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Causation: Many Words, One Thing?

Casini, Lorenzo (2012) Causation: Many Words, One Thing? THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science, 27 (2). pp. 203-219. ISSN 2171-679X

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How many notions of cause are there? The causality literature is witnessing a flourishing of pluralist positions. Here I focus on a recent debate on whether interpreting causality in terms of inferential relations commits one to semantic pluralism (Reiss 2011) or not
(Williamson 2006). I argue that inferentialism is compatible with a ‘weak’ form of monism, where causality is envisaged as one, vague cluster concept. I offer two arguments for this, one for vagueness, one for uniqueness. Finally, I qualify in what sense the resulting form of monism is ‘weak'.

¿Cuántas nociones de causa hay? Hay un resurgir de posiciones pluralistas en la bibliografía
sobre causalidad. Me ocuparé aquí de un debate reciente sobre si la interpretación de la causalidad en términos de relaciones inferenciales nos compromete con el pluralismo
semántico (Reiss 2011) o no (Williamson 2006). Defiendo que el inferencialismo es compatible con una forma ’debil’ de monismo, donde la causalidad se presenta como un único concepto vago y de agrupación (cluster). Ofrezco para ello dos argumentos, uno sobre vaguedad y otro sobre unicidad. Finalmente, matizaré en qué sentido esta forma de monismo es ’débil’.

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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Additional Information: ISSN: 0495-4548 (print)
Keywords: causality; pluralism; monism; inferentialism; causalidad; pluralismo; monismo; inferencialismo
Depositing User: Users 15304 not found.
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2014 23:13
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2014 23:13
Item ID: 10252
Journal or Publication Title: THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science
Publisher: Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea / Universidad del País Vasco
Official URL:
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1387/theoria.4067
Date: May 2012
Page Range: pp. 203-219
Volume: 27
Number: 2
ISSN: 2171-679X

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