A counterfactual analysis of causation

Mind 106 (422):263-277 (1997)
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Abstract

On David Lewis's original analysis of causation, c causes e only if c is linked to e by a chain of distinct events such that each event in the chain (counter-factually) depends on the former one. But this requirement precludes the possibility of late pre-emptive causation, of causation by fragile events, and of indeterministic causation. Lewis proposes three different strategies for accommodating these three kinds of cases, but none of these turn out to be satisfactory. I offer a single analysis of causation that resolves these problems in one go but which respects Lewis's initial insights. One distinctive feature of my account is that it accommodates indeterministic causation without resorting to probabilities.

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Murali Ramachandran
University of Witwatersrand

Citations of this work

Cause and Norm.Christopher Hitchcock & Joshua Knobe - 2009 - Journal of Philosophy 106 (11):587-612.
A Regularity Theory of Causation.Holger Andreas & Mario Günther - 2024 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 105 (1):2-32.
The metaphysics of causation.Jonathan N. D. Schaffer - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Overdetermining causes.Jonathan Schaffer - 2003 - Philosophical Studies 114 (1-2):23 - 45.

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References found in this work

Counterfactuals.David Lewis - 1973 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 36 (3):602-605.
Counterfactuals.David Lewis - 1973 - Philosophy of Science 42 (3):341-344.
Causation.D. Lewis - 1973 - In Philosophical Papers Ii. Oxford University Press. pp. 159-213.
Counterfactuals. [REVIEW]William Parry - 1973 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 44 (2):278-281.

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