Jaegwon Kim
Brown University
This paper offers a critique of the view that causation can be analyzed in terms of explanation. In particular, the following points are argued: a genuine explanatory analysis of causation must make use of a fully epistemological-psychological notion of explanation; it is unlikely that the relatively clear-cut structure of the causal relation can be captured by the relatively unstructured relation of explanation; the explanatory relation does not always parallel the direction of causation; certain difficulties arise for any attempt to construct a nonrelativistic relation of causation from the essentially relativistic relation of explanation; and to analyze causation as explanation is to embrace a form of “causal idealism”, the view that causal connections are not among the objective features of the world. The paper closes with a brief discussion of the contrast between the two fundamentally opposed viewpoints about causality, namely causal idealism and causal realism.
Keywords Causation
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DOI 10.1007/bf00126965
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The Quest for Optimality: A Positive Heuristic of Science?Paul J. H. Schoemaker - 1991 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 14 (2):205-215.
General Causation.David Sapire - 1991 - Synthese 86 (3):321 - 347.
The Strategy of Optimality Revisited.Paul J. H. Schoemaker - 1991 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 14 (2):237-245.
Natural Selection Doesn't Have Goals, but It's the Reason Organisms Do.Martin Daly - 1991 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 14 (2):219-220.
Optimality and Human Memory.John R. Anderson - 1991 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 14 (2):215-216.

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