The role of contrast in causal and explanatory claims

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

Authors
Christopher Hitchcock
California Institute of Technology
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.
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DOI 10.1007/BF00413843
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References found in this work BETA

Inference to the Best Explanation.Peter Lipton - 1993 - Routledge/Taylor and Francis Group.
Philosophical Papers Vol. II.David K. Lewis - 1986 - Oxford University Press.
The Direction of Time.Hans Reichenbach - 1956 - Dover Publications.
The Nature of Explanation.Peter Achinstein - 1983 - Oxford University Press.

View all 16 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

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.
Causes and Explanations: A Structural-Model Approach. Part I: Causes.Joseph Y. Halpern & Judea Pearl - 2005 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 56 (4):843-887.

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