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Mutual Manipulability and Causal Inbetweenness

Harinen, Totte (2014) Mutual Manipulability and Causal Inbetweenness. [Preprint]

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Carl Craver's mutual manipulability criterion aims to pick out all and only those components of a mechanism that are constitutively relevant with respect to a given phenomenon. In devising his criterion, Craver has made heavy use of the notion of an ideal intervention, which is a tool for illuminating causal concepts in causal models. The problem is that typical mechanistic models contain non-causal relations in addition to causal ones, and so the question as to the applicability of ideal interventions arises. In this paper, I first show why top-down interventions in mechanistic models are likely to violate the standard conditions for ideal interventions under two familiar metaphysics of mechanistic models: those based on supervenience and realization. Drawing from recent developments in the causal exclusion literature, I then argue for the appropriateness of an extended notion of an ideal intervention. Finally, I show why adopting such an extended notion leads to the surprising consequence that an important subset of mechanistic interlevel relations come out as causal. I call the resulting metaphysical account by the name `causal inbetweenness'.

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Item Type: Preprint
Keywords: mutual manipulability, mechanisms, supervenience, realization, causal inbetweenness
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
General Issues > Explanation
Specific Sciences > Neuroscience
Depositing User: Totte Harinen
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2014 15:37
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2014 15:37
Item ID: 11083
Journal or Publication Title: Synthese
Publisher: Springer (Springer Science+Business Media B.V.)
Official URL:
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1007/s11229-014-0564-5
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
General Issues > Explanation
Specific Sciences > Neuroscience
Date: 2014
ISSN: 1573-0964

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