Against the Contrastive Account of Singular Causation

For at least three decades, philosophers have argued that general causation and causal explanation are contrastive in nature. When we seek a causal explanation of some particular event, we are usually interested in knowing why that event happened rather than some other specified event. And general causal claims, which state that certain event types cause certain other event types, seem to make sense only if appropriate contrasts to the types of events acting as cause and effect are specified. In recent years, philosophers have extended the contrastive theory of causation to encompass singular causation as well. In this article, I argue that this extension of the theory was a mistake. Although general causation and causal explanation may well be contrastive in nature, singular causation is not
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DOI 10.1093/bjps/axr024
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References found in this work BETA
Christopher Hitchcock (2003). Of Humean Bondage. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 54 (1):1-25.
Karen Bennett (2005). Two Axes of Actualism. Philosophical Review 114 (3):297-326.

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Citations of this work BETA
Vera Hoffmann-Kolss (2014). Interventionism and Higher-Level Causation. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 28 (1):49-64.

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