The role of contrast in causal and explanatory claims

Synthese 107 (3):395 - 419 (1996)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Following Dretske (1977), there has been a considerable body of literature on the role of contrastive stress in causal claims. Following van Fraassen (1980), there has been a considerable body of literature on the role of contrastive stress in explanations and explanation-requesting why-questions. Amazingly, the two bodies of literature have remained almost entirely disjoint. With an understanding of the contrastive nature of ordinary causal claims, and of the linguistic roles of contrastive stress, it is possible to provide a unified account of both phenomena. I provide such an account from within the framework of a probabilistic theory of causation. Relations of screening-off, long familiar to researchers in probabilistic causality, play a central role in this account.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,283

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Against the Contrastive Account of Singular Causation.Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen - 2012 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 63 (1):115-143.
Deflationism and the success argument.By Nic Damnjanovic - 2005 - Philosophical Quarterly 55 (218):53–67.
Probabilistic causation and the explanatory role of natural selection.Pablo Razeto-Barry & Ramiro Frick - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 42 (3):344-355.
Mackie Remixed.Michael Strevens - 2007 - In J. K. Campbell, M. O'Rourke & H. S. Silverstein (eds.), Causation and Explanation. MIT Press. pp. 4--93.
A criterion of probabilistic causation.Charles R. Twardy & Kevin B. Korb - 2004 - Philosophy of Science 71 (3):241-262.
Contrastive explanation and causal triangulation.Peter Lipton - 1991 - Philosophy of Science 58 (4):687-697.

Analytics

Added to PP
2009-01-28

Downloads
207 (#97,985)

6 months
26 (#113,715)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Christopher Hitchcock
California Institute of Technology

Citations of this work

Grounding in the image of causation.Jonathan Schaffer - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (1):49-100.
Contrastive causation.Jonathan Schaffer - 2005 - Philosophical Review 114 (3):327-358.
A Model-Invariant Theory of Causation.J. Dmitri Gallow - 2021 - Philosophical Review 130 (1):45-96.

View all 100 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

Inference to the Best Explanation.Peter Lipton - 1991 - London and New York: Routledge/Taylor and Francis Group.
The direction of time.Hans Reichenbach - 1956 - Mineola, N.Y.: Dover Publications. Edited by Maria Reichenbach.
The Scientific Image.William Demopoulos & Bas C. van Fraassen - 1982 - Philosophical Review 91 (4):603.
Philosophical Papers Vol. II.David K. Lewis (ed.) - 1986 - Oxford University Press.
The nature of explanation.Peter Achinstein - 1983 - New York: Oxford University Press.

View all 22 references / Add more references