The Ontology of Causal Process Theories

Philosophia 40 (3):523-538 (2012)
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
Keywords Dowe  Salmon  Process theories of causation  Ontological commitments
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DOI 10.1007/s11406-011-9329-2
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References found in this work BETA
Physical Causation.Phil Dowe - 2000 - Cambridge University Press.
Causality and Explanation: A Reply to Two Critiques.Wesley C. Salmon - 1997 - Philosophy of Science 64 (3):461-477.
Causality Without Counterfactuals.Wesley C. Salmon - 1994 - Philosophy of Science 61 (2):297-312.

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