The Ontology of Causal Process Theories

Philosophia 40 (3):523-538 (2012)
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Abstract

There is a widespread belief that the so-called process theories of causation developed by Wesley Salmon and Phil Dowe have given us an original account of what causation really is. In this paper, I show that this is a misconception. The notion of “causal process” does not offer us a new ontological account of causation. I make this argument by explicating the implicit ontological commitments in Salmon and Dowe’s theories. From this, it is clear that Salmon’s Mark Transmission Theory collapses to a counterfactual theory of causation, while the Conserved Quantity Theory collapses to David Fair’s phsyicalist reduction of causation

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Anton Froeyman
University of Ghent

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References found in this work

Human Knowledge: Its Scope and Limits.Bertrand Russell - 1948 - London and New York: Routledge.
Physical Causation.Phil Dowe - 2000 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Explanatory unification and the causal structure of the world.Philip Kitcher - 1962 - In Philip Kitcher & Wesley C. Salmon (eds.), Scientific Explanation. Univ of Minnesota Pr. pp. 410-505.

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