Causality and determinism: Tension, or outright conflict?

Revista de Filosofía (Madrid) 29 (2):99-115 (2004)
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Abstract

In the philosophical tradition, the notions of determinism and causality are strongly linked: it is assumed that in a world of deterministic laws, causality may be said to reign supreme; and in any world where the causality is strong enough, determinism must hold. I will show that these alleged linkages are based on mistakes, and in fact get things almost completely wrong. In a deterministic world that is anything like ours, there is no room for genuine causation. Though there may be stable enough macro-level regularities to serve the purposes of human agents, the sense of “causality” that can be maintained is one that will at best satisfy Humeans and pragmatists, not causal fundamentalists.

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Carl Hoefer
Universitat de Barcelona

References found in this work

How the laws of physics lie.Nancy Cartwright - 1983 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Nature's capacities and their measurement.Nancy Cartwright - 1989 - New York: Oxford University Press.
The cement of the universe.John Leslie Mackie - 1974 - Oxford,: Clarendon Press.
Humean Supervenience Debugged.David Lewis - 1994 - Mind 103 (412):473--490.

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