Authors
Gloria Frost
University of St. Thomas, Minnesota
Abstract
It is commonplace in mainstream analytic philosophy to conceive of causation as a relation between events. On this picture, both causes and effects belong to the same ontological category—event—and in order to have an instance of causation you need at least two of them. ‘Dropping’ causes ‘breaking,’ ‘cutting’ causes ‘splitting,’ and ‘raising my arm’ causes it ‘to be raised.’ It is well-known that philosophers from the ancient through the early modern period conceived of the relata of causation quite differently. On their accounts causes are substances—not events. The ball which strikes causes the nine ball to sink, the child who drops causes the vase to break, and the person who raises her arm causes it to go up.
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DOI 10.3998/ergo.12405314.0006.043
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