Philosophical Studies 177 (11):3373-3390 (2020)

Authors
Sam Baron
Australian Catholic University
Jonathan Tallant
Nottingham University
Kristie Miller
University of Sydney
Abstract
What distinguishes causation from grounding? One suggestion is that causation, but not grounding, occurs over time. Recently, however, counterexamples to this simple temporal criterion have been offered. In this paper, we situate the temporal criterion within a broader framework that focuses on two aspects: locational overlapping in space and time and the presence of intermediaries in space and time. We consider, and reject, the idea that the difference between grounding and causation is that grounding can occur without intermediaries. We go on to use the fact that grounding and causation both involve intermediaries to develop a better temporal criterion for distinguishing causation from grounding. The criterion is this: when a cause and effect are spatially disjoint, there is always a chain of causal intermediaries between the cause and the effect that are extended in time. By contrast, when the grounds and the grounded are spatially disjoint, there is always a chain of grounding intermediaries, but the chain need not be extended in time, it can be purely spatial. The difference between grounding and causation, then, is that causation requires time for chaining in a way that grounding does not.
Keywords grounding  diachronic dependence  causation
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-019-01374-1
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References found in this work BETA

Modal Logic as Metaphysics.Timothy Williamson - 2013 - Oxford University Press.
No Work for a Theory of Grounding.Jessica M. Wilson - 2014 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 57 (5-6):535-579.
Making Things Up.Karen Bennett - 2017 - Oxford University Press.
On What Grounds What.Jonathan Schaffer - 2009 - In David Manley, David J. Chalmers & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press. pp. 347-383.
Grounding in the Image of Causation.Jonathan Schaffer - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (1):49-100.

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