Disjunctive Effects and the Logic of Causation

British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65 (1):21-38 (2014)
  Copy   BIBTEX


We 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.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 76,503

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Disjunctive Predicates.David H. Sanford - 1993 - American Philosophical Quarterly 30 (2):167-1722.
Against the Contrastive Account of Singular Causation.Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen - 2012 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 63 (1):115-143.
Indeterminism, counterfactuals, and causation.Richard Otte - 1987 - Philosophy of Science 54 (1):45-62.
Causal reasoning and backtracking.James M. Joyce - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 147 (1):139 - 154.
Disjunctive theories of perception and action.David-Hillel Ruben - 2008 - In Adrian Haddock & Fiona Macpherson (eds.), Disjunctivism: Perception, Action, Knowledge. Oxford University Press. pp. 227--243.
Causation in a new old key.Uwe Meixner - 2004 - Studia Logica 76 (3):343 - 383.
Difference-making in context.Peter Menzies - 2004 - In J. Collins, N. Hall & L. Paul (eds.), Causation and Counterfactuals. MIT Press.
A Partial Theory of Actual Causation.Brad Weslake - 2015 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
The disjunctive conception of perceiving.Adrian Haddock - 2011 - Philosophical Explorations 14 (1):23-42.


Added to PP

120 (#106,107)

6 months
3 (#228,256)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Roberta Ballarin
University of British Columbia

Citations of this work

Causal and Moral Indeterminacy.Sara Bernstein - 2016 - Ratio 29 (4):434-447.
Indeterminacy in Causation.Eric Swanson - 2017 - Philosophical Quarterly 67 (268):606–624.
Inderterminacy in Causation.Eric Swanson - 2017 - Philosophical Quarterly 67 (268):606-624.
Indeterminacy in Causation.Eric Swanson - 2016 - Philosophical Quarterly:pqw068.

Add more citations

References found in this work

On Denoting.Bertrand Russell - 1905 - Mind 14 (56):479-493.
Counterfactuals.David Lewis - 1973 - Foundations of Language 13 (1):145-151.
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.
Counterfactuals.David Lewis - 1973 - Philosophy of Science 42 (3):341-344.

View all 24 references / Add more references