Topoi 40 (1):131-146 (2021)

Many generic sentences express stable inductive generalizations. Stable inductive generalizations are typically true for a causal reason. In this paper we investigate to what extent this is also the case for the generalizations expressed by generic sentences. More in particular, we discuss the possibility that many generic sentences of the form ‘ks have feature e’ are true because kind k have the causal power to ‘produce’ feature e. We will argue that such an analysis is quite close to a probabilistic based analysis of generic sentences according to which ‘relatively many’ ks have feature e, and that, in fact, this latter type of analysis can be ‘grounded’ in terms of causal powers. We will argue, moreover, that the causal power analysis is sometimes preferred to a correlation-based analysis, because it takes the causal structure that gives rise to the probabilistic data into account.
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DOI 10.1007/s11245-019-09663-4
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References found in this work BETA

Fact, Fiction, and Forecast.Nelson Goodman - 1955 - Harvard University Press.
The Meaning of 'Meaning'.Hillary Putnam - 1975 - Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 7:131-193.

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