Causation Without Influence

Erkenntnis 76 (1):1-22 (2012)
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Abstract

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 troublesome type of preemption. The conclusion of the article is that Lewis’s influence method of solving the preemption problem fails, and that we need a new and fresh approach to the cases of redundant causation if we want to hold on to the counterfactual analysis of causation

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Tomasz Bigaj
University of Warsaw

References found in this work

Causation.David Lewis - 1973 - Journal of Philosophy 70 (17):556-567.
Causation as influence.David K. Lewis - 2000 - Journal of Philosophy 97 (4):182-197.
Physical Causation.Phil Dowe - 2000 - Cambridge University Press.
Causes and Conditions.J. L. Mackie - 1965 - American Philosophical Quarterly 2 (4):245 - 264.
Causation.D. Lewis - 1973 - In Philosophical Papers Ii. Oxford University Press. pp. 159-213.

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