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The Time-Asymmetry of Causation

Price, Huw and Weslake, Brad (2008) The Time-Asymmetry of Causation. [Preprint]


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One of the most striking features of causation is that causes typically precede their effects – the causal arrow is strongly aligned with the temporal arrow. Why should this be so? We offer an opinionated guide to this problem, and to the solutions currently on offer. We conclude that the most promising strategy is to begin with the de facto asymmetry of human deliberation, characterised in epistemic terms, and to build out from there. More than any rival, this subjectivist approach promises to demystify the asymmetry, temporal orientation, and deliberative relevance of causal judgements.

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Item Type: Preprint
Price, Huw
Weslake, Brad
Additional Information: Forthcoming in Helen Beebee, Christopher Hitchcock and Peter Menzies (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Causation (OUP).
Keywords: Causation, causality, time-asymmetry, causal asymmetry, arrow of time
Subjects: General Issues > Decision Theory
General Issues > Causation
Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
Depositing User: Prof Huw Price
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2009
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 15:17
Item ID: 4475

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