Philosophy Compass 13 (7):e12498 (2018)

Alex Kaiserman
Oxford University
It is often natural to compare two events by describing one as ‘more of a cause’ of some effect than the other. But what do such comparisons amount to, exactly? This paper aims to provide a guided tour of the recent literature on ‘degrees of causation’. Section 2 looks at what I call ‘dependence measures’, which arise from thinking of causes as difference-makers. Section 3 looks at what I call ‘production measures’, which arise from thinking of causes as jointly sufficient for their effects. Finally, section 4 examines the important question of whether there is any sense in which an agent is more responsible for an outcome in virtue of her action being more of a cause of it. I describe a puzzle that emerges from this question, and explore various strategies for resolving it.
Keywords Causation   Responsibility
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DOI 10.1111/phc3.12498
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References found in this work BETA

Causation.David Lewis - 1973 - Journal of Philosophy 70 (17):556-567.
Making Things Happen. A Theory of Causal Explanation.Michael Strevens - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (1):233-249.
Two Concepts of Causation.Ned Hall - 2004 - In John Collins, Ned Hall & Laurie Paul (eds.), Causation and Counterfactuals. MIT Press. pp. 225-276.
Causes and Conditions.J. L. Mackie - 1965 - American Philosophical Quarterly 2 (4):245 - 264.
Contrastive Causation.Jonathan Schaffer - 2005 - Philosophical Review 114 (3):327-358.

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Citations of this work BETA

Self-Defense.Helen Frowe & Jonathan Parry - 2021 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 2021.
Reasons‐Sensitivity and Degrees of Free Will.Alex Kaiserman - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
General Solution to All Philosophical Problems With Some Exceptions.Wayde Beasley - forthcoming - north of parallel 40: Numerous uncommitted.

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