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Actual Causation and Compositionality

Livengood, Jonathan and Sytsma, Justin (2018) Actual Causation and Compositionality. [Preprint]

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Many theories of actual causation implicitly endorse the claim that if c is an actual cause of e, then either c causes e directly or every intermediary by which c indirectly causes e is itself both an actual cause of e and also an actual effect of c. We think this compositionality constraint is plausible. However, as we show, it is not always satisfied by the causal attributions ordinary people make. After showing that the compositionality constraint is not always satisfied by the causal attributions ordinary people make, we step back to consider what philosophers working on causation should do when the deliverances of their theories diverge from what ordinary people say.

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Item Type: Preprint
Livengood, Jonathan
Sytsma, Justin
Additional Information: Forthcoming in Philosophy of Science
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
Depositing User: Justin Sytsma
Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2018 15:11
Last Modified: 21 May 2019 23:11
Item ID: 15414
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
Date: 1 December 2018

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