PhilSci Archive

Getting Rid of Interventions

Reutlinger, Alexander (2012) Getting Rid of Interventions. [Preprint]

This is the latest version of this item.

[img]
Preview
PDF
Reutlinger_Getting_Rid_of_Interventions.pdf

Download (405kB)

Abstract

According to James Woodward’s influential interventionist account of causation, X is a cause of Y iff, roughly, there is a possible intervention on X that changes Y. Woodward requires that interventions be merely logically possible. I will argue for two claims against this modal character of interventions: First, merely logically possible interventions are dispensable for the semantic project of providing an account of the meaning of causal statements. If interventions are indeed dispensable, the interventionist theory collapses into (some sort of) a counterfactual theory of causation. Thus, the interventionist theory is not tenable as a theory of causation in its own right. Second, if one maintains that merely logically possible interventions are indispensable, then interventions with this modal character lead to the fatal result that interventionist counterfactuals are evaluated inadequately. Consequently, interventionists offer an inadequate theory of causation. I suggest that if we are concerned with explicating causal concepts and stating the truth-conditions of causal claims we best get rid of Woodwardian interventions.


Export/Citation: EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII/Text Citation (Chicago) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
Social Networking:
Share |

Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Reutlinger, AlexanderAlexander.Reutlinger@uni-koeln.de
Keywords: interventionist theory of causation, counterfactuals
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
General Issues > Laws of Nature
Depositing User: Alexander Reutlinger
Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2013 17:09
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2013 17:09
Item ID: 10146
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
General Issues > Laws of Nature
Date: 2012
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/10146

Available Versions of this Item

Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Monthly Downloads for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item