Causation, Constitution, and Existence

In Amrei Bahr & Markus Seidel (eds.), Ernest Sosa. Targeting His Philosophy. Springer International (2016)


Contemporary debates about mechanisms in the philosophy of science raise the question about the relation between constitutive and causal relations. These discussions so far have not received Ernest Sosa’s “Varieties of Causation‘, which addresses similar questions from a metaphysical point of view. The present paper reconstructs and evaluates Sosa’s arguments from the perspective of the contemporary debates. We argue that while Sosa’s arguments are probably not suited to advance the current debate, his claim that there are different varieties of causation might be an interesting idea to consider for those who assume that there are interlevel causal relations.

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Paul M. Näger
University of Münster
Gordon Leonhard
University of Münster

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