The next best thing: Causation and regularity


Authors
Stathis Psillos
University of Athens
Abstract
In this paper I articulate RVC with an eye to two things: first, its conceptual development; second, its basic commitments and implications for what causation is. I have chosen to present RVC in a way that respects its historical origins and unravels the steps of its articulation in the face of objections and criticism. It is important for the explication and defence of RVC to see it as a view of causation that emerged in a certain intellectual milieu. RVC has been developed as an attempt to remove efficiency from causation and hence, to view causation not as a productive relation but as a relation of dependence among discrete events. In particular, the thought that causation is regularity is meant to oppose metaphysical views of causation that posit powers or other kinds of entity that are supposed to enforce the regularities that there are in the world or to explain the alleged necessity that there is in causation.
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