British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65 (1):21-38 (2014)
AbstractWe argue in favor of merely disjunctive effects, namely cases in which an event or fact, C, is not a cause of an effect, E1, and is also not a cause of a distinct effect, E2, and yet C is a cause of the disjunctive effect (E1 orE2). Disjunctive effects let us retain the additivity and the distributivity of causation. According to additivity, if C is a cause of E1 and C is a cause of E2, then C is a cause of E1 and E2. According to distributivity, if C is a cause of E1 and E2, then C is a cause of E1 and C is a cause of E2. We draw an analogy between causation and intensional notions like believing, wanting, and owing, which also admit of merely disjunctive cases. We argue that both the Lewisian counterfactual account of causation (including its recent emendation by Sartorio) and the contrastive account of causation fail to properly account for this phenomenon.
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Citations of this work
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The Cement of the Universe: A Study of Causation.John Leslie Mackie - 1974 - Oxford, England: Oxford, Clarendon Press.
Reference and Existence: The John Locke Lectures.Saul A. Kripke - 2013 - New York: Oxford University Press.