Wolfgang Pietsch
Technische Universität München
A difference-making account of causality is proposed that is based on a counterfactual definition, but differs from traditional counterfactual approaches to causation in a number of crucial respects: it introduces a notion of causal irrelevance; it evaluates the truth-value of counterfactual statements in terms of difference-making; it renders causal statements background-dependent. On the basis of the fundamental notions 'causal relevance' and 'causal irrelevance', further causal concepts are defined including causal factors, alternative causes, and importantly inus-conditions. Problems and advantages of the proposed account are discussed. Finally, it is shown how the account can shed new light on three classic problems in epistemology, the problem of induction, the logic of analogy, and the framing of eliminative induction.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 65,587
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

A Treatise of Human Nature.David Hume & A. D. Lindsay - 1958 - Philosophical Quarterly 8 (33):379-380.
A Treatise on Probability.John Maynard Keynes - 1921 - London, England: Dover Publications.
Causation.David Lewis - 1973 - Journal of Philosophy 70 (17):556-567.
Causality.Judea Pearl - 2000 - Cambridge University Press.

View all 45 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

A Causal Approach to Analogy.Wolfgang Pietsch - 2019 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 50 (4):489-520.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Physical Causation and Difference-Making.Alyssa Ney - 2009 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (4):737-764.
The Causal Nature of Modeling with Big Data.Wolfgang Pietsch - 2016 - Philosophy and Technology 29 (2):137-171.
Difference-Making, Closure and Exclusion.Brad Weslake - forthcoming - In Helen Beebee, Christopher Hitchcock & Huw Price (eds.), Making a Difference. Oxford University Press.
The Causal Autonomy of the Special Sciences.Peter Menzies & Christian List - 2010 - In Cynthia Mcdonald & Graham Mcdonald (eds.), Emergence in Mind. Oxford University Press. pp. 108-129.
Embedded Conditionals as the Essence of Causality?Danilo Šuster - 2002 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 2 (2):197-211.


Added to PP index

Total views
44 ( #247,757 of 2,461,964 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #298,909 of 2,461,964 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes