Proportionality, contrast and explanation

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (4):785-797 (2013)
Authors
Brad Weslake
New York University, Shanghai
Abstract
If counterfactual dependence is sufficient for causation and if omissions can be causes, then all events have many more causes than common sense tends to recognize. This problem is standardly addressed by appeal to pragmatics. However, Carolina Sartorio [2010] has recently raised what I shall argue is a more interesting problem concerning omissions for counterfactual theories of causation—more interesting because it demands a more subtle pragmatic solution. I discuss the relationship between the idea that causes are proportional to their effects, the idea that causation is contrastive, and the question of the dimensions along which causal explanations should be evaluated with respect to one another.
Keywords Causation  Omissions  Contrast  Explanation  Proportionality  Counterfactuals  Pragmatics
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DOI 10.1080/00048402.2013.788045
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References found in this work BETA

Causation as Influence.David Lewis - 2000 - Journal of Philosophy 97 (4):182-197.
Mental Causation.Stephen Yablo - 1992 - Philosophical Review 101 (2):245-280.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Deviance in Deviant Causal Chains.Neil McDonnell - 2015 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 4 (2):162-170.
The Metaphysics of Omissions.Sara Bernstein - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (3):208-218.

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