Old Problems for the Agency Theory of Causal Discourse

Erkenntnis 84 (4):939-951 (2019)

Price’s :157–176, 1991; 44:187–203, 1993 ; 2007, 2017) agency theory of causation has takes itself to provide a use-theory of our causal discourse. The theory’s aim is to describe the rules implicit to our linguistic behaviour when we describe things in causal terms. According to this theory, the rules governing our use of the concept of causation are based on our perspective as agents and our associated experiences of manipulating events. I argue that the observed relation between agency and our concept of causation cannot exhaustively describe the conditions under which we enter into causal discourse. In particular, I demonstrate that the agency theory faces familiar problems with accounting for causal ascriptions to token cases.
Keywords Causation  Agency  Huw Price  Manipulationism
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DOI 10.1007/s10670-018-9988-5
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References found in this work BETA

Causation as Influence.David K. Lewis - 2000 - Journal of Philosophy 97 (4):182-197.
Causation as a Secondary Quality.Peter Menzies & Huw Price - 1993 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 44 (2):187-203.

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