Causation and contrast classes

Philosophical Studies 139 (1):111 - 123 (2008)
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I argue that causation is a contrastive relation: c-rather-than-C* causes e-rather-than-E*, where C* and E* are contrast classes associated respectively with actual events c and e. I explain why this is an improvement on the traditional binary view, and develop a detailed definition. It turns out that causation is only well defined in ‘uniform’ cases, where either all or none of the members of C* are related appropriately to members of E*.



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Robert Northcott
Birkbeck, University of London

Citations of this work

Grounding in the image of causation.Jonathan Schaffer - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (1):49-100.
The metaphysics of causation.Jonathan N. D. Schaffer - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Counterfactual theories of causation.Peter Menzies - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Proportionality, contrast and explanation.Brad Weslake - 2013 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (4):785-797.

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References found in this work

Causality: Models, Reasoning and Inference.Judea Pearl - 2000 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
The Scientific Image.William Demopoulos & Bas C. van Fraassen - 1982 - Philosophical Review 91 (4):603.
Causation.David Lewis - 1973 - Journal of Philosophy 70 (17):556-567.
Causality.Judea Pearl - 2000 - New York: Cambridge University Press.

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