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A theory of causation: causae causantes (originating causes) as inus conditions in branching space-times

Belnap, Nuel (2002) A theory of causation: causae causantes (originating causes) as inus conditions in branching space-times. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Branching space-times (BST) theory, as developed elsewhere, permits a sound and rigorously definable notion of ``originating cause'' or causa causans---a type of transition event---of an outcome event. Mackie has famously suggested that causes form a family of ``inus'' conditions, where an inus condition is ``an insufficient but non-redundant part of an unnecessary sufficient condition.'' In this essay the needed concepts of BST theory are developed in detail, and it is then proved that the causae causantes a given outcome event have exactly the structure of a set of Mackie inus conditions. The proof requires the assumption that there is no EPR-like ``funny business.'' This seems enough to constitute a theory of ``causation'' in at least one of its many senses.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
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Belnap, Nuel
Keywords: causation, indeterminism, inus conditions, branching space-times
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
Depositing User: Nuel Belnap
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2002
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 15:11
Item ID: 891
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/891

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