggie Ho, Charlene Gribben, Eimear O'Connor & Christoph Hoerl - 2018 - Cognitive Development 45:1-9.
    Previous studies of children’s counterfactual reasoning have focused on scenarios in which a single causal event yielded an outcome. However, there are also cases in which an outcome would have occurred even in the absence of its actual cause, because of the presence of a further potential cause. In this study, 152 children aged 4-9 years reasoned counterfactually about such scenarios, in which there were ‘doubly-determined’ outcomes. The task involved dropping two metal discs down separate runways, each of which was (...)
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  • Should Reductive Physicalists Reject the Causal Argument?Bradford Saad - 2017 - Dialectica 71 (2):263-279.
    Reductive physicalists typically accept the causal argument for their view. On this score, Tiehen parts ways with his fellow reductive physicalists. Heretically, he argues that reductive physicalists should reject the causal argument. After presenting Tiehen's challenge, I defend the orthodoxy. Although not myself a reductive physicalist, I show how reductive physicalists can resist this challenge to the causal argument. I conclude with a positive suggestion about how reductive physicalists should use the causal argument.
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  • A Puzzle About Laws and Explanation.Siegfried Jaag - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):6085-6102.
    In this paper, we argue that the popular claim that laws of nature explain their instances creates a philosophical puzzle when it is combined with the widely held requirement that explanations need to be underpinned by ‘wordly’ relations. We argue that a “direct solution” to the puzzle that accounts for both explanatory laws and explanatory realism requires endorsing at least a radical metaphysics. Then, we examine the ramifications of a “skeptical solution”, i.e., dissolving it by giving up at least one (...)
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  • How (Not) to Judge a Theory of Causation.Victor Gijsbers - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):3117-3135.
    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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  • An ability-based theory of responsibility for collective omissions.Joseph Metz - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 178 (8):2665-2685.
    Many important harms result in large part from our collective omissions, such as harms from our omissions to stop climate change and famines. Accounting for responsibility for collective omissions turns out to be particularly challenging. It is hard to see how an individual contributes anything to a collective omission to prevent harm if she couldn’t have made a difference to that harm on her own. Some groups are able to prevent such harms, but it is highly contentious whether groups can (...)
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  • Causation Vs. Causal Explanation: Which Is More Fundamental?Marco J. Nathan - forthcoming - Foundations of Science:1-14.
    This essay examines the relation between causation and causal explanation. It distinguishes two prominent roles that causes play within the sciences. On the one hand, causes may work as metaphysical posits. From this standpoint, mainstream in contemporary philosophy, causation provides the ‘raw material’ for explanation. On the other hand, causes may be conceived as explanatory postulates, theoretical hypotheses lacking any substantial ontological commitment. This unduly neglected distinction provides the conceptual resources to revisit longstanding philosophical issues, such as overdetermination and causal (...)
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  • A Causal Argument for Dualism.Bradford Saad - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (10):2475-2506.
    Dualism holds that some mental events are fundamental and non-physical. I develop a prima facie plausible causal argument for dualism. The argument has several significant implications. First, it constitutes a new way of arguing for dualism. Second, it provides dualists with a parity response to causal arguments for physicalism. Third, it transforms the dialectical role of epiphenomenalism. Fourth, it refutes the view that causal considerations prima facie support physicalism but not dualism. After developing the causal argument for dualism and drawing (...)
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  • Metaphysics as Modeling: The Handmaiden’s Tale.L. A. Paul - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 160 (1):1-29.
    Critics of contemporary metaphysics argue that it attempts to do the hard work of science from the ease of the armchair. Physics, not metaphysics, tells us about the fundamental facts of the world, and empirical psychology is best placed to reveal the content of our concepts about the world. Exploring and understanding the world through metaphysical reflection is obsolete. In this paper, I will show why this critique of metaphysics fails, arguing that metaphysical methods used to make claims about the (...)
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