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What We Talk About When We Talk About Causality

Bogen, Jim (2001) What We Talk About When We Talk About Causality. [Preprint]

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    Abstract

    This paper compares the relative merits of two alternatives to traditional accounts of causal explanation: Jim Woodward's counterfactual invariance account, and the Mechanistic account of Machamer, Darden, and Craver. Mechanism wins (a) because we have good causal explanations for chaotic effects whose production does not exhibit the counterfactual regularities Woodward requires, and (b)because arguments suggested by Belnap's and Green's discussion of prediction (in'Facing the Future' chpt 6)show that the relevant counterfactuals about ideal interventions on non-deterministic and deterministic systems lack truth value.


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    Item Type: Preprint
    Keywords: causal explanation, Woodward, Mechanism, Machamer-Darden-Craver
    Subjects: General Issues > Causation
    General Issues > Explanation
    General Issues > Laws of Nature
    Conferences and Volumes: [2001] Pitt-London Workshop in the Philosophy of Biology and Neuroscience (London, September 2001)
    Depositing User: jim bogen
    Date Deposited: 10 Aug 2001
    Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 11:10
    Item ID: 361
    Public Domain: No
    URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/361

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