A Powerful Particulars View of Causation

New York: Routledge (2021)
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Abstract

This Open Access book (see link to Taylor & Francis below) critically examines the recent discussions of powers and powers-based accounts of causation. The author then develops an original view of powers-based causation that aims to be compatible with the theories and findings of natural science. Recently, there has been a dramatic revival of realist approaches to properties and causation, which focus on the relevance of Aristotelian metaphysics and the notion of powers for a scientifically informed view of causation. In this book, R.D. Ingthorsson argues that one central feature of powers-based accounts of causation is arguably incompatible with what is today recognised as fact in the sciences, notably that all interactions are thoroughly reciprocal. Ingthorsson’s powerful particulars view of powers-based causation accommodates for the reciprocity of interactions. It also draws out the consequences of that view for the issue of causal necessity and offers a way to understand the constitution and persistence of compound objects as causal phenomena. Furthermore, Ingthorsson argues that compound entities, so understood, are just as much processes as they are substances. A Powerful Particulars View of Causation will be of great interest to scholars and advanced students working in metaphysics, philosophy of science, and neo-Aristotelian philosophy, while also being accessible for a general audience.

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Rognvaldur Ingthorsson
University of Helsinki

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