Review of Max Kistler, Causalité et lois de la nature Paris: Vrin 1999, 311 pages, FRF 198 [Book Review]

Abstract
Max Kistler’s first book, based on his Paris Ph.D. thesis, is an elaborate defence of a transference theory of causation. Such a theory conceives of causality as the transfer of a conserved quantity. A transference theory of causation is thus one form that a regularity account of causation, as opposed to a counterfactual account, might take. Kistler’s original contribution consists (a) in the way in which he develops an account of causation based on transference and (b) in relating a theory of causation to a specific view of natural laws. Kistler first considers what a relation of causation is and thereby contrasts the transference theory with other explanations (Ch. 1). He then develops a view of natural laws (Ch. 2) and combines this view with his transference theory of causation (Chs. 3 & 4). The second part of the book focuses on causally efficacious properties. Kistler employs the notion of properties that are responsable for a relation of causation. The function of such properties in laws of causation is examined (Chs. 5 & 6). The last chapter discusses examples that are to show how this theory of causation works (Ch. 7). Kistler argues for a realistic view: there is causation in the world independently of whether and how people conceptualize causal relations. The relata of a causal relation are events. An event is the content of a continuous space–time region (which may be as small as being pointlike) (18, 64–68). Events are in space–time what objects are in space (196): An object has spatial parts, whereas an event has spatio–temporal parts. To give an example, a volcano has spatial parts such as a top, whereas an eruption of a volcano can be gentle and limited to its northern side first and then become violent and extending to all sides. There is a relation of causation between two events if and only if at least one conserved quantity is transferred between them (39–40, 100). That is to say: an event x has a certain value of a physical quantity, and that individual value is transferred to another event y..
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Translate to english
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 29,472
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Reducing Causality to Transmission.Max Kistler - 1998 - Erkenntnis 48 (1):1-25.
Causation as Transference and Responsibility.Max Kistler - 2001 - In Wolfgang Spohn, Marion Ledwig & Michael Esfeld (eds.), Current Issues in Causation. Mentis. pp. 115-133.
Causation as Property Acquisition.S. D. Rieber - 2002 - Philosophical Studies 109 (1):53 - 74.
Against the Contrastive Account of Singular Causation.Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen - 2012 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 63 (1):115-143.
Mechanisms and Downward Causation.Max Kistler - 2009 - Philosophical Psychology 22 (5):595-609.
Added to PP index
2010-12-22

Total downloads
38 ( #144,768 of 2,210,896 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
9 ( #34,701 of 2,210,896 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature