Philosophical Studies 174 (5):1323-1361 (2017)

Authors
David Rose
Stanford University
Abstract
How do we determine whether some candidate causal factor is an actual cause of some particular outcome? Many philosophers have wanted a view of actual causation which fits with folk intuitions of actual causation and those who wish to depart from folk intuitions of actual causation are often charged with the task of providing a plausible account of just how and where the folk have gone wrong. In this paper, I provide a range of empirical evidence aimed at showing just how and where the folk go wrong in determining whether an actual causal relation obtains. The evidence suggests that folk intuitions of actual causation are generated by two epistemically defective processes. I situate the empirical evidence within a background discussion of debunking, arguing for a two-pronged debunking explanation of folk intuitions of actual causation. I conclude that those who wish to depart from folk intuitions of actual causation should not be compelled to square their account of actual causation with the verdicts of the folk. In the dispute over actual causation, folk intuitions deserve to be rejected.
Keywords actual causation  folk intuitions  debunking
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-016-0762-8
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References found in this work BETA

What is Justified Belief.Alvin Goldman - 1979 - In George Pappas (ed.), Justification and Knowledge. Boston: D. Reidel. pp. 1-25.
Cause and Norm.Christopher Hitchcock & Joshua Knobe - 2009 - Journal of Philosophy 106 (11):587-612.
Causation: A User’s Guide.L. A. Paul & Ned Hall - 2013 - Oxford University Press UK.
Evolutionary Debunking Arguments.Guy Kahane - 2011 - Noûs 45 (1):103-125.
Justification and Truth.Stewart Cohen - 1984 - Philosophical Studies 46 (3):279--95.

View all 54 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

From Punishment to Universalism.David Rose & Shaun Nichols - 2019 - Mind and Language 34 (1):59-72.
Cause and Burn.David Rose, Eric Sievers & Shaun Nichols - 2021 - Cognition 207 (104517):104517.
Teleological Essentialism.David Rose & Shaun Nichols - 2019 - Cognitive Science 43 (4):e12725.

View all 12 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

What Do the Folk Think About Composition and Does It Matter?Daniel Z. Korman & Chad Carmichael - 2017 - In David Rose (ed.), Experimental Metaphysics. London: Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 187-206.
A Partial Theory of Actual Causation.Brad Weslake - 2015 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
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The Folk Probably Do Think What You Think They Think.David Manley, Billy Dunaway & Anna Edmonds - 2013 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (3):421-441.
Cause and Norm.Christopher Hitchcock & Joshua Knobe - 2009 - Journal of Philosophy 106 (11):587-612.
Constructivist Experimental Philosophy on Well-Being and Virtue.Matthew Braddock - 2010 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 48 (3):295-323.

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