Kausalität zwischen Physik und deskriptiver Metaphysik

Allgemeine Zeitschrift für Philosophie 29 (3):287-294 (2004)
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The short paper continues a debate on free will, causation and laws of nature between the author and the German philosopher Peter Rohs (opened in a previous issue of the same journal). Both Keil and Rohs are libertarians, but they disagree on a number of metaphysical issues. Keil maintains that causation is a relation between changes, i.e. time-consuming events, not between instantaneous states. Against Davidson’s “principle of the nomological character of causality”, Keil holds that no exceptionless laws subsuming cause-effect pairs exist. He further claims that the primary task of a philosophical theory of causality is to give truth conditions for uncontroversial instances of singular causal statements. This is an exercise in descriptive metaphysics. Causality’s place in advanced physics, by contrast, remains precarious. The paper closes with the incompatibilist claim that deterministic causality, unlike real-world causality, cannot be reconciled with free will.

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Geert Keil
Humboldt University, Berlin

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