The Manipulability Account of Causation applied to Physical Systems.

In the following we will apply the manipulability theory of causation of Woodward 2003 to physical systems, and show that, in the latter context, the theory can be simplified. Elaborating on an argument by Cartwright, we will argue that the notions of ‘modularity’ and ‘intervention’ of the cited work should be adapted for typical physical systems, in order to take coupling of system equations into account. We will show that this allows to reduce all cause types discussed in Woodward 2003 to only one, namely that of ‘total cause’.
Keywords Causation  Manipulability  Woodward  Cause  Physics
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James Woodward (2008). Causation and Manipulability. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Peter Menzies & Christian List (2010). The Causal Autonomy of the Special Sciences. In Cynthia Mcdonald & Graham Mcdonald (eds.), Emergence in Mind. Oxford University Press.

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